Madrid: Madrid is a beautiful place which is the capital of Spain. My first and second days on my Spain trip were spent there. The first day, we were caught with crazy weather. It was hailing very badly but we still went out and explored the city. We took the subway to Teatro Real. We walked around until we reached our dinner place. For the first time in my life, I had Spanish omelet. After dinner, we walked and took the subway back to the hotel. The next day, we were given a lot of free time. First, we took a bus tour around Madrid. We visited the bullfighting arena, the soccer arena, and a lot more historical sites. We toured a palace and its amazing architecture. After that, we were given free time for lunch and shopping. After lunch and shopping, we were taken on another tour of the city, this time we walked around. We visited the kilometer zero. Following that, we ate our first taste of churros and chocolate. For dinner, we were given more traditional Spanish food.
Toledo: Toledo was a place which is famous for its ironwork. Its steel is bendy and flexible, yet sturdy and retains its shape. We visited Toledo for several hours, yet it felt like not enough time to fully explore what the city had to offer.
Cordoba: Even though we only spent a day in Cordoba, we had a fantastic time. We visited a extremely beautiful imperial garden and was taken on a tour of the entire city. We also visited a church turned mosque. Its beautiful symmetrical arches were a sight to behold! After that we walked around the city some more, going into alleyways and popping out in gorgeous places.
Sevilla: We spent the second half of the day in Sevilla. We walked over 13 miles to see what Andalusia’s capital had to offer. We started by going up what the locals call “Las Setas” the worlds largest wooden structure. After the spectacular views, we bought handmade sweets from nuns in a monastery. To burn off the calories, we continued along the River Guadalquivir and then to the University of Sevilla. An exciting day ended with gorgeous nocturnal views of Sevilla’s old city wall, visible from the windows of the hotel.
Day 2: Day two in Sevilla started with a stroll through La Plaza de España, followed by a guided bus tour. Students then learned about mudéjar architecture by visiting the Real Alcázar. The next stop was Sevilla’s gothic cathedral and Giralda tower. In the cathedral, Spain’s largest, we saw the tomb of Christopher Columbus. In the evening we took a flamenco class and then enjoyed dinner while watching a performance by professionals.
Malaga Province: Today’s adventure in Spain was a hike through El Caminito del Rey in the Málaga province. In addition to the spectacular views and treacherous walkways, students learned about the history, geology, and biology of the gorge and surrounding area from an expert guide. We then made our way to Granada.
Granada: We spent the morning at one of Europe’s most enchanting sights, the Alhambra in Granada. Inside the Alhambra walls, we explored the palace of Carlos V, the beautiful Nasarid palaces, and the Generalife gardens. We also saw a demonstration of how the Moors detailed furniture with beautiful geometric shapes and designs. We then went to the Albaicín neighborhood to take in the winding streets and panoramic views of the Alhambra. The tour finished outside the cathedral, the resting place of Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand II.
Malaga: After Granada, we left for Malaga province to see the countryside and learn about Andalucian cuisine. We first visited the town of Alfarnate to see how olive oil is made. We then went to neighboring Alfarnatejo to learn about some of the typical crops grown in the region. We even got to help plant some seeds! We were given the opportunity to try some honey and almonds that were grown in the region. We were then divided into two groups to go into the houses of local families and eat a home-cooked meal!
Day 2: We finished our final day in Malaga and Spain with a beautiful hike(Juanar in the mountains of Marbella) all the way up to a panoramic view of Malaga and even Africa.