Spain Trip 2009

During spring vacation this year, Sra. Anderson traveled to Spain with her husband and 11 students from Ledyard High School. The group flew from Boston to Munich to Madrid. The trip began with a visit to Toledo that consisted of tours of the cathedral, synagogue, and church of San Tomé to see the artwork of El Greco. It also included shopping for the famous swords and knives made of Toledo steel, as well as the beautiful “damasquinado” jewelry and accessories for which Toledo is well known. Students participated in a “scavenger hunt” here for various items in the city, which allowed them to practice their Spanish with some of the local citizens.

Next the group visited Åvila and learned about the importance of the nun Santa Teresa. They also enjoyed climbing on the walls that surround this beautiful city and the views of the many storks and other wildlife that live in the town.

From Åvila the group traveled to Salamanca, the city known for its famous university, Roman bridge, and Plaza Mayor. Students ate churros con chocolate in a café in the Plaza, danced at a local disco, and spent lots of time shopping, exploring and practicing their Spanish.

After Salamanca the next stop was Segoviá, which included a tour of the castle and views of the well-known Roman aqueduct that crosses through the city.

Next was a visit to El Escorial, in the town of San Lorenzo. El Escorial was the palace/monastery built by Felipe II of Spain and it contains pieces of art and literature as well as the tombs of many of the famous royalty of Spain. Students learned a lot about the history of Spain and the importance of the Catholic religion in the country’s development here.

After El Escorial the next stop was El Valle de los Caídos. This is a beautiful site in the Guadarrama mountains north of Madrid and is a memorial to all those who died in the Spanish Civil War. Francisco Franco is buried here.

The last destination for the group was the capital city of Madrid. Here everyone visited the Prado and Reina Sofía museums and saw works of art by Velasquez, El Greco, Goya, Picasso, Miró and many others. Students enjoyed exploring the city via metro and eating at the Hard Rock Café in Madrid. As this was the group’s final day in Spain, lots of time was also spent shopping for last minute souvenirs and eating the turrón, pan, paella, helado, dulces and other typical Spanish foods one last time.

Everyone in the group had a terrific time and felt sad to be leaving Spain. All of the students were able to use their Spanish skills and many were pleased at their ability to communicate effectively with native speakers. Some had such a great time that they plan to return again as part of study abroad programs at their universities. The guide for the trip, Samuel Bull, made the trip especially fun and enjoyable.

Stay tuned for news of the next trip to Spain that will tentatively be offered in the spring of 2011!





El Escorial/San Lorento Valle de los Caidos