Friday, July 24, 2009

Madrid, Spain: Day 4 and 5

Today we woke up abit late. LOL... decided to take things easy as we’ve been to most of the sights. We headed out just before lunch time to go to Plaza De Castilla where Torres KIO and the Jose Calvo Sotelo monument can be found. Torres KIO (Kuwait Investments Office) is also known as the Gate of Europe which are the two towers that are leaning to each other. After a couple of snaps taken we then went to the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.

The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is the football stadium in Madrid that is home to the Real Madrid team. We went there expecting to go for a tour of the stadium but instead was greeted by thousands of Real Madrid fans or even Cristiano Ronaldo fan for that matter as it was the same day that Cristiano Ronaldo was being presented for the first time since the transfer from Manchester United. Entrance to the presentation was free but with thousands of fans already queuing to see their new hero we decided to go elsewhere to relax abit. Though if we were to have waited long enough we probably would have seen him too but since the presentation would only last for 30mins we didn’t want to get caught up with the storm of crowds later on when we get back on the metro.

We then went back to Palacio Real (The Royal Palace of Madrid) to go in for a tour of the palace as the first time we went there, we were on our way to the catch the bus to the Monastery and Site of Escurial and Valle de los Caídos tour and we didn’t have time to queue to go in. Around the exterior grounds of the palace you can freely take photos but once you’re inside there are no photography allowed.

There were a lot of security guards everywhere so there was no chance of sneaking a few pictures without the pictures being too blurry. I didn’t bother by then. Just packed up my camera gear and lock it in a locker that they provide. After that we headed to Parque del Retiro to enjoy the rest of the day.

From there we headed back to Plaza Mayor where we settled down for dinner and then back to the hotel to call it a day.

The next and final day in Madrid, we went to Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía but it was closed on the Tuesday. The Reina Sofia is Madrid’s world famous modern art gallery. It houses many works by Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and Guernica masterpieces. We really wanted to see it but just happen to go on the wrong day. Should have gone the day before when it was OPEN but sigh... You can’t do anything about it now.

So the rest of the day we just headed back to Plaza Mayor to have brunch and chill out. Then head back to the airport via the metro. Again being abit extra careful with our bags while on the train. We were definitely looking forward to be going home.

For a map of the sights that we had checked out in Madrid you can see them here via Google Maps.

So now plan for our next trip and hopefully have a better experience than in Spain.

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