The beautiful game, in beautiful Spain

Red sky over Jumilla - a good omen for "La Roja"

It’s almost a week since España won the World Cup, but people haven’t stopped talking about it here and Spanish TV stations are still showing the highlights, which doesn’t surprise us in the least.  Football is more than just a sport in Spain:  it is their greatest passion.

The celebrations started as soon as Spain won their quarter final match and the excitement increased rapidly in the lead up to the final. We were living in a sea of red and yellow flags, including the one flying from our balcony.

On Sunday evening we took our dog for a walk to check what bars were open and which bars had TV screens outside.  It was seven o’clock, 90 minutes before kick-off, and most of the tables had already been occupied by eager fans.  We returned home for an early dinner, while watching the first half, and then set off into the town centre.  Luckily we managed to grab the last two seats at La Masía, one of our regular haunts, in front of their big screen.

All eyes were fixed on the screen

Anybody who visits or lives in Spain will know how noisy bars can be, however the noise level was excessive even by Spanish standards.  When Holland just missed scoring, the whole place went crazy.  When Iniestas scored the winning goal, the roof was in serious danger!  John decided to join in the celebrations – any excuse to party!

¡Campeones!

After we finished our drinks we headed back to the Jardín del Rey Don Pedro, where we knew most local fans would be gathering.  Sure enough, there were ecstatic fans dancing in the fountain, lots of flags being waved, friends embracing each other, both old and young enjoying the celebrations.  Cars and motorbikes were parading up and down Avenida Reyes Católicos, with drivers tooting their horns and passengers waving their flags.  We eventually headed home, even though we knew the celebrations would be continuing into the early hours of the morning.  We have domestic responsibilities now – and our dog Lisa doesn’t like loud noises.  We arrived home just in time to watch a magnificent firework display across the road from our apartment, and to make a fuss of our nervous dog.

Firework display

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