Archive for December 14th, 2009
New pleasures, old errors in Madrid

I’m sure the girls room was all sweetness and lavender, but in the lads Madrid hotel rooms there was snoring on the richter scale, so I did well to hear the early morning knock on the door. I was just at the dream stage where Sue Barker was about to ravish me, and a glance at my watch showed it was 10am and all thoughts of an early start had evaporated.

At 30 euros a night our rooms didn’t include breakfast but a nice coffee and bakery cafe next door did the job. Sluggish was the word of the morning, so as the girls hit some more museums, and The General chilled out, 4 of us walked up into the city centre, braving the cold. It took us just over an hour but we took our time and savoured the delights of the city. Atocha station (above) proved to be very distracting, a huge indoor garden included turtles playing in the pond and a few suitable statues for us to pose with. Heading up the road, we saw the Villareal team out for a stroll in their team tracksuits, they were playing Athletico Madrid later that night, but with the TV cameras following them, we couldn’t resist showing our colours and singing a few Tenerife songs, hope we made the news reports.

Madrid is a very arty vibrant city, there was a big market on at Parque del Retiro, but we pushed on to near the centre as our beer taste buds were tingling. The Cathedral restaurant bar beckoned us in with its warm historic allure, what a lovely place, big, ornate and grand, we settled at the bar and tucked into the bottles of San Miguel, each round was accompanied by a plate of tapas – hmm we could get quite comfortable here. Time sipped by and we had to head down to Atocha station to meet the others and take the 10 minute mainland train to Getafe, a mere 1.35 euros each. What a dump of a place, like an old industrial estate, with an anoying lack of open bars, we crossed the wastelands and eventually found the stadium to buy our 40 euros (rip off) tickets. Thankfully with 90 mintues to go to kick off and the temperature plunging, we found some other CDT fans and tracked down a nice warm bar with a very welcoming barmaid, honestly I was only looking at here bar nibbles.

Into the game and we joined the 300 CDT fans on the freezing terrace, the ground was very open and we were just behind one goal. The game followed a familiar pattern, Tenerife dominating much of the early play but failing to make it pay, Nino went close on the half hour and Richi put the ball in the net only to have it ruled offside – well it was – just. Of course it came back to haunt Tenerife, a few minutes later Sergio failed to hold a cross and Albin bundled the ball in the net for a home lead.


Another mistake in the second half effectively killed the game, Manolo Martinez tried to take on a Getafe forward instead of clearing the ball and let Albin in for an easy second. Oltra tried his subs and Juanlu, fresh on for Richi, pounced on a home mistake after good work from Nino, to make it 2-1. Tenerife were running out of time but tried hard, the fans continued to spur them on, at least it was a way of keeping warm, but the game was gone.

There were some moments of light relief, when the ball went out of play into a netted moat, a young lad had to fish it out with a net, of course we didn’t make fun of him or give him any abuse – well not much. Trying to get our blood moving again, we marched back to the train station, stopping off for a few beers at a bar, and then on to the city centre again for more beers and the inevitable kebabs. With a view to our 4am taxis to the airport, we headed back to the hotel and indulged in a few late cans while watching the football on tv in our rooms. The early start was tough but we managed it with time to kill at the airport, many of the Canarian lads had crashed overnight at the airport after a heavy session, but thankfully we overcame a 40 minute take off delay as blizzards swept the airport. It was so good to get back to the early morning sun of Tenerife, but I cant wait for the next away game.

Fog, football, and frolics in Madrid

Some offers are too good to miss, pre christmas Ryanair flights to Madrid for 26 euros return, to take in a CD Tenerife away, I couldn’t say no. Sitting on the tarmac at Tenerife South airport, waiting an hour for take off due to fog in the Spanish capital, wasn’t the ideal Saturday morning start, but we eventually got the ok.

I was in a group of 7 fine ambassadors from the Armada Sur,we soon found plenty of Canarian friends from the other peñas (fan clubs) some had made an early start on the booze, before boarding. Putting our watches forward an hour after the 2.5 hour flight, we bundled through Terminal 4 and found the Metro, loaded up on tickets and made a couple of changes on the way down to our hotel NH Atocha (another bargain at 30 euros a night)  near the Pacifico stop. Once we were out in the open, the cold started to bite and on went the extra layers, the remains of the fog lingered in the air, but we soon found our hotel and checked in.

Hey, we didn’t just throw this trip together, The General had sussed out that Second Division Rayo Vallecano were at home early evening, so as Kirstie and Nikki went up town to explore museums, the Freezing Five walked through the run down and strangely quiet neighbourhood, looking for bars on the way. Watering holes were scarce so we ended up at a bar near the ground, previously invaded by Tenerife fans last season. As we thawed out, the beer and tapas started flowing, it was fairly empty at first but a hoard of Numancia fans (above) descended, complete with drums and turned up the volume. We of course proudly uncovered our Tenerife colours and both the home and visiting fans were very friendly and welcoming.

Armed with our 15 euro match tickets, we grabbed a last cheeky beer opposite the entrance and took our place on the chilly terracing. Rayo is a 3 sided ground, flats are built at one end, the 11,500 crowd were pretty subdued, only breaking into song once they were 4-1 up well into the second half. We mingled a bit and tried to stop our feet from turning to ice, the Numancia fans up in the corner of one stand, did their best to life the atmosphere but lost heart as their team lost goals.

Heading back to the hotel, the streets had filled up, evening shopping seems the in thing at Rayo, we managed to resisit buying any of the tat on sale at the market stalls. Back at the hotel the girls were happy with their afternoons browsing and ready to join us for night time in the city centre. The metro system is clean and efficient and delivered us quickly to Sol, slap bang in the centre. You can never get enough football, so we found a large lively Irish bar with big screens showing the evenings games and set about demolishing a few cold Coronitas. Hunger was kicking in by this stage, so we found a big kebab restaurant, that worryingly had a huge painting of a horse on the wall-I was assured by those who indulged in a large kebab that the meat seemed true to its menu description.

Madrid is a lively and busy city, especially on a Saturday night, we had a little wander around the main square to take photos and everyone was friendly, enjoying the pre christmas lights , living art displays, and bustle. Three of our party went back to the hotel at a reasonable hour, while we headed to a rock bar, Parada de Los Monstrous, Â a short metro ride away in Iglesia. The beer was reasonable, especially the 6.5 % Yuste, and we even got a seat near the DJ, so we could feed him requests for old classics like New Order, Echo and the Bunnymen,he found most of them. By 2.30am we were flaging, even though the bar was just getting going, so we piled in a taxi and back for some sleep before the big day.