My travel was getting close to the end. The seventh day in Spain was December 29th. I woke up at 5AM and checked out the hostel in Cordoba. Walked for half an hour and got to the train station around 6:30. Then bought a ticket of AVE to Madrid departing at 7:30. The AVE was really comfortable and even had a cafe. I had a cup of white coffee, which looked popular coffee in Spain.
I arrived Atocha station that is the terminal station of Madrid city, then took Metro to Tirso de Molina. I booked a hostel there because it was convenient location between Palacio Real and Prado Museum. Checked in there around 9:30.
Put my backpack in the room and started strolling in the city. At first, I headed to Palacio Real. On the way to the place, I found a market, Mercado de San Miguel, in which there were probably 10 or more bars, cafes and stores. I had some tapas and beer as early lunch.
Arrived at Palacio Real – Royal place of Madrid, at 11:30. Unanticipatedly, there was a quite long queue for buying a ticket at the entrance. And it seemed to move very slowly. It would probably take a couple of hours to enter into the place with waiting in the cold weather…
Museo del Prado
I decided to go to Prado Museum instead of Palacio Real and moved there with expectation that Prado was easier to get into than Palacio Real. However, Prado also had a long queue, which appeared to take a few hours to enter, as well…
I did not have time to queue, so after a little consideration, bought “Madrid card“, which included admission fees for sightseeing places in Madrid and priority accesses for some places including Prado and Palacio Real. It cost 49 Euros, which was not cheap, but with this card you did not have to wait at all. “Time is money” again.
Taking pictures was not allowed in the Prado Museum. I was not familiar with arts, but could enjoy and have fun to see many famous works.
Took a bus tour from Prado and got off near Palacio Real. I entered there from the priority access entrance, which was located a bit away from the regular entrance.
In the building you cannot take pictures. Many spacey and gorgeous rooms with beautiful and glittery furniture there.
I finished the tour in Palacio and left there at 4:15PM. Hanged out in the Plaza Mayor for a while. It was busy with many families and tourists.
A fake pooh with human hands and shoes.
Then rushed to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, located 20 or 30 minutes by the center of the city, because wanted to be there before the sunset. Arrived there at 5:45. I got a ticket for Tour Bernabeu, which was also included in Madrid Card. I knew they had no matches of Real Madrid during my stay in Spain.
I was pretty excited to come to the pitch level and get into the bench, locker room, and press rooms, so on.
I left the stadium at 7:15 and went back to the hostel.
One of my classmates of UC San Diego, Paco, lives in Madrid. I told him that I was going to Madrid before departing Japan and arranged to meet in Madrid. He was busy for working and came to pick me up at the hostel a little bit before 10PM. We met for the first time since we graduated the School in June, 2009.
He took me the bar called Lateral which was near Paco’s dad’s garage. I am not sure but probably on Belazguez. We had some tapas and beer there and then moved to a club called Nells. Joined Paco’s friend’s birthday party. Got back to the hostel around 1:30.
More pics on the day are available on my Facebook.