It was sort of like going to a running of the bulls. You find a spot and wait and wait -- then suddenly they come. And it's great! Up close they're everything you hoped for, and the air is electric. And then -- in a flash -- they're gone down the street.
I just got back from the "recorrido de honor" of Spain's football team, its triumphant tour through the city.
They were supposed to meet the King at 5 p.m., the Prime Minister at 6 p.m., and begin the tour in an open-top bus at 7 p.m. They ran late, and the bus finally pulled out at 7:30. It would make a wide circle around the city, then the team was supposed to arrive at a victory celebration across the river from the Royal Palace at 10 p.m.
I was at the traffic circle near Atocha train station near my home at 8 p.m., and it was already crowded.
And the crowd cheered blasted horns and vuvuzelas and sang and chanted and waved flags nonstop the whole time it waited, which was a long time.
It was so noisy I didn't hear the jet planes when they flew over.
But finally, the team bus got closer and closer and then it was here!
The members of the team were cheering back at the crowd, laughing, dancing, and celebrating, just as happy to see us as we were to see them.
And then it was gone, but at the back of the bus, the team captain, Iker Casillas, was waving around the World Cup Trophy for all to see, and it sparkled in the twilight beautifully.
It was already 10 o'clock, and they had a long way to go tonight.
-- Sue Burke