Souvenirs to Bring Back Home from Barcelona

Catalan Cava

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Similar to French Champagne, but generally cheaper, the most well known brands of Cava are Freixenet and Codorniu. From Barcelona, there are a variety of wine and cava day tours you can choose from online if that is that type of thing that interests you.

Barça Gear

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Jerseys, socks, shorts, hats, bags. You name it, you can buy it with the FC Barcelona logo on it. Barça gear makes the perfect gift for the soccer fan, or just general sports fan in your life. If you’re not really into wearing sports paraphernalia, like me, you can always try to score tickets to the big game and keep your tickets as a memento. If that’s not enough, check out the FC Barcelona Museum located next to Camp Nou.

Unique Holiday Paraphernalia

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The elfish looking thing pictured above is the Caga Tío (Cacka-tee-oh), translates to “poo log” and I guess can be considered the Catalan equivalent to Santa Claus. The idea behind the Caga Tío is kind of long and complicated, so to make it short the log is kept by the children of the household throughout December. They hit it with a stick and sing to it so that it will defecate Christmas presents. Sounds fun, right?

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The Queen on her throne, if you will, is another holiday tradition referred to as caganer (as if one poop reference wasn’t enough for one holiday). These porcelain poopers come in many forms, from the more traditional peasant to the Queen of England or Obama. They place these somewhere in the nativity scene for the children to find (maybe pooping in the manger?). It’s seen, though, as a sign of good luck rather than of disrespect to any certain religion.

Camper Brand Shoes

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Camper shoes are pretty cool. I had never heard of them or seen them until visiting Barcelona and, in fact, I’m not really sure if they’re considered cool in Barcelona. What I do know is that, whether they’re considered cool or not, they must be pretty comfortable or something because they are literally everywhere in the city. And even though I only have women’s shoes pictured they make shoes for men too!

Porró

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Porrons are glass wine pitchers that, to me at least, kind of look like a mix between an Erlenmeyer flask and a watering can. I don’t know too much about their anatomy except that the top can be sealed with some type of cork and the spout is tapered so that the wine will have minimal contact with the outside air. The goal is to get the wine in your mouth and not all over your face like the guy pictured, but whatever works.

Books and Roses

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If you happen to be in Barcelona on April 23rd, you’ll be lucky enough to experience La Diada de Sant Jordi (St George’s Day). It’s celebrated similarly to how we might celebrate Valentine’s Day in the U.S. Thousands of stands line Las Ramblas as well as other streets selling books and roses. Historically men gave women roses and women gave men books, but a mutual exchange of books or roses is also common.

WARNING: Don’t Buy The Sombreros!

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If you visit Barcelona, the chances are that you will walk down the famous Ramblas as least once. Not only is this crowded webbing of streets creeping with pickpockets, but it’s also lined with vendors that sell some really weird or just generally crappy stuff. Most of them sell things like Gaudí magnets, which is fine if you’re, say, a magnet collector, but the most annoying thing that they sell on Las Ramblas are the SOMBREROS. Like think about it. Not only are sombreros not Catalan, they’re not Spanish either. They’re a Mexican hat and Barcelona isn’t anywhere near Mexico. So, don’t be the fool walking down Las Ramblas in a sombrero.

So let me know…What do you think are the best souvenirs/gifts from Barcelona?

Mes Que Un Club

One thing that always amazed me about the city was the fútbol club with the likes of Messi, crazy fans in blue and red, and Camp Nou stadium that boomed often. The first time I went, Barça scored three times in about five minutes. It was an amazing display of skill, but the fans in the stadium also lit up my experience with loud chants and horns and flags in numbers. Even outside the stadium in the streets and in bars was there just as much support. It was a different feeling, but everyone had their back for the team and felt like they had some part in a win or a loss:


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Cannon blares quake from the apartment rooftop as the winning goal gets scored. Outside Barcelona, underneath the orange street light of the hot-night city, the beer begins to flow from the taps, faster than the water beneath in the sewage system. The bar floors bend as the home crowd celebrates, pounding up and down with their chanting feet. They sing in pride as one bartender hugs his son, cries in his wet and worked apron.

The old men stand up with their canes and shake hands, congratulating each other with smiles. The aged and tired men then open up to chug the rest of their beers, pouring fast like a tap, and walk home together in sidewalk silence. On the street, they huddle under the corner lights as if planning an attack on the goal before the start of the half, but they plan on whose apartment they will stop by first.

When they break and go into their upstairs like a sub out for play, it is time to prep for sleep with their wives who have waited up with coffee to hear. Their wives smile and kiss them on the forehead like a quick kick at the net before they dream again about the past feeling of a winning power over rival Madrid, now when a whole city shared with them the glory and honor of history made that day.