Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A Train Museum, a Walk on the Camino and a GREAT UEFA Champions League Game

Tuesday, 1 November, 2016:

Today was All Saints Day which is a National Holiday in Spain. With most businesses closed for the day and our Guadalajara Stings practice cancelled, it was time to explore, commune with nature and enjoy the passion of an Atlético Madrid UEFA Champions League fútbol game. 

The Arganda del Rey
Senior Citizens Center

These caballeros were just hanging out and, of course, arguing about something and/or anything to start their holiday right.

I boarded the Metro to go just one stop to La Povada with the intention of walking about in the surrounding countryside where I believe much of the Battle of Jarama took place in 1937.

Then I was distracted

I figured that I needed to do a little advance scouting for my two train enthusiasts back home, David Lassen and Jacob Contreras.

Getting close

Is this the museum?

No, thank goodness, this is it

Crest of the great and powerful
ciudad Arganda del Rey

The museum is only open on Sundays.

Today was Tuesday.


Condemned to just see through the fence as some museum workers were preparing to take an engine for a spin.

Small but powerfully built

The main attraction, warming up,
hails from the province of Asturias

It burns coal, note the large coal
bin to the right of the green engine

I don't think that this is the best way to go, ecologically speaking.

The front door of Arganda del Rey's Train Museum is actually part of the Camino de Santiago. Officially there are 12 different routes that one can take to get to Santiago de Compostela.

In 2010 I walked the Camino Francés over the Pyrenees, a distance of 790 kilometers/490 miles.

Today I was walking on the aptly named Camino de Madrid which is only 320 kilometers/200 miles long. 

 Follow the Yellow Arrows

 Lots of bicycle enthusiasts
but few walkers today

 My first official
looking marker


Unofficial looking marker
but efficient

Walking under train tracks

I wonder if they battled on 
these bluffs back in 1937?

The Camino is a long path

It's also verdant at times

Small. loud waterfall

Still waters

 Approaching bike riders
in the distance

It was at about this time that I realized two things.

First, I was heading North towards Madrid and farther away from Arganda del Rey with every step.

Second, I faintly remembered that the Camino de Levante which starts in wondrous Alicante joins up with the Camino de Madrid from the South. 

I needed to find a new path back to civilization as I didn't want to simply retrace my steps. As I am reading Cervantes' great work Don Quixote de la Mancha, I felt that I needed a new adventure to prove my prowess as an explorer!

Otherwise I would never have seen . . .

 This interesting entryway
to a local finca

This sign is amusing when
in a car

It seemed a bit more threatening when you are walking.

The Ganaderia Miura isn't anywhere near Arganda del Rey is it?

Entry to Finca Feligrés

They have their own Frontón?

The Fronton de Felugrés' Entry

 I like green doors, you just
never know what's behind them

And another one

Huge stork nests
with real storks

I saw dozens of these nest supporting structures on my walk today.

I walked by a company that
sells HUGe sculptures

 Very cool

I finally worked my way back to the La Povada Metro stop and returned to the warmth and safety of Arganda del Rey.

Camino marker in
Arganda del Rey

I was now 10 kilometers/6 miles from the previous marker. that started my misadventure.

I saw nary a windmill . . . damn.

 I had a great lunch here
at the Bar Fidalgo

In Spain the custom is that if you drop your napkin on the floor, leave it there. After all, why would you want to use it on your hands or lips once its been on the floor? Makes sense to me.

Furthermore, the restaurants only sweep up the floor at the end of the day, thus our current late afternoon look. 

Osos Juniors play their
first game of the 2016-17
campaign in 12 days

While I love this otherwise great game cartel, I do wish that our Oso paid more attention to his ball security skills while stiff arming the Cuervo defender.

A small siesta followed by a brisk shower prepared me for a big night at the . . .

. . . a great UEFA Champions League
Group D match at
Estadio Vicente Calderón
starting at 8:45 p.m.

It was Game 4 of Group play with local favorites Atlético Madrid having defeated Russia's F.C. Rostov by the shocking score of 1-0 last month on the road.

So far in Group D play, Atlético was undefeated at 3 wins - 0 losses - 0 ties. Rostov was still looking for their first win with a record of 0-1-2.

Dozens of souvenir stands outside
the estadio

My view from
2 Anfiteatro Fondo Norte
Stair 29, Block 516
Row 1, Seat 13

I liked it and the passionate but overall positive fans surrounding me.

There was one Atlético supporter behind me who was dying a thousand deaths during this hard fought match. Among his many notable quotes, I particularly liked:

"Este partido tiene huevos!" - This game has balls!

"SINVERGUENZA!" - "SCOUNDREL! He used this word often in referring to the refs who allowed the Russians to play with a scorched earth style reminiscent of days gone by in WWII. Even the Spaniard elevens absolute best flops did not draw the desired yellow or red cards that justice demanded.

"Me cago en la leche." - I know that he was exasperated by the many, many missed scoring opportunities by his team, but why would anyone do that? Go ahead and Google Translate it if you must.

 Empty Seats at a UEFA
Champions League Match?

It was by design.

The diehard F.C. Rostov fans who made the trip from Mother Russia were sold tickets that would purposely isolate them from the Atlético fans, thus the five empty sections around them.

Safer for everybody I guess but I never got the sense that the Atlético fans were hooligans.

Sporting my colors

I believe that this was the 13th fútbol match that I have attended while living in Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, France and Spain since 2008.

My record up until tonight's match for the various home teams stood at 11 wins - 0 ties - 1 loss.

I should hire myself out to the home team to bring then additional luck.

Colorful banners

"Courage Forges Legends"


Or as we say in America, No Guts, No Glory!

It was a battle all game long as Rostov was content playing defense and Atlético was in their offensive end for about 80% of the contest.

Atlético drew first blood on an exciting, whirling goal by Antoine Griezmann midway through the First Half to take a seemingly insurmountable 1-0 lead.

Rostov's Sardar Azmoun answered Griezmann's goal about 30 seconds later.

At the Half it was still 1-1.

The Second Half was again filled with lots of "Me cago en la leche" moments as Rostov continued their roughhousing style and stymied dozens of Atlético scoring opportunities.

I thought that I was headed for my first ever tie but . . .

Finally with the Game Clock
at 90:00 and in Extra Time . . .

It happened!

Hometown favorite Antoine Griezmann found the smallest of creases and drilled home his second goal of the night with about 20 seconds left in Extra Time.

The Thrill of Victory . . .

. . . and, in outer Siberia,
The Agony of Defeat

In their far, isolated corner of Estadio Vicente Calderón, Rostov fans were stunned and broken hearted as joyful Madrileños headed for the exits.

On the drive home, I got to drive by a few well lit Madrid landmarks.

 The Palacio de Cibeles

The Puerta de Alcalá

It was a long, productive day and I felt a bit tired . . .

. . . and for good reason!

I walked a lot again today, maybe that's why I'm losing so much weight?

As for the COUNTDOWN only . . .

. . . more day until Laurie flies
to sunny España!

Life just keeps getting better.

No comments: