Back to Madrid!

Last night Real Madrid won the UEFA Champions League, and we returned to Madrid today after an amazing trip to Santander and Bilbao. After getting back to our hotel we all rested for a little while before heading down to La Plaza de Sol, one of the central plazas in Madrid, to watch the return parade of the soccer team and to get a glimpse of the trophy. The plaza was packed so tightly with soccer fans and tourists that the police had to come through on motorcycles to clear a path for the team’s buses. We stood there patiently for nearly an hour and a half before the soccer team actually arrived, but when they finally did the crowd went absolutely wild, cheering, jumping, climbing lamp posts trying to get the best view. Luckily we were pushed directly to the front of the crowd so we had an unobstructed view of the trophy. Afterwards everyone followed the buses up the street while we returned to the hotel. Sports, specifically soccer, seems to be a uniting force in Spain, because nearly everyone is a fan of Real Madrid, even though there are multiple teams in the country. This is an aspect of sports I wish we saw more in the United States, and maybe it is prevalent in some parts, but I have yet to experience it. Overall I feel like Spain is much more lively than the US, which is very fun but also extremely tiring!