EPT Barcelona: Day 1, the first
Wet and windy
Morning from Barcelona,
The city was lit up by lightning last night. A massive storm with torrential rain dampening the turn-ups of those players eager to indulge in the traditional pre-tourney preparation of a skinfull of local booze and a bracing trot into the wee small hours.
Day 1A kicks-off at 5pm, so any players weakened from the night's exertions at least have the chance of a decent lie-in, before trying to force down a few moistening drops of orange juice and setting off for the biggest game in town. Nothing like a trampolining stomach to steady the nerves, and concentrate the mind.
Ever the professional, I was tucked up in bed by 1am, a dreamless sleep only interrupted by the hotel room TV alarm going off at 4.45am. After a long struggle in the dark, I finally managed to turn the thing off by unplugging ever lead I could find.
Later today 240 players will be testing their ingenuity, skill and stamina in attempting to untangle the knotty problem of getting out of their first day alive; another 240 will kick-off tomorrow.
Who are they? We'll find out later - stay tuned.
Cultural peculiarity no.2
Hangover breakfast, Barca style: sugar-coated croissant, with a custard filling. One bite is plenty.