So we were finally in Madrid , we were so tired from getting no sleep in Amsterdam , all we wanted to do was check into our hostel. Once we got through customs we got a train to our hostel and checked in. We got to our room, got settled and got changed and were ready to explore Madrid. By this time it was almost 2pm so we decided to get a train to the Santiago Bernabeu, the home stadium of the second best football team in Spain, Real Madrid. Unsurprisingly we couldn’t get in so we just walked around the stadium as we weren’t too interested in doing a tour. It is quite a nice stadium and being the sixth largest stadium in Europe it is fairly large. After taking a few photos we got another train to the Wanda Metropolitan, the home stadium of Atletico Madrid. Being the twentieth largest stadium in Europe it is still larger than most stadiums in Australia. We walked around the stadium and took a couple of photos before heading back to our hostel and we ended up falling asleep. I woke up at about 9pm and decided to go for a walk around the city for about 30 minutes then went back to our hostel to catch up on sleep.
The following day we didn’t do too much, we hired a canoe for 45 minutes and rowed around on a lake at Parque del Retiro. Although it was a cool day in Madrid and a little cooler on the water it was still nice and relaxing. We had lunch at a tapas bar which was something we wanted to try whilst in Spain I recommend it if you ever visit Spain. After lunch we tries churros and hot chocolate at the famous Chocolateria san Gines, it was pretty cheap and really nice although the ‘hot chocolate’ we ordered was very thick so I think it is meant as more of a dipping chocolate rather than a drink. We returned to our hostel around 2pm and to my shock my phone charger and cord for my portable charger were missing, someone had stolen them. I tried to ask reception about it however that was no use, they spoke broken English at best.
I ended up having to go and buy another charger in some shopping centre in Madrid, although it was nothing major it was still an inconvenience. We ended up spending an hour or so walking around the shops, I ended up buying some clothes on top of my new chargers. We eventually headed back to our Hostel to get changed and went out for dinner. We ate at some at Tony Roma’s, near the Bernabeu. It’s an American style restaurant, it wasn’t too expensive and it was really nice. Our time in Madrid was coming to an end as the following morning we would be getting a train to Barcelona . After dinner we headed back to our hostel, packed up our things ready for the morning and pretty much went to bed.
Our train from Madrid to Barcelona left around 11am and took just over 3 hours. So we arrived in Barcelona shortly after 2pm and headed straight for our Hostel. We arrived however it was too early to check in so we sat in the lobby for 20-30 minutes and watched the football that was on, I’m pretty sure Tottenham were playing at the time. One of the best things about Europe is being able to watch the Premier League during the day as opposed to the early hours of the morning in Australia. We finally were able to check in so we did then we got ready to go out again. It was a Saturday and we were going to watch FC Barcelona (Barca) vs Celta Vigo. Barca are favourite football team I’ve wanted to see them play for years and tonight it would finally happen. Not only would I see Barca play at home, I’d get the chance watch arguably the best player in the world, Lionel Messi play live. I got to see Cristiano Ronaldo play when he came to Australia with Real Madrid about 5 years ago but this was something else. To say I was excited would be an understatement.
It was a short train ride then a short walk to the stadium from our hostel. We finally arrived at the stadium, Camp Nou and it was massive. Although that should be expected from the largest stadium in Europe. It boasts a 99,354 capacity and is currently undergoing a renovation that push the capacity over 100,000. It was still over an hour till kick-off and the atmosphere outside the stadium was amazing. We were sitting in 2nd bay from the top, although we were very high up it was a great view. I don’t think there would be a single ‘bad’ seat in the entire stadium. During Barca’s warmup there would be a massive cheer around the ground every time Messi touched the ball. The atmosphere inside the stadium was unlike anything i’d ever experienced before, it was electric. Kick-off finally came around and I was finally experiencing something i’d dreamt of for years.
Not only did I see Messi play live, I got to see him score, a major item had just been ticked off my bucket list. The game seemed to go by so quick however it was an amazing experience and FC Barcelona ended up winning 2-0. I hope to see them play again one day, maybe even in the Champions League. Overall it was an experience I will never forget and my time in Barcelona at got off to an amazing start.