Madrid Travel Blog

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Packed streets before the big game
The main plan for the day was the big European final championship futbol game tonight. Brian and I slept late as usual and when we got up, made it our mission to find a doner kebab. Brian loves them and every time we were hungry we couldn´t find a place and every time we were full we would see them everywhere. We walked over by the Puerto del Sol and were able to find a place and grab some kebabs. For one of the few middle eastern restaurants in the area I was interested to see that it was full of American customers. Maybe there is a chance for peace through food.

While walking through Puerto del Sol we saw hundreds and hundreds of futbol fans everywhere, chanting, singing, yelling, drinking, waving scarves and generally celebrating. It was only about noon, so we´re not sure these fans will make it all the way to the game tonight.
We enjoyed the excited atmosphere as we walked around.

I wanted to see Pablo Picasso´s Guernica at the Reina Sofia museum, which has free hours on Saturday afternoons. It is a beautiful museum and I would not mind paying the ticket price and spending hours there, but I have been having some knee issues for the past week or so and knew I could not stand all day. By going at the free time we could spend an hour there and not feel too bad. They have a wonderful collection of contemporary and modern art and it is housed in a gorgeous building with very cool glass elevators that face the plaza outside.

Picasso´s Guernica is his massive masterpiece detailing the atrocities against the civilians of Guernica on a market day by Franco´s forces in 1937.
Outside of the Reina Sofia museum, notice the glass elevators
Franco was still trying to take over Spain and he allowed Hitler´s air forces to essentially use the city for target practice. It is the first time regular civillians were intentionally mowed down by planes. The painting itself is all in blacks, grays and whites and it aptly protrays the terror and devastation wrought against the people. It is definitely something to see.

After the museum we wandered a bit more, had some lunch and a bit of a siesta.

For the game we wanted to try one of the Irish bars that are just off the Puerto del Sol. We figured an Irish bar would have the game on tv and we could get some fish and chips for dinner. The first few we tried were charging a cover charge, which is unheard of, but the third time was a charm.
Inside the bar before the game
We found a good spot against the wall, ordered a few pints and some fish and chips and settled in to watch the game. Our bar was filled mostly with fans of the Italian team Internationale de Milan. Earlier in the day we wanted to cheer for the German team, Bayern-Munchen, but given our surrounding fans we opted for diplomacy. In the end it did not matter because Milan won 2-0 without much of a fight from the German team.

We had a blast during the game. Our waiter was excellent, laughing at my attempts at Spanish and telling me ´for godsakes woman speak English´which he of course said with a strong Irish accent! There were two very drunk Irish patrons that we talked to for awhile, cracking jokes and laughing. One of the Irish men was also named Brian, he was so drunk that he kept introducing himself and everytime Brian would say his name was also Brian the Irish guy would get excited and give him five and talk about what a great name it was. He also kept telling us how much he liked Americans and even though everyone thought we were stupid he really liked Americans. It was hilarious!

We enjoyed our first European futbol experience and we did not even see any rioting!
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Packed streets before the big game
Packed streets before the big game
Outside of the Reina Sofia museum,…
Outside of the Reina Sofia museum…
Inside the bar before the game
Inside the bar before the game
Enjoying a moment with the drunk I…
Enjoying a moment with the drunk …
photo by: vulindlela