Royal Madrid

Madrid’s been pretty busy over these last few days so I’m back to writing these posts just before I go to bed and I’m feeling pretty tired! Hopefully they’re still up to some degree of quality…

Madrid is pretty awesome. I’m really enjoying staying in the hostel, there are always heaps of (mostly) friendly people around and strangely it seems like almost everyone are from Australia. At the moment there are 5/8 of us in our room and something like another 7 or 8 on our floor. It’s pretty crazy actually!

So the first day I spent here (Thursday) I met an American guy named John and teacher from Canada from my room. We all become friends pretty quickly and decided to go out and try Paella which we were told was the local Spanish delicacy. It was actually really good. John is a pretty arty and was keen to go see Picasso’s Guernica. Apparently it’s pretty famous? Well I’ve seen the original painting. It was heaps good… To be heaps honest I’d been awake for something like 30 hours and I was just happy to be pushing through the jet lag. I slept very well that night.

I woke up at something like 1pm the next morning excited by the prospect of being able to watch Real Madrid play. I think I spent something like 3-4 hours finding tickets, talking to Casey to get james to come on Gmail chat, talking to james to get dad’s credit card, getting Casey to tell james to come back onto Gmail chat because I couldn’t work out dad’s internet banking password, saying goodnight to both james and Casey, facebook chatting to Marika to get her to text james to come back online, this went on for ages until I finally just talked to dad on facebook chat and eventually bought the ticket! I was pretty ecstatic until right at the end of the process when I found out that to pick up the tickets, I needed to take Dad’s card to the ticketing booth!

Hoping desperately that I hadn’t wasted some 4 hours of my life and close to $100 I asked everyone I could find if they knew any way to be able to avoid this process. One of the guys that work here in the hostel knew of people who had done this kind of thing before and told me that if I could get a photocopied version of the credit card owners passport, credit card, drivers licence and some signed speech giving me permission to pick the tickets up. It was pretty full on but luckily I have an awesome father and he sent it all through really quickly. (I’ll continue the rest of this story in todays part of this post, ooh the suspense…)

That day my American friend left really early in the morning and I made new friends with an Australian (Nick) and 2 Canadians (Jo and Andre? I think that’s right but sorry if you guys are somehow reading this and it isn’t!). Being Madrid apparently the night life is something that is very unique and something you need to experience. After wondering around the streets for a while we finally found somewhere but we only stayed for like half an hour and went to bed (it was pretty wild!!). Normal clubs here won’t fill up until about 2-ish and they normally close around 4-5. It’s also very common to go out basically every night of the week and we think that’s why they have siestas. Oh I also just remembered that I went to the supermarket and bought my diet for the week. Eggs, Bread and chocolate spread : D

So yeah that brings up to today, it kinda feels like today has gone on forever so hopefully I won’t miss anything to important! We started the day off with a walking tour. This involved walking around Madrid with a guide for around 3 hours while he talked about everything we saw and just gave us a brief insight into Madrid. A large part of it was seeing a lot of royal palaces etc. If you ask many of the people in the South America team or for those of you who read the post I did in the groups blog you might have noticed that I’m not a big fan of tours, especially guided, and especially involving history. However this tour was awesome! The guide was oh so charming and witty and best of all the tour was completely based on tips! I did give him all the money I had on me though. He really was excellent.

The 2nd half of my day continues from the whole soccer ticket fiasco. I went to go and print out all of the information dad had sent me and the hostel guy told me I needed the front and back of the credit card. Oh and it took us like 20mins to find a piece of paper to print it all out on…Knowing Dad was well and truly asleep and hoping like anything I’d be able to charm my way through the whole situation, Nick and I headed out to the stadium. Nick decided to adopt the “just turn up at the place and hope for the best” approach. This actually worked out much better than my unusual “preparedness” as he just walked up paid in cash and got his ticket no sweat. I had a somewhat different experience.

After going up to one particularly unfriendly booth and then several others I found that my lack of Spanish was going to be a small issue. After talking to a few people  I found that I was actually in the wrong place to pick up my ticket. Luckily it wasn’t to far away and we had allowed plenty of time to still get there. However my heart sank again when the ticketing officers there didn’t speak a word of Spanish either. After being denied to be able to pick up the ticket without the card, I charmingly thrusted the piece of paper into the mans hands and said “The email said this was ok!”. By some kind of miracle the man just decided to give up and handed me my well deserved ticket.

The game was awesome! As Nick had bough some random ticket in the far corner of the stadium I sat in a group of very very excitable Madrid fans and one awkwardly placed Betis  supporter. However it did seem like 99% of the stadium was populated similarly to my little area. At half time the score was still 0-0 but a highlight was definitely the guy behind me bursting into tears because one of the Real Madrid players were “unfairly” awarded a yellow card. Hilarious.

The game ended at 4-1 with Real Madrid showing clear dominance throughout the whole game. Luckily I had awesome seats and the atmosphere at the game was incredible! It’s definitely such a different and unique experience being there at the game and it’s something I would absolutely recommend!

We decided to walk back from the game to enjoy the city and avoid the extremely full metro system. Once we got back we found even more Australians had moved into the hostel. Ended up just sitting around talking to people and I eventually got around to writing this post! It’s pretty weird how it’s 4 in the morning here but people are only just starting to get back from being out. Madrid is a crazy crazy place!

Well I hope I didn’t miss anything, and it all kinda makes sense… Thanks again for reading! It’s really encouraging seeing the stats for how many people are following the blog.

Love you guys!

Ben

(Oh and by the way, Real Madrid in English means Royal Madrid and I also spent the other half of my day looking at the Royal part of Madrid so I thought it was a pretty appropriate title. Looking back at it now I realise very much that no one would really understand my high level of wit and just writing this last paragraph kinda ruins it all anyway. I also understand that it’s not too late to just get rid of this paragraph but that would defeat the purpose of putting in such a clever title in the first place… I probably just sounded ridiculous but I’m way to tired.)

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One thought on “Royal Madrid

  1. Mum

    Great blog Ben, thanks. Good to know that you have found some friends (not that I thought this at all unlikely!) and getting out and seeing/experiencing the place. Keep being sensible and careful you hear!!! 🙂
    Love you and missing you!
    Mum

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