Espana - Los Campeones
Aranjuez Travel Blog› entry 39 of 62 › view all entries
Spain played Germany in the final of the EuroCup today. It was a big day in Spain.
But first of all there was some sightseeing to do. My classmate Monica and I went to visit Aranjuez a city just to the south of Madrid so it was an early rise to catch the 7.45 train to Madrid. A 2 and a bit hour trip was a good time to catch up on sleep as it was going to be a big day.
We arrived in Madrid just after 10 and found out how to enter the Metro from the train station. Every system of transport is different in Spain, not bad just different. We found the place to buy the ticket (only 1 euro and with the ticket you can travel throughout the inner city with as many train changes as you like provided you do not exit the station).
We got out at Plaza Colon as we wanted to see the preparations for the TV show of the game. There is an annex to the Plaza where there were huge stages and places for the thousands of people who would turn up for the game and watch and cheer there. The TV people were setting up and already there were many people starting to chant Viva Espana - what they would be like after a day in the Madrid sun I do not know - i think it was about 36-37 in Madrid that day.
After that we had a walk through the park to the train station.
We reached Aranjuez after 30 minutes in the train and we knew that we had to find the information office as we could not get a map from the information office in Salamanca which we normally do before a trip away. The path into town took about 10 minutes along a rough dirt track and we had to guess a few turns to find the centre of town. It is the middle of the day (about 1) and the town is blistering hot. The plazas are deserted but we stagger across to the cool of the information office and get the advice of what to see and when.
First the Royal Palace of Aranjuez, where the Spanish royal family lived for a few centuries.
Downstairs is the museum of life in the palace. Each room takes you through each king and queen, their life and the styles of the time.
After the palace it was the gardens and they are immense over 3 sq km for one and the other is a bit smaller and connected to the palace. We walked for ages to the other end of the garden seeking shade at all times and taking in water all the way to find out that the museum at the other end needed bookings the day before to be able to visit so it was back to the 3rd museum to see the royal barges that traveled the river nearby.
Then it was back to Madrid to catch the train to Salamanca. We made it back to Salamanca with Spain 1 nil up in the soccer game with Germany. Every bar was full of people watching the game, we walked on the the Plaza Mayor which was packed with people (thousands, who knows how many) watching the big screen we got there with 5 minutes to go - everyone on tenterhooks waiting for the result they wanted. Then the party began. Lots of chanting Viva Espana, Yo soy campeones, Ole ole ole ole. Firecrackers, people dancing in the fountains, car horns carried on tooting until well into the morning. A big party.
Next day in Plaza de Colon in Madrid the placed was packed as the team was presented. The whole of Spain has a big smile and they are very ´contento´. A great day.