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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Ashley Connelly, Week 5, Madrid

Hi everyone,

I can't believe it's been another week! Time has been flying even though this past week was slow and relaxed. On Monday, I visited the suburbs of Madrid with a friend from work. We went to his house in Majadahonda (which I still can't pronounce correctly). While my friend was showing me around, he mentioned that he thought Majadahonda was similar to how Americans live. Although Majadahonda definitely embraced the strip mall vibe of suburban American life, the neighborhoods were too apartment-complex like to embody truly the American way. The main element Majadahonda was missing was space which I've noticed to be a major difference between Spain and the States. Here, everything is smaller, closer together. Even in the suburb, we were able to conveniently walk from place to place- something that is unimaginable in my hometown. The difference in size is hard to explain. It's something you have to experience  and observe firsthand to understand.
Temple de Debod

Royal Palace from Temple de Debod

In addition to exploring the suburbs of Madrid, I ventured to a couple parks around the Royal Palace and re-discovered the area where I spent a lot of my time during my vacation to Madrid two years ago. First, I visited Temple of Debod. With an amazing view of the Royal Palace, Temple of Debod is mainly known for its replica of Ancient Egyptian ruins. At Temple of Debod, I dabbled in the local pastime of sunbathing and I think I'm finally at the base color of Spaniards.
Royal Palace from Sabatini Gradens

Sabatini Gardens

After Temple of Debod, I walked around the Royal Palace and the Plaza de Oriente. Seeing the grandeur of the Royal Palace and the beauty of the accompanying gardens was a great reminder of the history of Spain. A lot of people I meet here like to remind me the United States has no history, but the youth of the States doesn't sink in until you're standing in front of such monumental places.
Plaza de Oriente

Church where I went to Easter mass
Finally, I walked around Opera and Puerta del Sol and re-discovered many places I visited during my time here during high school. I re-found the Convent where the nuns iron the clothes of the pope and make cookies in the mean time. I also found the church where I attended Easter mass. Even though I am not very religious, it was an amazing experience and it is rewarding to be able to situate my prior experiences with my new knowledge of Madrid.

1 comment:

  1. Ashley,

    I'm glad that you were able to travel around and visit so many places. I understand what you're saying about the differences in the usage of space. Remember, though, that your hometown may be very different than what is considered "typical America". My hometown sounds like it is semi-similar to yours, but we do have quite a bit of condos and apartments. So, I can relate to that aspect of your description. Still, it is interesting that you're noticing these differences!

    Your pictures are great. Your statement about the "youth" of the U.S. really struck me. I like to think that we have such a rich history, but I guess it is nothing compared to Spain and other countries overseas. Good point- you've really got me thinking!

    How is work? Any new projects?