Madrid

Madrid Travel Blog

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I am finally back in Madrid!
After 8.5 years, I have returned to the country that gave me the very first stamp in my passport -- Spain!  (though I had been to Mexico, The Bahamas, and Canada before).  I was so excited to go back that I could barely sleep on the plane.

When we arrived at our hostal, Michelle almost sprained her ankle walking down the stairs, but that's another story :)   It was a bit early, luckily our Spanish skills weren't as rusty as we thought  and we understood from the receptionist that our room wasn't ready yet...we waited for about 20 minutes for the maid to finish cleaning.  We had the cutest room (it was pink!) and it was cozy and immaculately clean.  We were absolutely disgusting after being on a plane all night and lugging our backpacks in the rain to the hostal and up 4 flights of stairs -- I felt SO gross!  So we cleaned up and then headed to Santiago Bernabeu to try and get tickets for that night's Real Madrid match against Racing Santander.
My ticket to the Real Madrid match
  We waited for what seemed like forever in the rain and I got to put my high school Spanish skills to good use and bought our tickets.

After a short siesta back at the hostal, we got on the Metro and headed back to the stadium.  Everyone had the same idea -- it was PACKED with crazy, loud Real Madrid fans!  We must have looked like total newbies because the man behind us tapped us on our shoulders and gave each of us a nice Real Madrid souvenir brochure of the match.   The match itself was one of the most amazing sporting events that I have ever attended (besides the 2006 Winter Olympics short track relay).  The fans were so passionate and excited, and it was contagious!  When Real scored the first goal of the match, the whole stadium went crazy.
Our nightly snack at Chocolateria San Gines!
  Also...everyone seemed to be eating what looked like pumpkin seeds and were dropping the shells all over the ground.  We ended up leaving a little after half-time because we knew it'd be crazy on the Metro after the match.  (Real Madrid ended up winning 3-1).  It was exciting to see Fabio Cannavaro play in person.  I became such a big fan of his after watching him play in the World Cup this past summer.

Michelle took me to her favorite Chocolateria San Gines where we had churros con chocolate...I thought I died and gone to heaven.  It was so good that we went there every single night we were in Madrid.  And to add to the deep fried goodness, we also ate some bocadillos de calamares in Plaza Mayor and people-watched (another nightly occurence).  How we both managed to lose, not gain, weight on this trip is beyond me, considering all the fatty foods we ate!  Still not ready to call it a night, we decided to go out and about in Madrid -- and I thought NYC was the city that never sleeps!!  The MadrileƱos showed us that Madrid doesn't sleep either :)
  
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I am finally back in Madrid!
I am finally back in Madrid!
My ticket to the Real Madrid match
My ticket to the Real Madrid match
Our nightly snack at Chocolateria …
Our nightly snack at Chocolateria…
After Real Madrids first goal
After Real Madrid's first goal
Tio Pepe sign in Puerta del Sol
Tio Pepe sign in Puerta del Sol
Madrid
photo by: vulindlela