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Old Nov 11th 2013, 12:33 AM   #1
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I Ride: 2012 Ducati 1199 S
Made it to Valencia for the last round of MotoGP

Yesterday, I was up at 6am to avoid the crowds heading into Cheste for the final championship round of MotoGP. And I was up again at 6am this morning to board the high-speed rail line to Seville, which is where I write this.

My flight touched down in Madrid on Wednesday. Going through customs and finding a bathroom to change clothes was the easy part. Thing were a bit overwhelming trying to get out of the airport, but I started figuring things out. Thankfully, I know just enough a Spanish to barely get by.

Took the subway to Sol, the major city center of Madrid. Purchased a SIM card so I could access Google Maps on my phone, stopped at a local bank to convert my currency, and found a great hostel for the night, only a couple blocks from Sol. From there, I simply walked and walked. After going in one direction, I would walk another direction. Madrid is beautiful and full of history and culture. In some ways, it reminds of NYC. The tapas food scene is unique and cool. I find the historic statues and plazas and market and cars and motorcycles all equally interesting.

Got a good night sleep and found the train station in time to take the high speed rail to Valencia. Unfortunate for me, spending the long weekend in Valencia meant everything was booked up because of MotoGP. I was preparing myself to camp, and thankfully, I heard back from someone on Airbnb who had a room for rent, and I couldnít have asked for anything better - great location, comfortable place, quiet and clean. That evening, I walked around Valencia, taking it all in. Compared to Madrid, the city was incredibly clean, and the people in the shops were much friendlier too, smiling and helping best they could with the language barrier.

Friday morning, I took the train to the track in Cheste to watch the MotoGP practice sessions. With MotoGP being as popular in Europe as the NFL in the United States, I was expecting a much larger crowd. The sun was out and the wind was strong, and I was looking forward to seeing the big race on Sunday. After getting back into Valencia, I explored the Old Town, a part of Valencia that had been around since the days of the Roman Empire.

My Saturday was spent exploring as much of Valencia as I could see, from the Royal Gardens to an old riverbed that had been converted into a park going around the city. The farmerís market and the various plazas were all unique and interesting, and I had an opportunity to go inside the famous cathedral. That evening, as I finished grocery shopping for the next day, a huge protest with several hundreds of people was walking through the cityís main street, taking up many blocks as they marched through with their megaphones and signs. The protest had something to do with not wanting the government to close Canal 9.

Sunday morning, I was up at 6am expecting to beat the crowd into Cheste. I was wrong. There were so many people packed onto the train leaving Valencia, I wasnít sure if the train was overweight as it slowly crept off from the train station. I was inside the track at 8am, and there were more people there that morning than at peak time on Friday. As race time approached, the track was packed with people waiving their flags wearing anything and everything related to their favorite rider. Iíve been to MotoGP races before, but had never seen anything like this. The energy and enthusiasm was insane! The entire Moto3 race and the first half of the MotoGP race did not disappoint. I was seated in the Yellow section, between Turns 1 and 2, and had a great vantage point to see the bikes passing one another. The crowd and the riderís interaction with the crowd and the entire event in general was an amazing experience! Leaving the track with everyone else to take the train back to Valencia was not an amazing experience.

Iím as calm as a fruit stand in New York and maybe thatís strange.
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Old Nov 11th 2013, 12:01 PM   #2
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I've been there 9 years ago, awesome experience.

Glad you enjoyed it!
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Old Nov 11th 2013, 02:09 PM   #3
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Many thanks on the review of your experience; I truly wish I could have been there as well. You witnessed an especially historical event and the setting of a record that is not likely to be broken for a very long time.
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Old Nov 11th 2013, 04:48 PM   #4
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You probably were sitting more then once in the same train that my daughter was in plus 2 other girls from S. Florida , she is also there for the race and still is.
First time for her at a GP outside the USA and I hear she loves it especially with her credentials that she had for this race, who wouldn't .
It sounds like you also had a blast with some great weather.
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Old Nov 12th 2013, 07:07 AM   #5
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Be sure to share the pics she took over there Guido ! - of course censor them first.
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