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Spanish Super Cup Adventures With ESPN Deportes: Day One

5097496756 0baf47dd17 Spanish Super Cup Adventures With ESPN Deportes: Day One

Barcelona's W Hotel, sailing alongside the Mediterranean Sea

Watch Barcelona vs Real Madrid in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup live on ESPN Deportes (4pm ET, August 17).

Editor’s note: La Liga Talk is in Spain this week to cover the Spanish Super Cup. We’ll be bringing you some of the sights and sounds from Barcelona including a daily travelogue sharing our experiences as well as some exclusive interviews and maybe a surprise or two along the way. La Liga Talk writer Debbie Harris left from Miami on Sunday and arrived in Barcelona on Monday to join up with ESPN Deportes (who will be broadcasting Wednesday’s game live at 5pm ET for viewers in the United States). Here’s day one of her travel diary, sharing her insight into what it’s like to experience many firsts: Visiting Spain and attending her first professional La Liga game.

Day one: Monday, August 15, 2011

9am: The final descent of my flight from New Jersey to Barcelona approaches the Spanish city. From my plane window, I can see the mountains with a few houses and lots of swimming pools in the area. But as the plane gets closer to the Mediterranean Sea, significantly more houses and buildings are visible but far fewer pools. Looking through the window, I then see the beautiful blue Mediterranean Sea and the mountains in the background.

10:30am: After the plane landed and I got through customs, I walked through Barcelona airport and was impressed by how clean and simple the two-year-old terminal was. It was very open and looked like an atrium with trees and steps and lots of places to lounge outside.

10:45am: I found my driver holding a big “Debbie Harris” sign. I walked up to him and said “Hola”. He replied “Que tal? Hablas Espanol? I responded that I spoke a little Spanish. He then said goodbye to his friend and then told him he had to take the “Gringo” to the hotel. I laughed because hey – I understood that!

The 15 minute drive to the hotel was pretty quiet. Along the way, I was so amazed at the countryside. You can see the mountains in the distance with homes on it — very much like you picture Italian seaside villages. Along the road I started noticing what looked like statues and buildings that looked like some kind of park. As I got closer I saw that it was a cemetery filled with trees and religious statues and what looked like buildings, which were actually glass mausoleums. I was also told that Christopher Columbus is buried in that cemetery.

I eventually spoke up and told the driver that I thought his country was beautiful. He responded in perfect English. I told him I was there to see the FC Barcelona versus Real Madrid game. He, of course, said he is a FC Barcelona fan. He told me that futbol is popular but not as much as you would think. He said there are quite a few basketball fans and other sports fans here. He then told me about the whole Cesc Fabregas unveiling at the stadium (I was stuck on an airplane pretty much since the day before at 1:30pm, so I had no idea and was grateful for the information). We pulled into the parking lot of the W Hotel and all I can say is WOW.

11:45am: I went to the ESPN Deportes hospitality suite located on the 22nd floor. I got off the elevator and was enveloped in beauty. I had a panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea on my left, straight ahead the city and mountains with some body of water and then to my right the beach and Mediterranean Sea again. I made it to room 2214 and was welcomed by ESPN Deportes, as well as executives from Time Warner Cable and reporter Jose Luis Sanchez Pando from The Chicago Tribune. I also met some of the lucky winners who won a trip to see the Spanish Super Cup, courtesy of a cross promotion between ESPN and Time Warner Cable.

7:30pm: After an afternoon of catching up on sleep, checking out the beach and going to the gym, I went to the pool area where we had a formal cocktail hour. I was daring and tried new things. I met so many people, production crews from ESPN, marketing people and their wives and husbands. And of of course some of ESPN Deportes personalities such as Mario Kempes, Fernando Palomo and Jose Ramon Fernandez.

Drinks and hors d’oeuvres were served until 9:30pm. Then we had dinner next door at Bravo. I sat next to the contest winners, Jose Luis Sanchez Pando from The Chicago Tribune and a couple of ESPN Deportes employees. We had a variety of different tapas, which were incredible. This was followed by some more drinks and then a visit to the hotel nightclub which had a spectacular view of Barcelona at night.

After 5 cava’s and one martini this traveling journalist decided it was time to go to bed. After all it was 2am.

Read day two of her travel diary. And here’s day three.

Watch Barcelona vs Real Madrid in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup live on ESPN Deportes (4pm ET, August 17).

This entry was posted in Leagues: La Liga, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Spanish Super Cup Adventures With ESPN Deportes: Day One

  1. Efrain says:

    Hey Debbie, its great that you get to see Barcelona and meet everyone. Hope I can get there one day. Maybe you can include some photos of your visit while your there. Just a thought.

  2. Efrain says:

    Hey Gaffer, I went to the ‘meet the writers’ and noticed Debbie’s profile was not there……

    • The Gaffer says:

      Efrain, good point. We’re planning on launching a completely redesigned version of the site this weekend, so we’ll make those changes after the new version of the site goes live.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

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