Friday, August 2, 2013

Barcelona Day 4

Barcelona Day 4: My First Soccer Game!

Our last full day in Barcelona, we didn't have much plan for sightseeing (I was still recovering from the incident) and also the Joan Gamper Trophy soccer match tonight at Camp Nou. Hubby took out the tourist map and looked at which places we could go. He decided to go to Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya 
and to see the Magic Fountain. We were originally planned to go to the Magic Fountain at night to see its night water show but since the incident, we didn't have the mood and afraid to go out at night :(  We took the metro and got off at Espanya station. Right off the station, I saw the two towers that looked like St. Mark's Square. We walked up to the Magic Fountain and unfortunately it was shut off!  But there was another waterfall right in front of Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya.


We had to wait a few minutes to get a spot for the photo:


We helped some tourists to take a photo so in return we asked they to help us take a photo :)


It was a long walk to get up the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya but there were elevators on the side to make it an easier way! We got to the top and there was a nice view of Barcelona:


The two towers that looked like St. Mark's Square tower on the back and the Magic Fountain was off:


Stairs leading up to the entrance of the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya:


We didn't went into the museum since we are not museum type of people.  We sat there for a few minutes for the view and then went back down.  We walked across to Arenas de Barcelona, it was the bull fight ring of Barcelona now converted to a shopping mall for lunch. We really didn't have the mood to shop so we just went straight up to the top floor for the restaurants. We walked around the circular perimeter to see the menus of the restaurants and we picked La Lola.  It looked more upper scale than restaurant we found in the malls in the US, the food was pretty good surprisingly! Hubby ordered a bucket of steamed mussels (they were fresh) and a fish plate while I ordered a sandwich. The sandwich was good and was huge, enough for two!  Sorry for not taking any photos!

The lunch bill came to be 29.75 euros, it wasn't bad for its food quality and quantity.  We walked around the roof and here have spectacular view of the plaza:


Afterwards, we took the metro right back to our hotel. We stayed in our room to pack up since we'll be leaving early tomorrow morning. 

We had an early dinner in the hotel restaurant CentOnze again since its kitchen open throughout the day. After dinner, we went back to our room changed into our jerseys and took the metro to Camp Nou. The game started at 9:30 pm and we got there around 8:00 pm. We got off at Palau Reial station and then walked to the stadium, the walk was about 10 minutes. On our way walking there, we saw tons of people heading the same way! It was getting crowded as we were near the stadium and there were many vendors there selling FC Barcelona gifts!



This whole road was parked with buses (must in hundreds)! I would not suggest paying extra to go on a tour that included bus transportation...I could not imagine how long it'll take the bus to get out of here after the game!


The stadium is huge!! We couldn't find our entrance nor have any idea where to go. We followed the crowds through the gates, there were staffs there scanning our tickets. Once we are in the grounds of the stadium, there were people lining up taking a picture with this statue:


A big poster of Messi and Neymar!


From there, we found our entrance and access gate: Door 19, Entrance 8, Row 1, Seat 12!! I woke up at 4 am on the day the tickets went on sale at the FC Barcelona website to get those tickets! Ticket went on sale at 10 am Barcelona time which mean 4 am my time. I set the alarm, woke up, ran to my laptop to purchase tickets. The website was down and I kept trying! After few minutes of trying hubby said let's go back to sleep and wake up later to buy. I told him to go back to sleep and I'll wait. I tried for another 5 minutes and finally the website was back up :) All the good seats right in front of the entrance where players will be entered were sold! So I picked the section on the right of the entrance, row 1 wohooo! 

My ticket :)


Actually there were a few VIP rows in front of our row 1 but it was okay, our view was still great!


I turned around and asked the guy behind us to take a photo of our back LOL! I thought it would look cute hehe!


Hubby thought not much people would come to see a friendly match but turned out the stadium was nearly full! I never been to a sport game before so it was my first game ever....and it was in Camp Nou watching FC Barcelona, pretty cool! Although I am not a sports fan but the atmosphere inside the stadium was like a party!

List of players playing in the match:



Messi was right in front of our eyes woah! The only disappointment was that our 70-200 mm lens was stolen so it was hard to get a real close up of the players :( Messi scored the first goal right after the game started, it was so fast! The first half of the game, majority of the activities were near our side of the goal so it was great. Also they scored goals very fast so it was exciting!





Three guys tried to stop Messi but failed!


Here came Neymar!


The first half of the game was FC Barcelona vs FC Santos 4-0!

During the 15 minute break, people pulled out their sandwiches and ate.....urg..we thought we can't bring in food and drink in the stadium LOL!

Picture of me in jersey, first time ever!


Hubby with is Neymar Jr jersey (look at the boy staring at him: "what is that weird guy doing?" LOL)


The game resume and the location of the goal changed so the 2nd half of the game was taken place with the majority of the activities on the other side of us.

Fans cheering for another Barcelona goal!



It was 10 minutes left the score was 7-0 so we were sure Barcelona will win and we left to avoid the crowd. We saw a few people started to leave too! It was not a bad idea to leave a little bit early so we don't need to be stuck in the train with crowds, would be even luck if can squeeze into the train!  We got back to La Rambla before midnight; we were holding very tight to our bags and thankfully we got back to our room safely! I was very worried about getting back very late a night since the incident so phew!!! Overall, we enjoyed the game (final score was 8-0 by the way), it would be perfect if not the incident and we will still have our lens; I would have have more fun practicing taking sports photos! 

The next morning our train from Barcelona to Madrid was at 8 am so we got up very early and took a taxi from the hotel right to Barcelona Sants Station. Before our trip, I planned to take the metro but after what happened, we would rather spend extra to get us safely to the train station. Taxi cost was only 10 euros and it was fast too so definitely worth it!

Lessons we learned from our hotel room burglary

We definitely paid a big price for the lessons we learned from our hotel room burglary and wanted to share with all of you! At first we thought Barcelona is the capital of pickpockets so as long as we watch our belongings and hold on tight to them, carry little cash and valuables as possible with us when going out, and leaving valuables inside the hotel room safe should be fine. If you think like us, please think again! Through the great community of contributors in Trip Advisor, we have uncovered scary but very important information regarding the safety of hotel room locks.

An article published by Forbes back in November, 2012 titled "Security Flaw In Common Keycard Locks Exploited In String Of Hotel Room Break-Ins":


proved that certain hotel locks manufactured by Onity can be easily opened with a homemade device! 

Also, a video demonstrated how the device is used to unlock hotel room doors from ABC news:


This is so far the only logical explanation on what had happened to our room since there were no surveillance cameras in the hallway; the robbers got into our room without any physical damage to the door and no logged entry.  This security flaw not only vulnerable to hotels in Barcelona but throughout the world! 

We learned from this horrible event that never ride in the same elevator with others as you never know who are hotel guests and who are not. When you feel being followed, do not continue to go back to your room, instead, go back to the hotel lobby. The suspicious people following you are mostly interested on which room you are staying in. Do not count on the hotel room safe to keep your valuables safe. If you have valuables that you don't want to lose, contact the hotel and ask to use their safe, in that case, the hotel will be liable for all your valuables inside their safe! That's the safest place in the hotel! 

We'll do this from now on and continue on our joy of traveling and photography!

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