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 had reviewed our maps and knew that we needed the line 10 to Alonso Martinez and then the number 4 to Plaza Colon.  Once you have the hang of it you can find your way around except you have to be prepared to walk up and down many stairs and figure out if the platform you are on goes to the left or the right.  The trains are very clean, quick and efficient.  It is a very good method of transport.
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.

  Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures.  We walked into the upper floor and through a series of rooms, ornate themed and incredibly beautiful.  Queen´s chambers, salons, antechanbers.  All in various styles chinese, arabic, rococo etc, ceilings furniture - superb. 

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.

  Lots of gold and fancy carpets. 

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.

najiah10 says:
GAHHHHHHHH. me too! :( :( :( Michael, you have no idea how lucky you are to have been there when they won. if only teleportation (i might have made up this word) exists, i would've teleported myself there in a heartbeat!

i love what you said about getting the hang of the metro system. it didn't take me long though.. and for some strange reason, i had fun figuring them out and walking up and down the stairs (without my "mochila grande", of course). I MISS SPAIN!
Posted on: Sep 27, 2008
nanipu says:
viva españaaaa!! xD
still like how torres made the winning shot. i really wish i was there in spain to celebrate with the spaniards. =D love the energy and pride hehe.
Posted on: Sep 25, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
photo by: mkrh