Yesterday I drove to Madrid to watch a Real Madrid soccer game. Yes, you did just read that sentence correctly. I drove. 4 of my friends and I rented a car and drove to Madrid for the day. It was epic. I was the only one who knew how to drive a manual so I was entrusted with the task of the 9 hour round trip drive.
This is what I drove:
6am. ready to leave Granada!!
It was so crazy to not have driven for 3 months and then all of the sudden be driving a manual Volkswagen van on a highway in Spain and through the streets of Madrid. I learned a lot about European driving. And while driving around in Granada at very early hours in the morning that street signs just do not apply to you.
We arrived in Madrid around 11:30am yesterday. In Spain, the rest stops consist of a hotel/gas station with a cafe next door and you go in, sit down, drink a coffee, eat a snack, converse and then leave. Stopping is typically a big ordeal and when you do stop it isn't just for a bathroom break. I quite enjoyed this style of traveling.
While in Madrid my 4 friends went and toured the stadium where Real Madrid plays before the game. I wanted to be completely shocked and awed when I entered for the game later so I opted out of the tour. Instead, I happened upon a Starbucks (go ahead, criticize away) and sat there reading and journaling for several hours.
When the tour was over a few of us headed over the Prado art museum via the metro. We eventually all met up for dinner. The entire day at different times somebody would spontaneously shout out "Ahh! I'm so excited!!" nobody could contain their excitement. My friend, Charles, had dreamed about this moment since he was little kid. The build up of excitement before the game was just as fun as the game itself.
For dinner we ate at and 50's American themed diner. Yes, more America. It is hard to just drop your greasy habits cold turkey. They had everything you could think of. Onion rings, french fries, hot dogs, hamburgers, milk shakes. I had a BLT with REAL BACON and onion rings. And they were actually the 3rd best onion rings I have ever had in my life. No joke. I was so mesmerized by it all I didn't not get any pictures. After we finished eating we all felt like crap but were satisfied. I talked about that meal all day.
Then came the moment we had all been waiting for. We walked over the stadium and took a few pics outside before wondering indoors. I'll never forget walking through the door and seeing the field/inside of the stadium for the first time. It was gigantic and incredible and I kept having to pinch myself.
And our seats were first row at mid field. It was unreal. We watched both teams warm up and then watched Real Madrid massacre the other team 6-2. They scored 4 goals in the first 20 minutes. It was so fun.
anxiously waiting to go inside
warm it up!
right by the action the whole time
yes, it was raining and cold. but i didn't mind a bit
this is apparently when we were on tv
so many security personel
After the game we exited with the masses and went over to a bar/cafe we had visited earlier on that day. I had a pre-drive coffee and we all watched the highlights of the game we had just attended. It made me very much understand the atmosphere of soccer.
Then we headed for the car and proceeded to get very turned around in the streets of Madrid. Finally, I made it back onto the highway headed home. Then the torrential downpour started and didn't stop until about an hour away from home at which point the stars all came out and it was absolutely gorgeous.
We pulled into Granada at 4:30am exhausted but satisfied. I didn't walk in my door until a little after 5am . But don't worry! I still made it to my 9am class!
This was an experience that I will not soon forget. It still seems so crazy but I have the pictures to prove I was there!