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
Any authentic 24-hour-party-people will tell you that it’s quite hard to find and equivalent for the Madrid nightlife. It’s a common thing for Madrid clubs and pubs to stay open till the sun rises, for Madrid boulevards to be as crowded as Wall Street in the middle of the night and for tourists to come here for a week and never manage to see Madrid in daylight. Not to mention that Madrid is one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world. So, take a peak of this guide and then check out some cheap flights to Madrid or some travel deals from Boston to Madrid and 'vamos a bailar'!... 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 »
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 »
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 »
More reviews you might be interested in
Bern reviews - Switzerland
I'm living at the moment in Bern (Switzerland). It is really interested to live in here, are happening some strange, but positive strange things...
Traveling to Bern
Rust reviews - Germany
At the end of our holiday we visit Europa Park just 230 km from Ravensburg, the second biggest amusement park in Europe (the first is Disneyland in...
Europa Park in Rust
Heraklion reviews - Greece
Because we had so much time left at the end of our trip through Greece, we went to Crete. It was a great idea, i didn't want to have missed it....
Holiday in Crete
Szentendre reviews - Hungary
Szentendre is a beautiful little city near the capital of Hungary, Budapest. The historical city center is the best part of it :) Cars are not...
How to get to Szentendre
Campli reviews - Italy
Die Santa Maria In Platea Kirche war früher eine echte Kathedrale. Sie wurde 1395 gebaut. Den Kirchturm hat Antonio da Lodi erbaut und ist so...
Zehn Gründe füe einen Besuch in Campli
Simferopol reviews - Ukraine
Wo liegt Krim? Krim liegt in der Ukraine. Sie ist eine Halbinsel im Schwarzen Meer. Krim hat ca. 2 Millionen Einwohner. Im Süden Krims ist...
Besuch Halbinsel Krim
Anchorage reviews - Alaska
If you really like traveling you must watch this film! I really really recommend it to you! Into the Wild is a 2007 film based on the 1996...
Travels in Alaska, review of a great movie
Austin reviews - Texas
Austin is a city of the Texas that possesses countless dazzling features, exciting sites to see and background to look. It is community as to...
Things to see in Austin
Manhattan Beach reviews - California
Manahttan Beach let's you escape from the large urban jungle we call LA. It's a quiet place, with a beautiful beach which is not very crowded, just...
Great time at Manhattan Beach
Schruns reviews - Austria
Schruns itself isnt a big village. Some kind of normal, small town, lying close to some mountains, great for skiing. One of these is the so called...
Wonderful sky area