With a flight scheduled after 10PM, I had one full day left to explore Madrid. I checked out of my hotel, dropped my luggage off in a locker(
Locker In The City was awesome by the way). My first stop that morning was pretty far away, so I hopped on the metro. My final day was by far the coldest and wettest of the entire week!
1: My first stop was the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, home of the famous Real Madrid Football Club. The stadium was completed in 1947, and holds over 80,000 spectators. So many pivotal football matches have been held here, so it was an amazing place to visit. So much of the culture of the city is tied up in their record-setting football team.
2: It was difficult to find a good vantage point to photograph the exterior of the building, even with a 16mm lens. The stadium looks very modern for being built in 1947, but it’s actually had a few major renovations.
3: The tour offers a view of the locker room and training facilities.
4: They also have a huge collection of championship trophies, that occupy several display cases.
5: The Nuevos Ministerios, is a gigantic building complex located about a 10 minute walk from the stadium. It was completed in 1942 and houses a number of government ministries. It’s style is a big contrast to the many 18th and 19th century buildings within the city.
6: Traveling by foot onward toward central Madrid, I decided to stop at the National Museum of Natural Sciences to get out of the rain. They have a large collection of specimens, including this extinct marsupial, the Tasmanian tiger. The last living one was captured back in 1933. It was hunted to extinction due to its killing of livestock.
7: The museum has a large collection of mounted specimens, many collected in the 18th and 19th centuries, and showing clear signs of aging.
8: I thought this display was interesting. ‘ Adam and Eve‘, created with two human skeletons, and a number of preserved animals. Eve has an apple in her hand, and there’s even a snake hanging from the tree.
9: Continuing on, a further 30-minute walk from the Natural History Museum, was the National Library of Spain. While access to the library itself is allowed for researchers only, the decor inside is the accessible areas is beautiful (as pictured), and they have public exhibitions from time to time.
10: The current exhibition is on the reconstructions of mechanical designs of Leonardo da Vinci, present in his Madrid I and Madrid II Codices. This particular machine was designed to bring marble columns from a horizontal to vertical position by the turning of a hand crank.
Following my visit to the National Library, I continued my soggy walk to the Puerta del Sol, where my luggage was stored. From there I hopped on the metro, and proceeded to the airport. Upon arrival, I changed into some dry socks, and tossed my dilapidated umbrella. Twelve hours or so later, I would be back in Africa.