Friday, March 9, 2012

Madrid Day 3

The next day in Madrid, we got up to go to the Royal Palace. You can take a tour of the inside for quite cheap especially if you are a student. It was huge! They said that it is the 2nd largest palace in all of Europe. Because no one is currently living there and hasn't for quite some time now, it seemed a little empty inside and mysterious. Nate and I both agreed that we felt like we were Bell walking through the castle on Beauty and the Beast. There were even Lion statues/gargoyle type things, on the grand staircase at the beginning. Plus, it was freezing inside because no one lives there and they can't afford to heat it because it is so big! Buckingham Palace in London has more of a home type feel and it is obvious that things are still being used and cared for.

They have these small buildings in the front of the castle where the guards would stand to protect the castle. There are holes that face out for the guards to fit their guns through to fire at the enemy when under attack. Nate thought this was pretty cool.
This is in the plaza right in front of the Royal Palace called, Plaza Oriente.
We went to the El Rastro Market in the morning as well. They had all types of things from antiques, clothes, books, art, jewelry, batteries, shoes, and lots and lots of junk like old batteries and other things. It was fun to look around though and to try to bargain with them in Spanish. I found these really cute gloves for only 5 Euros!Just a cute little street that we came across. We thought these trees were fun. They are leading up to the Retiro Park.
I like the shape of the greenery.
El Corte Ingles is a famous department store in Madrid. It is similar to the London Selfridges or Harrods. It was huge! We didn't buy anything but it was fun to look around in.
We went to the Prado Museum on Sunday night from 5-7 because that is when you can go in for free. We definitely didn't have enough time to see everything or even a portion of everything. It is huge! There is so much art work in there and so many levels. They gave us a guide to find all the paintings that are considered, "masterpieces" so we mostly stuck to finding those most famous pieces. You could spend days in there!
The best part of the day was going to the Real Madrid football game. It was so much fun! We bought the tickets online before we came and we got the cheapest seats that were available. Yes, they were pretty high up, but we could still see great and were able to enjoy every minute of it. We had binoculars that helped out too. There are 80,000 seats in this stadium! I normally don't love watching soccer that much, but this team was so good that it was amazing to watch them work together. They are one of the best teams in the world for professional football. The score was 5 to 0, Real Madrid taking the lead. The other team was from Barcelona and they weren't that good. What an experience this was! We loved it!
During the half time break, we decided that we were going to go find something to eat. They were selling things in the booths outside of the game, so we headed over there. We couldn't read the sign and so we didn't know what they served or even how to order. So we used our handy dandy google translator and figured things out. The funniest thing was we looked up "calliente" which means "hot," then we looked up "perrito," which means "puppy." I was thinking, A Puppy served hot? They eat dog in this country? Then we both realized that it was a hot dog! :) So funny!
At the end of the game, all the policemen lined up around the stadium getting ready for any maniacs to come down and run into the field. Luckily, there weren't any people who tried it out for this game. Too bad because they would have been a good story!

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