A pleasant cava on the Plaza Real and a dinner at a tiny tapas bar with the locals glued to the television for the European semifinals soccer between London's Chelsea and FC Barcelona, or Barca for the locals. The match was played that very evening in the iconic Camp Nou stadium only 3 miles down the road from us. Futbol is big all over the world, but it's huge in Barcelona, almost larger than life. Barca has its own TV channel, broadcasting 24/7, and everywhere you go you see banners and flags with the purple and red team colors. So you can imagine the city turned eerily silent when Barca lost, all the visitors holding their breath to see how the locals would react, the Chelsea supporters laying low, the Barca fans in disbelief.
The next night it became clear how the locals had wished to react. That's when Barca's nemesis Real Madrid lost in the other semifinal, and fireworks lit up the night sky all over Barcelona. These Catalans sure are a passionate bunch, and they live in a pretty place.