A visit to Santiago Bernabeu stadium, Madrid, Spain
The gallery above is from April 2008, during my trip through Spain. I ended up in Madrid for a couple of days, visiting some friends, without any real travelling plan.
As a football fan though, it's hard to visit Madrid and not feel the urge to at least see from the outside the Cathedral of Spanish football, Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
To be honest, I'm not a Real Madrid fan. I'm a Liverpool man, cheering for the Reds ever since I was in my 10s. But regardless of your footballing status quo, you simply cannot help standing in awe when you see Santiago Bernabeu for the first time, especially on Match Day.
I arrived at the stadium during the early hours of Match Day (I think it was a Sunday) and the queue for tickets was already half a mile long, with people coming from all over to see the Galacticos play in what was to be their title-clinching match against Bilbao (if they'd won of course).
The line wasn't all that organized though, so we split up in commando teams to try and get tickets :) My father and I standing on one line and my brother and mom at the other line. As luck would have it, they managed to somehow get in front with their line and get 2 tickets amongst the "casual fans" section of the stadium - they were amongst the last tickets sold and they didn't even have two tickets side-by-side, they were a couple of rows across. Anyway, we were extremely lucky, there were people standing in my line that were there since the early hours of the morning and couldn't get a ticket
Fast forward 9-10 hours and we're 100 minutes before the starting whistle, in front of the imposing arena. The street is cramming with people, the sidewalk shops probably making a fortune (we bought some noise-makers and Real Madrid apparel as well). Suddenly all hell breaks loose, everyone starts going to the center of the streets, with police trying to hold back the line and clear the road. Me and my brother had no idea what was going on, but we obviously joined the crowd :) The commotion was for the Real bus, which was slowly coming through the crowd and was getting the full appreciation (and noise) of the fans. I saw the players in the bus, they didn't really seem impressed by their warm welcome (possibly due to pre-match stress/concentration) and that seemed a bit odd. Robinho was listening to music in his headphones, Sergio Ramos was talking to one of his teammates, Casillas was looking at the crowd with a focused look, but didn't really return the show of appreciation. The only one that waived towards the crowd was, who else?, Raul, the legendary captain and possibly the most loved player on Bernabeu since DiStefano.
The match itself was won by Real 3-0 and three things stood out for me in the crowd around me:
1. The mainstand holding Real's gallery was well alive, but it was nothing in terms of atmosphere/noise in comparisson to what I can only imagine the stands of Anfield, or even some Romanian teams (for example, Rapid Bucharest's gallery was far better in this sense).
2. The Bilbao supporters, numbering 40 or so were sitting IN THE MIDST of Real supporters. They chanted and cheered throughout the match and there was no tension between the supporters.
3. An old supporter to my right kept booing and jeering every time Saviola would touch the ball. When Saviola scored the opening goal, he was the only one quiet on the entire stadium. Again, I couldn't see something like this happening on Anfield.
Anyway, to close things off, being able to see a Real Madrid match first hand was an awesome experience, but in some ways it was dissapointing as heck. It left the football enthusiast in me still dreaming of my trip to Anfield to see the perfect match :)
Things about Madrid you may be interested in
Read about Madrid in our travel-guide
Short trip to the Escorial Palace, Madrid
Recommended Madrid Guide
Salamanca district is the place for high end and designer shopping. El Rastro is the weekly flea market where you can get just about anything, and Sunday morning is the time to go there. The central park El Retiro is great for boating and for viewing the fabulous Crystal Palace, an elaborate structure made completely of glass. Madrid is well connected by rail to other significant European cities such as Barcelona, Paris, Zurich and Lisbon. It also has an intricate bus network to help you get around inexpensively, while car rental operators are plentiful as well. The Metrobus or underground local rail system is also a popular means of... Read more »
Recent reviews for Madrid
Madrid attractions: the Prado Museum - Apr 30, 2009, by cipristb
Prado Museum is included in the top 10 most beautiful museums in the world. It was inaugurated in 1819. The museum is located in a building from the time of Charles The third. This building houses the most interesting collections of... Read more »
About Royal Palace in Madrid for visitors - Apr 30, 2009, by cipristb
The Royal Palace is one of the main tourist attractions of the city of Madird and the largest palace in Western Europe. The palace is the official residence of the king of Spain and his family, but is used only at official ceremonies, while... Read more »
Short trip to the Escorial Palace, Madrid - Apr 30, 2009, by cipristb
The Escorial Palace is located in the Madrid region 50 km from it. It is a huge building-sized, with a imposing past made to commemorate the victory of the Battle of San Quintin Its construction started in 1563 under the command of King... Read more »
More reviews you might be interested in
Charleroi reviews - Belgium
It was the 3rd of june, 2009. It was a beautiful morning in Lille, although clouds were threatening the sun and from what I saw they were about to...
On the way back home through Charleroi
Waldburg reviews - Germany
On a steep, conical hill, the highest point of Oberschwaben (772 m above sea-level) the Waldburg rises. It was the ancestral castle of the lineage...
What to see in Waldburg
Volos reviews - Greece
Although it is an industrial city, I really enjoyed Volos. The sea is impossibly blue there and the city by night from the surrounding hills is...
A nice weekend in Volos, Greece
Kilronan reviews - Ireland
The Aaron Islands consist of three separate Islands. The biggest one you should really visit. There's a smaller town at the ferry stop, where you...
Exeptional landscape in Kilronan
Ghadames reviews - Libya
Prezzo in all inclusive, full board, 4 voli interni, visti Euro 1.490,00 a persona in hotel 2/3 stelle a Tripoli, 2 stelle a Ghadames e Dar Tellil...
Al Munastir reviews - Tunisia
The city didnt have much to show than the medieval coast fort. You have a good view from the towers over the coast and the harbour. You can take...
One day in El Munastir
Canakkale reviews - Turkey
Private gallipoli Guides provides educational,historical,sightseeing and private tours in troy,Turkey.Tours can be customised to fit your budget...
Tours in Gallipoli
Pismo Beach reviews - California
We started driving down towards the Paucific Number 1 way too late, but we still had enough time to see the beautiful coast line. It really is very...
Roadtrip on Pacific Number 1
Seattle reviews - Washington
Seattle is also known as the Emerald City. This is the result of a nickname-seeking contest held in 1982. Before this, it was called the Queen City...
A visit to Seattle, the Emerald City
Villach reviews - Austria
Between lakes and mountain peaks in the very heart of Carinthia lies the town of Villach. It is a popular family destination that has specialized...
Villach, a city among mountain peaks