Pig gets embroiled in the never ending Catalan nationalism debate. Pig banished to the bowels of the stadium and refused entry into game.Little is lost without his trusty friend. However the football authorities at Barcelona realise that Pig will not throw himself on Luis Figo's head so they allow him to watch the second half.

Picture no 3 shows Little Ted telling Pig about Barcelona's famous red and blue colours. In 1992 the club was caught up in a storm of protest, when they changed their kit manufacturers. Italian company Kappa designed Barca's new strip, adding a thin white trim to the shirt sleeves, shorts and socks. Big mistake! For in Catalonia white is instantly associated with Real Madrid and Spains Royalists. Oppinion polls and T.V debates confirmed that the fans did not like the design, a fact that Kappa should have been aware of. Even washing machine manufacturers have to be careful not to over - emphasise the "sparkling white" angle in Catalonia.Barca are the biggest club in the world without a shirt sponsor. This is not that nobody wants to sponsor them, but rather because Barcelona consider their colours so sacred. So much so that president Josep Luis Nunez once remarked: "Nowbody could pay us enough to sully our shirts"      

In Catalonia today people idolize soccer especially when Futbol Club Barcelona are at their best. The Catalonians say Barça, is more than big business. "Barça's a religion". And some of its holiest moments come with the contest against its archrival Real   Franco tried to obliterate all the regional rivalries in Spain, except in soccer. He promoted soccer as a healthy way for the regions to work out their tensions. But with Barça the policy backfired. Because Catalans had no political parties, no regional government, and no right to use their own language, they made up for all by seeing their cultural pride into Barça. At a Barça match, people could shout in Catalan and sing traditional songs when they could do it nowhere else."
There is a seamy side to Real Madrid's football exploits too. The club has won so many trophies, tournaments and championship. However, the club is associated with fascism as the pure white ambassador to Franco's goal of achieving a united Spain with a strong center.

Getting to Barcelona by Air: Barcelona's Airport is 13 km (8 miles) from the city of Barcelona. It has three terminals and its airport code is BCN. A taxi takes 20-30 minutes to get into town and costs 15-25 euros. Train services to the airport are available every 30 minutes from Clot-Arago, Arc de Triomf, Placa Catalunya and Barcelona Sants stations. Cost is 2.10 Euros. A bus runs every 15 minutes from the Plaza Catalunya to the airport.Cost is €3.30 each way  Barcelona Train Stations: The two main stations serving Barcelona are Estaciós (stations) Sants and França. Sants services destinations in Spain and a few international trains, while most long distance trains (from Geneva, Milan, Paris and Zurich) depart from Estació França.

Barcelona Bus Stations: Estació del Nord is the larger of the two. It handles busses to most major Spanish cities as well as hosting international busses run by Eurolines/Linebús and Starbus. Location: Carrer d'Alí Bei near the Arc de Triomf metro station. The Estació d'Autobuses de Sants near the Sants train station handles buses to Montserrat and international services operated by Eurolines/Julià Via. Language: Traveling in Catalonia can be quite a challenge for those of us who speak a tiny bit of Spanish but no Catalán, the language of the region. Rest assured that Barcelona is a major travel destination, so you'll see menus in both Spainish and Catalán, and many folks speak a bit of English as well.

What to do in Barcelona: 

  • Walk La Rambla - One of the world's greatest boulevards. Watch people, gawk at performing artists, grab a bite to eat at the market, and watch your wallet.
  • Take in the Picasso Museum - One of Barcelona's top art attractions, known for its large collections of the artist's earlier years. Open Tue-Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 10am-3pm. 5 Euros, Students pay half that. It's free the first Sunday of the Month.
  • Fondació Joan Miró - Get contemporary by visiting a museum featuring the works of one of the greatest Catalan artists in the Placa Neptu. 7 Euro admission. Open Tue-Wed 10am-7pm, Thu 10am-9.30pm, Fri-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-2.30pm.
  • Gaudi all over - Visit the Parc Güell that contains the Casa-Museu Gaudí, where Gaudi lived from 1906-1926. Free. Then visit the Sagrada Familia, the church Gaudi devoted 18 years of his life to constructing and it's not done yet. 5 Euros to get inside, which gets you great views of Barcelona and, for the cellar dwellers, a peek into the crypt containing the fascinating history though photos and drawings.
  • Walk the twisty lanes of the Gothic quarter - Free and interesting.
  • Lunch at the Mercat La Boquería - at 101 La Rambla, it's Spain's best market. Inside are several tapas bars. Pull up a stool and eat the best that comes to market that day.
  • Cathedral Crawl - The cloister is a fine and most peaceful place if you ever need to escape the beautiful hustle and bustle of Barcelona.
  • Dinner at Los Caracoles Restaurant - on Escudellers Street in the Gothic Quarter.