Day Seven of the Princeton men's basketball trip to Spain brought the team to the Spanish capital of Madrid Wednesday, the final city the Tigers will see before heading home Sunday.
The Princeton travel party began the day in Valencia, on Spain's Mediterranean coast, before making the four-hour trip to inland Madrid. On the way, the team stopped for lunch at a cafeteria on Spain's sunny, quiet plain near Atalaya del Canavate. Once in the city, the team viewed some of the sights and had the rest of the evening to walk around the city center.
Thursday, just four days after seeing their rival FC Barcelona in action, Real Madrid will host the Tigers for a tour of their training facility. The teams are on opposite sides of El Clasico, the name given to any of their games, at least twice annually.
Later Thursday, at 8:30 p.m. Spain time/2:30 p.m. Eastern Time, the team will play its final game in Spain in the town of Torrejon de Ardoz, about a half-hour east of Madrid, against Melilla Baloncesto, a second-division Spanish pro team. That club is based in Melilla, a Spanish town carved out of the north coast of Morocco on the other side of the Mediterranean. The club has two players with American connections, 27-year-old Iona alum Kiril Wachsmann, and 31-year-old Utah alum Tim Frost.
The Tigers will have more opportunities to see Madrid's sights, including the Royal Palace and the Prado Museum, before heading home Sunday.
Below, sophomore Brian Fabrizius contributes the daily blog entry.
Hola Tigre familia!
We had an early start to our dia before departing for Madrid. We woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (at least most of us) and grabbed another great breakfast at the Westin. I'm pretty sure Clay single-handedly wiped out the whole stash of chocolate croissants by himself. After feasting, we waddled on over to the bus to begin our four hour drive to Madrid.
On the bus, some of the guys, including myself, had some creative ways to pass the time. Ian burrowed himself in the aisle, I lied under my seat, [asst. coach Brian Earl's son] Dylan Earl was giggling and playing up front, and it wouldn't be a bus ride without TJ snoring the whole way. After four hours and a short pit stop we made it to our hotel in Madrid.
Our hotel is in an unbelievable location, right in the middle of this huge city. Our rooms are definitely a little bit smaller than the other cities, but the location more than makes up for it. After unpacking our bags in our rooms, we departed on a walking tour of the city where we saw many beautiful squares with busy shops, nice places to eat, the luxurious Royal Palace, and many other fascinating sights.
After our tour, the team got together to enjoy a very delicious meal at a fantastic tapas and paella spot. So far, Madrid has lived up to its high expectations and we are all looking forward to the rest of our stay here.