Last weekend, I was able to visit the incredible city of Barcelona with a group of UF students. We spent the first afternoon checking out some must-see tourist spots: La Sagrada Família, the Barcelona Cathedral, as well some pretty streets, parks, fountains, and shopping areas. While those sites were beautiful, the experience that I will never forget was witnessing Barcelona react to their 2015 UEFA Champions League Final victory.
You didn’t have to be a fútbol fanatic to celebrate the team’s victory. Once Barcelona officially beat Juventus, the streets erupted in cheer. It began like any sports celebration (shouting, jumping, cheering) but escalated quickly. Fireworks went off randomly throughout the streets, to the point where my group had to dodge explosions happening just a few feet away from us. People began climbing anything they physically could: newspaper stands, metro signs, you name it. Someone burned a Real Madrid flag. One group of people even jumped into a public fountain, soaking each other and anyone they could reach.
It was the first time in my life that I witnessed complete and utter chaos.
Sunday morning, we countered the insanity of the previous night with a day trip to Park Güell. The “Monumental Zone” requires the purchase of a ticket (costs 8 €) but the rest of the park is completely free to the public. Words can’t describe how incredible it was.
I definitely want to revisit Park Güell. Next time, I’ll come prepared with a hat, tennis shoes, and my trusty DSLR. Climbing up Carmel Hill in sandals was not the ideal scenario (I left my Nike’s in Madrid) but the view was definitely worth the climb.
Isn’t it always?