Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Chad's last day in Madrid

[Chad's last day in Madrid was last Wednesday, almost a week ago.  Here's his write-up of how he spent the morning.]

Guest Blogger: Chad

For my final day in Madrid I again went on an adventure by myself in the morning.  Despite playing soccer growing up, I rarely follow the professional level.  Still, I wanted to see the Real Madrid stadium.  Getting there was easy with the metro and when I got there workers were standing around watching over several huge screens outside the stadium that must have been set up for the Spain vs. Italy game a couple of days ago.  Even watching the game on the screens, I bet that environment for a soccer game would be way better than any sports bar in the states.

I decided to do the stadium tour which includes a panoramic view from the upper deck, a trip through the trophy room, a walk around the field, sitting in the bench area, the presidential suite, locker room and press room.

The views of the stadium provided for some great pictures.

Two things that stood out to me were the seats on the bench which were like Audi racing seats, and how basic the locker room was.

Bench seats

I have heard big name baseball players in the MLB sometimes have three or four big box lockers side by side for themselves, so I was expecting something incredible for the best soccer program in the world.  Instead it was just a small square room with a hook and a bench for each player. 

Real Madrid locker room

By the time I finished the tour, I did not have much time left before I needed to head back for the lunch that Rebe was making.  I was only a few blocks from the two angled bank towers that you can see from all over Madrid and I wanted to see them up close for a picture before I left so I made my way up there, then caught the Metro home.

Rebe here -- just wanted to add that the signature leaning towers in Madrid that Chad mentioned above are the Puerta de Europa towers owned by Bankia and Realia.  Bankia is the Spanish bank that got a 19 billion euro bailout from the government last month.  So it wasn't surprising when Chad told me there was a big protest going on outside of the buildings when he visited them.  He said traffic was backed up because the protesters had filled the streets.

To see more pictures of the continuous protests outside of the Bankia tower, visit here and here.

Check back tomorrow to see how we spent Chad's last afternoon and night in Spain!

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