Santiago Bernabeu. The Real Madrid fan zone

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Madrid is one of those European cities you can simply enjoy. The city is relatively new in comparison to other European capitals, and there are not many historical objects on the must-see list. But the variety of places worthwhile provides much fun for a visitor.

Imagine that one day you go to Prado, one of the most impressive galleries world wide and the next day to this place – the big fan zone of Real Madrid, the worldwide recognised football (soccer) club, located at the club’s stadium Santiago Bernabeu. (The stadium was named after one of the Real Madrid presidents.)

The tour begins at the top level of the stadium, where you can take a good look at the stadium panorama. (The picture below I made however from the tribunes at the lower level.)

Then you are directed to the fan zone, a series of corridors and exhibition rooms, where you can admire the trophies and various presentations on the clubs history and its legendary players. While making photos I tried to avoid showing people, but the number of people visiting this place (on Monday morning) was impressive. You could have seen the true fans of the club, but also tourists who wanted just to see the legendary stadium.

At the end of the tour you visit the dressing room and later a really big boutique, where you can buy various fan stuff.


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The stadium panorama, a shot taken from the lower tribunes.

The stadium construction history, you can see already at the first corridor after entering the fan zone.


Below some other photos I made in the fan zone in the random order. By far they do not reflect its full interior. This is just a glimpse of it. Basically in all rooms besides shelves with trophies, there are many screens presenting pictures and films. The video is accompanied by music and audio partially recorded during matches. It is a spectacle that puts you in a very positive mood. Even if you are not the true fan, it is fun. Continue reading

The Gothic kings

Palacio Real de Madrid or Royal Palace of Madrid is on the absolutely must see list, while sightseeing in Spain. The palace was built from scratch in the XVIII century after the old building was consumed by fire. (It is told that the king deliberately allowed the old palace to burn to make place for a more representative residence). Indeed, the palace is the largest royal palace in Europe by floor area. It consists of 3,418 rooms. It is unfortunately forbidden to photograph the interiors. I could have indeed imagined spending long hours on making photos of the detailed artwork one can admire there on walls (most of it embroidered by hand) and on ceilings. 

Although not that decorative as the interiors, the outside design of the palace is very impressive, too. Originally, the whole upper balustrade was to be decorated by statues of saints and kings. But ultimately, a decision was made to relocate most of them elsewhere to give the building a lighter appearance. There are still a number of statues decorating the balustrade, but the most of the statues are decorating the parks and gardens around the palace.


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The entrance to the palace from Plaza de la Armería. Above it you can see four of the statues still on the balustrade.


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Plaza de Oriente, located at the right hand side of the palace if looking onto the palace from Plaza de la Armería. 


On its left and right side the Plaza de Oriente, that in fact is a park (or garden), is decorated by a row of statues, popularly known as the Gothic kings. These are statues of kings and one queen that ruled over the regions forming the present Spain in the first Millennium and in the early XI century (Visigoth rulers and rulers of the early Christian kingdoms in the Reconquista period). As the statues were designed and carved to originally decorate the balustrade of the palace, under closer inspection they lack detail. But still they are a real eye catcher. Below, the full pantheon in a small gallery of pictures. Continue reading

Cheese and ham sandwich?

Although, the single market made specialties originating in different parts in Europe easy available in other European countries, sometimes while travelling Europe we taste food combinations that makes one stop and wonder.

JMA_Museo_del_Jamon_02In all Western cultures a ham and cheese sandwich is nothing unusual. What is more, Spanish ham and cheese that tastes sweeter than other sorts made in Europe is easy available round the corner. Sweet bakery products similar to French croissants are nothing unusual, as well. But this year in Spain, it was the first time for me to eat a combination of all those three in one together with a small beer in a kind of a fast food restaurant. Delicious. (on the photo: a croissant with Spanish ham and sweet cheese served in ‘Museo de Jamon’ in Madrid.)


Museo de Jamon. Madrid.

Museo de Jamon, a kind of a Spanish fast food restaurant, where you are served bakery with Spanish ham and/or cheese, and beer. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beer is available from tap. Photographed in the vicinity of Puerta del Sol in Madrid.


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