Madrid 2005

Day 2 - Tour of Madrid
Saturday 19 March 2005

Day 2

After Breakfast, we were met by our second guide, who took us on a private tour of Madrid. She told us things as we went down the road. First port of call was the famous Prado museum. There was a large queue for group tickets, so we went through as individual entrance which was faster.

Inside, we had a running commentary by our guide. Normally at a museum, to me it means nothing and what the guide did was to tell a story behind the painting. She shown us some of the painting (GOYA), where the artist made mistakes and it stands out on the painting. There was a lot of tourist inside, especially from Japan. After about 40 minutes, we headed back to the car to the next point of call.

Along the route, we went past the building which was badly burnt a few weeks earlier. The area was unsafe and the building could collapse at any time. I saw this on the news when it happened.

A few minutes later, we arrived at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu Football Stadium for a tour of the stadium. What a queue! While I was waiting outside, our guide when and got the tickets. This took a while and I had a wander around the area. Thanks for Madrid's low bollards, I had an accident, I tripped over one!! After I recovered, our guide had our tickets and we went in.


First part of the tour, we went up the lift and headed up 75 metres to the top. From there, we had a view of the whole stadium. I never seen such a big stadium before. Then we went back down to ground level. We then headed towards the Presidential Box, where the VIP guest sits. Once we saw that, we headed to the players dressing rooms (without the players). The changing rooms and the spa. After that, we walked along the players tunnel and out towards the benches and coach area. I sat on the benches and it was a fantastic view of the stadium. Seats were comfortable. After this, we walked along the pitch, behind the goal post and out on the other side. Up some stairs and we reached the trophies exhibition. A lot of trophies from many many years. After this, through the shop (which I did not buy anything) and out of the stadium tour. Back in the car for the next part of the private tour.

The guide then took us to an area which looked familiar. Back to the point we left off in day one, around the Palacio Real area! Walked around some of the side street while the guide gave a running commentary. We would have miss them if she did not point out things to see. After a walk around the Palacio area, we walked past the restaurant we went to on day 1 and to the area a lot of American visits. There was even a sign saying above a bar, "we cannot speak English but we will not laugh at your Spanish". We then headed into the Plaza Mayor. A large open square surrounded by buildings. In the middle was a statue of King Phillip III on horseback. There was a lot of street cafe, all wanted our business, selling drinks and tapaz (Spanish Small Snacks). Down an alley way and headed back to the Plaza De La Armeria and Catedral De La Almudena buildings. We then had some help about buying our metro ticket and how it works. Simply when you know how! Around the corner and we headed back to the car and headed towards our Lunchtime restaurant, "Casa Matias" next to the Plaza de Espana.

This restaurant has hug barrels of cider around the restaurant. Just turning on the tap was great to watch as the cider comes out at high pressure. Starters, we had almost the same starter on Day 1 and anchovies. Main course was steak again with potatoes (slight cooked longer this time). Had some dessert and at this point, our guide left the restaurant. It was 2pm when we turned up but it was about 3pm when the restaurant was full. The Spanish like to eat very late.

After the meal, we walked around the area towards Plaza de Espana. A walk around and decided to take a bus tour around Madrid to see as much as possible. We headed towards Puerta del sol to get the bus. After waiting for 10 minutes a bus arrive and then went round route 1, the historic buildings. This tour took about an hour to go round the circuit. Saw so many historic buildings along route, include the Prado museum again. After an hour, we headed back to the start position and then tried to go on another route, route 3, the monuments. We could not find the bus stop and spent about 10 minutes trying to find it. It is not where it says on the map! Found the bus and took the tour. Took about 40 minutes for this tours. Many fountains! The bus tour was not part of the prize.

As it was getting late, we went on the metro and headed back to the hotel to get ready for the evening. Our guide meet us at the hotel lobby at 8pm. As we walked out, there was 4 Spanish television camera crew outside as we were told that the Malaga team was about to arrive and staying in the same hotel as we were! In a taxi and headed back to Central Madrid for Tapaz. We went into one restaurant and had 4 dishes, croquettes, Spanish sausage, meat kebab and Spanish omelette (which contained potatoes and onions). After that, we went walked down the alley to another restaurant. Here we had 4 dishes, Spanish Sausage (again), chicken wings, Liberian Ham (smoked ham), meatball and finally Ice Cream! We were full! Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel as we were tired!

For day 3 diary, click here
For more day 2 pictures, click here (10 pages)
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Click on the photos below to visit the section

Day 1: Walk around the park, evening Day 2: Bus Tour
Day 2: Tour of Madrid Day 3: Zoo Madrid
Day 2: Tour of Football Stadium Day 3 : Cable Car (Teleférico)
Day 2: Walks Around Madrid Day 3: Football Match

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