February 25

On my way to class, I went over my two note cards I had prepared for my presentation on Lorca. I was kind of nervous because I had never given a report longer than 5 minutes in Spanish, and this one is between 20-30 minutes. The second we got to class, we had to start. I really enjoyed it because I didn’t have time to really worry; we just did it. Joe and I did great. Celia kept telling us after how great we did. I was really excited.

In culture class, everyone went over the answers to the scavenger hunt we had gotten and we got to try all the different pastries, dried fruits, and meats that are popular/unique to Valencia. It was a lot of fun.

Before I knew it, class was over and it was the beginning of my weekend. It finally hit me that we were going to Barcelona this weekend and the walk back home went really quick. A bunch of us agreed to meet up on the Rooftop patio to get a little relaxation time in before lunch.

I brought my book, my sunglasses, a bottle of water and my Lufthansa blanket that I had from the plane. It felt so good, I stayed up on top way past the start of lunch; I went down to eat around 2:30. Lunch was great. The best way I can describe the main course is to call them meatballs with a country fried steak sauce on top. Naturally, I made a humongous meatball sandwich.

I was feeling pretty gorged after lunch, I went over to Cava del Negret, a local café and had a coffee and used the free WiFi to write my blog and got a little research done for my big paper due in Literature class next week. I left the café around 5:30.

I went back, and write as I was getting to the dorm, Dave and Ben were leaving for Corte Ingles. I wanted to grab some stuff before the weekend so I decided to tag along. We stopped in a Valencia soccer store on the way back and I picked up a t-shirt before the game.

After we got back, we hung out in Diego’s room. Diego and Greg, the two who I went to the game with, were getting ready. It took us a while to leave, but we caught a taxi and zipped right on over to La Mestalla.

Since this was a UEFA game, there was a lot more intensity in the air when we got out. Bruges, a Belgian team, had beat us once at there field 1-0; in order for Valencia to advance in the tournament, we needed to win either 2-0 or 3-1 because they have a system for counting aggregate goals.

There is a bar called Manolo’s right outside of the stadium. Manolo is one of the most recognized men in Spain today. He is a die-hard Spain fan that is seen at every international game pounding a huge drum. On top of being a Spain fan, he is a Valencia fan. His bar is covered with pictures of him at different World Cups and the greatest thing is he works behind the bar before the game. We went in to grab a beer before the game; Manolo’s was packed with Belgian fans that were chanting that Valencia would never win the cup. Everyone wearing orange and black just kept quiet, we knew that the scoreboard would do the talking.

We rushed into the stadium right before the game started and found our seats, for fifteen euros, they were great. The best way I can describe seats is in football terms so I would say we were about on the twenty-yard line, at the beginning of the second deck. Diego kept saying that we were going to score in the first ten minutes. First possession, what do you know? We scored a great goal and silenced Bruges. Everyone else in the stadium was ecstatic.

The game was really intense, there were a lot of great attempts and shots on goal, but regular time expired with us winning 1-0. Since Bruges had a 1-0 victory at home and we had a 1-0 victory at home, the game was forced into two 15 minute over time periods to determine a winner. It was so intense, all of the buildups were great and eventually we converted on two plays and ended up winning 3-0. What a great game.

We were so excited that we decided to skip the taxi and just walk back. We stopped through at Doner Kebab and I had a wrap. I headed home and got in to bed, afterall I needed to wake up early and get some packing done for Barcelona.

The video isn't of a goal, but there were some great opportunities to score that we just missed...

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