“You? …went to Camp Nou? Why!?”
People wondered and they have all the reasons to. If you’ve read this blog post, you’d know how clueless I am about football although literally everyone around me follows, appreciates, and lives it. I haven’t even figured out the offside rule yet. But Camp Nou was more about Souranil and Aditya and their excitement.
Souranil, I believe, is like most younger siblings. He was indifferent to my plans until he discovered I am going to Barcelona: “HOLY SHIT DADA! Why didn’t you mention this earlier!!!”
..and it does take quite a bit if you are on a student budget. But the experience is worth it!
The first thing to notice inside Camp Nou is – free and fast WiFi. Instantly, Souranil and Aditya appeared on
Camp Nou is the home stadium of FC Barcelona. FC Barcelona is one of the most popular football teams in the world with a rich heritage, which is exhibited in the museum. Now, Camp Nou and Nou Camp both are correct and it means “New Field” (the old field is Camp De Les Corts). In 2001, the then President Joan Gaspart asked for a poll and 68.25% of the members selected “Camp Nou” to be the name. The new stadium is over sixty years old. It has a capacity of over 99,000. To put that to a perspective, …. umm let it be. You’d understand it anyway.
So yeah, the dark room is the start to the museum. When you turn right from the door, you see the shoes with the players’ names arranged according to their jersey numbers. When you walk to the middle of the dark room, you can see the entire history of FC Barcelona inscribed minutely, and an assortment of exhibits. You could read the Wikipedia page for the history.
The ground floor of the museum is this. When you go up to the second floor, you get a glimpse of the stadium. Above that is the multimedia room, and you would best explore this by walking the length.
Some screenshots I took during the video call with Souranil and Aditya… because I was not photographing while I was on video call. Obviously! I have only two hands.
There’s a gallery for the audiovisuals and the rest of the museum are just trophies (I lost count). Towards the stadium is a passage, the sides of which have the press room, the changing room, and a small chapel for players to pray.
“You know why (Barcelona) fans are called “culés” which literally means asses in Spanish?
Because when the club started playing, the stadium was surrounded by walls. People would sit on these walls to watch matches. For any passerby on the road, he could just see these people’s asses. So everyone started calling Barca fans culés.”Aditya Joshi.
Tips! Because Bloggers give tips however stupid, lame and obvious they are!
- You can buy tickets online. If you are a student, take the student ID card with you.
- Click photographs inside; preferably take selfies. In case you need to go back to the museum/stadium, the guard will ask you for a proof that you’ve been there just before and did not take someone else’s ticket.
- Expect a little long queue; so arrive early. Going to Camp Nou is easy, it’s next to the metro station.
- Carry some good amount of money with you. If you are an ardent fan, you might want a photograph printed photoshopped with legends. That costs money!
- If you’re a fan, you’ll take around 3 hours to explore. If you are a confused fan, you’ll take more. So preferably carry some food and water.
There’s a separate section for souvenirs: from wallets, scarfs, keychains, fridge magnets to jerseys, football and more. I went through each item asking Souranil if he wants one. We finally settled for a little crystal paperweight with soil and a little grass from the stadium. It’s (the holy) soil taken from the stadium and comes with a certificate!
The second time I went back to the stadium and the museum is to photograph it. Towards the end of this blog post, you will see the photographs. The third time I went back to the stadium is when I finalized the gifts I was going to get for Souranil and Aditya. By the time I completed touring the entire museum and stadium three fucking times, I had no energy left. I dragged myself back to the hostel and crashed.
Souranil and Aditya’s expressions filled me with contentment. There was nothing more I could have wished for. A video conference is perhaps not the best way to live the Camp Nou experience for an ardent fan and I am very sure they’ll very quickly grow up and visit this Mecca of football.
So friends, here are the photographs:
- Lakshanadevi Radhakrishnan and Yamini Sinha for planning the entire trip.
- Surya Shekhar Chakraborty for the revision of this blog post.
- Aditya Joshi for the trivia and the history just before I left for the stadium!