Upon landing in Madrid, another first for this trip occurred. Walking through immigration, I was nabbed by a customs officer. He seemed to take a shine to my reading matter and asked what it was. Unsure if this was some sort of trick question, I replied that it was a book. He had a flick though the book, scanned it and I was off on my way.

Last June in Valencia I visited the fantastic Mestella Stadium in Valencia. Athletico Madrid are about to leave another of the great traditional Spanish grounds, the Vicente Calderon Stadium. This seemed like perfect timing to have a look at the stadium before it gets demolished. According to the Athletico Madrid website there should be stadium tours at 4.30pm and 5.30pm today. I turned up at around four o’clock to be told that the not particularly friendly receptionist that there weren’t any more tours today. Instead I was invited to have a look around the museum for 10. The exhibits were mostly located in one room and I managed to get round everything in about 15 minutes. And that was hardly rushing. To be honest it was a bit underwhelming, especially having missed the chance to view the stadium. At least there was the nice Madrid Rio parkland area nearby to justify coming out here.

I was pondering whether to spend the last night of travelling on this evening’s hostel pub crawl. However that idea was quickly dispelled when I discovered that it didn’t even begin until 11pm. I suppose we are in continental Europe! Following last night’s overnight flight I was struggling to keep my eyes open by 10pm.

Estadio Vicente Calderon
Athletico Madrid Museum (almost all of it)
Madrid Rio