Football and Forge in Barcelona Interface

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As always, the annual football tournament – this time in
Barcelona – was a complete blast. The Neuchatel team was as
strong as it’s ever been, in my opinion, and played really
well. We were in a tough group (yes, the proverbial “group of
death”), but managed to qualify for the knock-out stage with 3
wins, 2 draws and a loss.

The team

The weather was scorching… a beautiful early summer’s day. We
had a few great games in the knock-out phase, eventually losing
(again) in the quarter final on penalties to the UK team (who
went on to win the whole tournament). We ended up being 6th out
of 28 teams, which was a decent enough result.

This year's football tournament

The celebration afterwards wasa beach party at the Club Natació
Barcelona
. We went on from there to find a nightclub that
allowed people to enter wearing shorts and flip-flops. I was
pretty shattered, after the tournament, but somehow ended up
staying out all night. We watched the sun come up from the roof
of the hotel before getting to sleep after a 7am breakfast. I
haven’t done anything like that in years!

Sunrise after the football

Sunday was a recovery day: a few of us stayed on and took the
chance to visit the city a little. Here’s a shot from the
Telefèric del Port heading towards Montjuïc.

The gondola across Barcelona

I have to say that on Friday evening and Sunday lunchtime I ate
really badly in Barcelona. The restaurants we tried near the
hotel (which was on the Plaça d’Espanya, a very touristy area of
Barcelona) and in La Rambla were a huge disappointment. I’m sure we
could have done better with a little research – we just took
our chances and sat down at places that seemed OK – but the
food was the worst I’ve eaten in Barcelona. I’m guessing that
the continual flood of tourists has led to extreme opportunism
amongst restaurant owners. I’m really not very difficult with
food, in general, but when you make Fideuà with canned spaghetti I think you’ve
crossed a line. (OK, perhaps I’m exaggerating, but only
slightly.)

Thankfully, last night I met up with members of the Forge team
(Peter, Adam and Philippe) and finally had some decent food.
Holding the accelerator in the Poblenou district was a great idea… it’s much more
peaceful and seems to have far fewer tourist traps.

The food I want in Barcelona

It’s my first time in the new…

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