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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Welcome to the Santiago Bernabéu...

As a kid I sat and watched La Liga religiously, listening to my grandad talk about Los Blancos and despite always taking an impartial view when writing blog posts I must admit I have a very soft spot for Real. So when it came to visiting the Santiago Bernabéu I ascended from the metro with apprenhensive excitement, and I was not disappointed. My first look at the stadium literally took my breath away, after years of watching Madrid play it was amazing to be stood outside this illustrious stadium.

I first visited the Bernabéu on the 3rd December 2012 and was lucky enough to get a ticket for the match against Ajax in the Champions League for the following night... 

I was sat in the Lateral Este (basically the main stand) and had to walk up one of the infamous towers to reach my seat, I walked up that many stairs I was half expecting to come out and see clouds. Inside the stadium was surreal, I felt like I was back at home watching Sky Sports.

Madrid won 4-1 with an absolute screamer from Kaka and a few from Ronaldo (obviously) despite Real already being through to the last 16 they didnt fail to put the group to bed in style. However as I was only there for a day, I sadly couldnt do the stadium tour. Now this was like having a taste of something you really liked and being told you cant have anymore, needless to say I had booked a return to Madrid before you could say Adios...

In February I returned to the Bernabéu and purchased 1 ticket to the stadium tour for 19 euros - and for what you get this is seriously worth it. On this tour, there is no annoying tour guide telling you the origin of every skirting board and door handle, no, this tour allows you to wander this magnificent stadium at your own pace.

First you have a stroll up to have an aerial view of the stadium, on my way up I met an old Spanish couple about 80 years old on a date in the Bernabéu which was the most adorable thing ever. The old woman was telling me (in Spanish) about how she used to come and watch Real play which was fascinating to hear from a native Madridista! Next you enter the trophy room, now I use the word 'room' very lightly as this was more of a trophy corridor. It was set out in a chronological order, starting with the formation of the club.


There was an interactive touch screen running along the left hand side of the corridor to accompany the
artefacts,trophys and shirts.Next there was a whole section dedicated to the legend that is Alfredo Di Stefano.

One of the most amazing parts of the tour was the walk around the pitch, I was so close I could practically smell the grass.

A few weeks before I embarked on my tour, they opened a new part of the tour which allowed visitors to see the changing rooms & showers.
The tour concluded with a tour of the press room and of course the token gift shop in which you can purchase a pencil with the Real Madrid logo for the reasonable price of 30 euros each. After a swift remortgage of your home you may be able to afford a full stationary set! In all seriousness the tour was absolutely breathtaking, the structure, the freedom and most of all the history of a club like Real Madrid wonderfully captured and offered in a way which anyone would love. If you can do this, regardless of who you support, I fully encourage you to do so. This stadium is a must visit for any football fan, and for Real Madrid fans it's absolutely fantastic.

1 comment:

  1. Really want to go to the Bernabéu! you are so sooo lucky!