One of the biggest thing on our itinerary for this trip was watching a REAL MADRID GAME LIVE AT BERNABEU. TD & I have always wanted to watch them play live and we want DiploBaby to have this experience too.
The only problem was we were both a little under the weather, but these tickets were not cheap so we soldiered on knowing that the excitement of the game will definitely give us a little reprieve from our sickness.
The moment DiploBaby came out of the car he could feel the excitement in the air. We saw so many people: groups of friends, families with their kids, etc. It made him forget his grumpiness. We were dropped off by gate 44 & had to walk all the way to gate 2. No choice coz the streets were closed.
We saw alot of these people with neon green jackets & flags. I wonder what they are for? Maybe for the VIP guests?
ACTIVE CONSTRUCTION SITE
One of the things that really stood out is that The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium is still unfinished. All the construction dust did note bode for my already failing health.
It’s a literal construction site.
FINALLY OUR GATE!
You can see how unfinished it is in this pic.
We brought bottled sparkling water with us because we didn’t want to have to buy. They allowed us to take them inside as long as we throw away the cover at the entrance. The reason for this is the safety of the people in the stadium.
- Bottles with caps can be used to hit or throw at people. If there is no cap the liquid will fall off & not cause more serious injuries like a full, capped bottle.
- A capped bottle can be refilled with something gross or harmful & thrown at people.
- A full, capped bottle that falls on the ground is a tripping hazard. An open bottle will just be crushed.
This is a good article to read about it. We were very careful and held our drinks so they didn’t spill.
REAL MADRID VS EL CHE
This was the only Real Madrid game that was on during our trip to Madrid. We really thought about it & since one of our priorities is to have DiploBaby enjoy football matches with his dad, we budgeted for it. Wow, these are great seats. Not too expensive but not cheap either.
I was jealous that these people have a table to enjoy their food and drinks. So I asked TD. Apparently, the VIP seats start at 295 Euros each. Okay never mind.
I wonder if they can smell the smoke in the VIP seats? LOL!
Even the nosebleed seats are full. When I was showing DiploBaby the nosebleed seats he asked me why they are called that.
A common tongue-in-cheek reference to having seats at the upper tiers of a stadium is “sitting in the nosebleed section,” or “nosebleed seats.” The reference alludes to the tendency for mountain climbers to suffer nosebleeds at high altitudes.– WIKIPEDIA
How lucky are we that we could swing these seats. We just have to budget & not spend much on shopping for this trip. Strictly only things we really need or cannot get in Switzerland. For me the experience & memories is an important thing to have for our memory banks, especially DiploBaby .
WAITING FOR THE GAME TO START
When we arrived there was super loud music & the players were warming up & doing drills. Be prepared for a lot of noise. After they had to fix the precious grass & mist them. The grass of a top stadium like Bernabeu is very expensive & they really take special care of them. The reason they mist the grass is to make the football & players travel faster, protect the players from the harsh impact of dry grass/ground & protects the investment in the stadium. As I said, it’s special expensive grass. No wonder players can easily slid through the grass without injuring their knees!
I really admire these security personal. They never once looked back to see the game no matter how exciting it sounded. At first I was wondering what these fluffy things were. I thought they were birds. TD said their mics.
They displayed the Turkish & Syrian flag to raise awareness & ask for donations for the victims of the earthquake that had just happened.
See those dark blue seats? Those are the Outdoor Boxes between the Presidential Box & team benches. The best seats cushioned seats in the house with TV monitors with a hospitality area for gourmet food.
I always find it so cute that they have cute kids with the team in the beginning. Only REAL MADRID though, not EL CHE coz I’m sure it’s a hassle to bring kids for an away game.
THE SUPER FANS
Behind the REAL MADRID GOAL are the REAL MADRID SUPER FANS/CHEERING SQUAD. They are the best seats in the house if you don’t mind going a little deaf coz the cheering & drumming is incessant.
#4 ALABA #ProudlyPinoy
We were also so thrilled to be watching a half-Filipino player in David Alaba. Though he is an Austrian National, he is from a Visayan Filipina named Gina (former beauty queen) to moved to Austria to work as a nurse & a Nigerian father who moved to Vienna to study.
He used to be with Bayern Munich, winning 10 Bundesliga titles, two Champions Leagues, and six German Cups, before moving to Real Madrid.
STADIUM HEATING DURING WINTER
Because I wasn’t feeling well I was vacilating between feeling warm because of the heaters & also cold becuase it was a cold winter evening.
There were so many people smoking behind us.. dozens and the air was going from the entrance & blowing it into us in the bleachers. I had to keep using my Ventolin inhaler, but boy was I suffering. So many people took smoke breaks during half-time that I had to stand by the entrance the whole time so I was up-wind.
The toilets are all porta-potty with no running water or tissue so I’m glad I brought my alcohol-free sanitizer & my own tissue.
SNACKING WHILE WATCHING
It seems the locals love to eat while watching the game. Shelled nuts seem to be a favorite. If you didn’t bring any food, there are a lot of food stands outside & you are allowed to bring it in. The lines for the food kiosks inside were quite long.
When the Spanish feel like something unfair has happened they like to gesture with their hands & arms. DiploBaby was asking us at first why they were raising their hands. After I explained it to him, he learned very fast.
ONE FOR THE BUCKETLIST
DiploBaby was very happy to see Benzema & Vinicius playing. But when Luca Modrich came out to play, I got to check it off from my bucket list. When he came out, you can really feel his presence. The way he runs & moves. He’s a beast!
A SUPPORTIVE CROWD
What I love about the crowd when watching live is how they really clap & encourage after each failed attempt. I think it’s so encouraging for the team. And it’s not something we can really hear or experience when we watch on TV.
Despite the smoke and me suffering for weeks after, I am still happy I got to experience this core memory with DiploBaby & TD.
Before this DiploBaby wasn’t really a huge fan of Real Madrid and this made TD sad because his mom is from Madrid & they are both huge fans of Real Madrid. Luckily this game changed it for DiploBaby & now it’s his favorite team!
EXITING THE STADIUM
CATCHING A RIDE
Despite waiting a while to exit, the task of catching a cab was not for the faint of heart. The Spanish don’t care if you have been waiting by the side of the road for a while. They will just go before you to catch the first cab that comes.
Basically, you need to run into the street and grab a cab before someone else does. I literally so someone almost get run over by a car. Missed him by an inch.
To get our cab, I ran into a massive roundabout when the cars were stopped and I was able to get one. But guess what? The driver’s cologne was so strong, even TD who isn’t sensitive couldn’t help but cough. I cracked the window open but it was still bad.
WHAT I BROUGHT WITH ME
I had lots of tissue for my nose & cough. Ventolin for my asthma. Purilyte food-safe kid-safe Sanitizer for cleaning hands after using the portapotties. Hyland’s Bioplasma was the only reason my nose wasn’t running the whole time & gave me energy to even attend the game. If I am unwell & I need to get myself up, this is what I take. It works everytime. But usually when I’m sick I tend to really stay home & rest. This just isn’t possible when you are traveling or have tickets to a Real Madrid game.