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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ashley Connelly, Week 4, Madrid

Hi everyone,

The new king and queen 
Flag supporting the republic
It's been another week in Madrid and the World Cup has officially started! Unfortunately, while the rest of the world is still buzzing after a series of amazing games, the excitement in Spain has died as the reigning world champs have already exited the tournament. As a huge fan of soccer and Spanish football, I have to say I was really looking forward to spending the World Cup here. Luckily, Madrid has been able to channel that excitement into another historical event- the new king's coronation. This past Thursday as Madrid celebrated Corpus Christi, the city celebrated the new king's reign. However, this show of Spanish pride has not gone uncontested. Throughout Madrid, the Spanish flag and support of the royal family has been met with a call to restore the Spanish republic once again. While red and yellow Spanish flags fly throughout the city, you can't help but notice the flags of the republic with an additional purple stripe.                          

With the excitement of the king's coronation and the disappointment of the Spanish nation team setting the mood in Madrid, my fellow Wolverines and I headed to Barcelona where as Catalans they did not care about the king or even the soccer team. Heading to Barcelona earlier Friday morning, we took advantage of the Spanish way of celebrating holidays. If there is a holiday on a Thursday here, Spaniards also take Friday off too in what they call a puente or bridge in English. Since Corpus Christi was on Thursday, I had a 4-day weekend to head to Barcelona and sight-see.
Park Guell

When we got to Barcelona, the first thing we did was finally hit the beach. Because it was too cold before we left Michigan and Madrid is in the middle of Spain, it was nice to finally lay out in the sun and relax. The following day, we hit up as many of the Barcelona tourist points as we could. This included a tour of the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, and Casa Batllo. Most of the places we visited were designed by the famous Catalan architect Gaudi. While everywhere we went was amazingly beautiful, Gaudi never had the chance to completely finish them. For instance, work began on the Sagrada Familia 132 years ago and isn't supposed to be done until 2026- 100 years after Gaudi's death. Even though Gaudi didn't get to finish his work, walking around Barcelona, you can see his grand impact.

Casa Batllo

Sagrada Familia Passion Facade 
The final day we were in Barcelona we completed our tour of tourist hot spots walking around La Rambla, the Barcelona cathedral, and Gothic area before finally hitting the beach one last time. After criss-crossing Barcelona all weekend, relaxing on the beach was a much need break even if I did leave a tad bit red. Ultimately, our trip to Barcelona was a success and it was such a different experience than being in Madrid. It was as if we left Spain especially considering that everything is in a different language. It was an amazing experience but I'm glad to be back in Madrid and excited for the week to come.


  1. Ashley,

    I couldn't believe that Spain lost in the World Cup! That was such a surprise. I'm glad, though, that the excitement of the King's Coronation has made up for the upset in futbol. What a time to be in Spain! That is such a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

    Barcelona looks absolutely beautiful. I've heard that it's another world inside of Spain- like you said- it felt like you left Spain entirely. The Gaudi style is very unique. Are the people who are finishing his projects trained somehow so that they carry out his vision? That's very interesting.

    How is work going? Any new projects?


  2. By the way- that is a HUGE mural of the King and Queen!!!