A Hop-on-get-stuck Day!

Trip Start Apr 20, 2012
Trip End May 23, 2012

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Flag of Spain  , Madrid,
Thursday, May 3, 2012

Those banners all over Bilbao's balconies the other day? Turns out they were not routinely fanatical fans. Bilbao was playing Real Madrid in the football final.

Real Madrid won.

The celebrations are in Madrid. Today...

I am all museum-ed and gallery-ed out. But Liz had a shortlist of must-sees, so we decided to go seperately today - a bold move for me in a foreign city. There was only one option in such a case... The hop-on-hop-off bus! See the sights, stay safe, can't get lost.
Madrid runs a two loop system with a twice daily extended loop to outer areas.

So on I hop and circumnavigate the blue route, snapping happily from the top deck. Swap to the green route and continue. Nibble some lunch along the way and notice with each passage through the Plaza de Cibeles there is an increasing amount of scaffolding, railings and police. Then hoardings, horses and a stage...

When Geelong wins the AFL Final, adoring fans descend on Kardinia Park. When Real Madrid win a football final, it's the Plaza de Cibeles and all feeder boulevards. The fountain in the centre of the plaza is turned off, fenced and only the captain is allowed in on top of the statue (via a temporary staircase) to present the trophy to the crowd!

We get to see masses of crowds wrapped in their white Real Madrid flags streaming towards the plaza and hoards of police blocking or directing traffic, writing tickets and frisking kids. The bus route is diverted. It is after 7.30pm when I get back to the hotel to find Liz semi-crippled from a day full of museums and standing or walking on concrete or cobblestones. But she is happy, having seen all she set out to visit and has thoroughly enjoyed two exhibitions at the CaixaForum in particular.

Luckily, there are a number of bars and restaurants in our street. We hobble across the road and for 18.50€ we are both fed and watered. Winner!

Now we just have to hope the vevuzela-honking masses don't pass this way. Even with double glazing, this is still a noisy city!
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robliz on

Nothing wrong with hop-on-hop-off bus. We saw the celebrations of Real Madrid on the BBC news here in Sabah. It looked massive. The whole city came alive. Remember, timing is everything.

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