FMA Visita á España
Posted on 05/04/2017
Our FMA family took off for another international adventure this April; destination: Spain! All of the students and a few of us adults who took Señor Casselli’s class were about to put our Spanish skills to the test! Here we go!
Our first stop was Madrid! And boy did we hit the ground running! We had an overnight flight and only a little bit of time to drop off our luggage at the hotel before we left to explore. We started in two famous squares; The Plaza Major and Puerto Del Sol. We got to take in the hustle and bustle of the city, see myriad of street performers, and of course find the Museum of Ham! I will say the jet lag caught up to some of us when we stopped for lunch. Many of our students took a little nap rather than eating. The famous Prado Museum was our afternoon stop. We split into groups and went on a scavenger hunt, ensuring we saw the most important works on display there, like Las Meninas, by Diego Velázquez and many works by Francisco de Goya.
After a very good night’s rest we were off on our second day in Madrid! We took the Metro to the Zoo Aquarium. We saw animals and sea life from all over the world. We saw a dolphin show and even fed flamingos and goats in the petting zoo! After the zoo, we toured the Royal Palace! This is the official home of the Spanish Royal Family, however right now it is only used for state ceremonies and the Royal Family lives in a smaller palace outside of the city. After the tour it was time to head back to the hotel to get ready for our next city…Cordoba!
The next morning we took a bus to Cordoba. Once there, we had a guided tour of La Mezquita, a mosque that had a cathedral build right in the middle of it after a change in power in the city! It was amazing and certainly not like anything I’ve ever seen. After our tour we headed to a local restaurant for a tapas demonstration. Our FMA scholars got to be sous chefs and help prepare 3 different tapas and a dessert. The best part? We all got to try them after the demonstration! My favorite was the dessert; juicy orange slices with a cinnamon honey drizzle!
Morning came and the FMA crew was off again. This time we were heading to Sevilla! First we visited the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain…Ole! Not everyone is in to bullfighting, but it was very interesting to hear the history and pageantry of it all, since it is such an important part of Spanish culture. We rounded out the day with a horse & buggy ride around the city, and later, a relaxing boat ride down the river.
Our second day in Sevilla was full of wonderful architecture and ornate designs. We visited the Plaza de España filled with beautiful tile art decorating the bridges as well as the perimeter of the building. We also toured the Real Alcazar, a palace known for its beauty and as an example of Mudéjar architecture. Our last stop for day was to the Cathedral of Sevilla. It is the largest gothic cathedral in world and is where Christopher Columbus is buried—although according to the tour guide two other locations in the world claim to also house his burial site, so who knows? After the tour, the more ambitious and energetic of the crew set off to climb the Geralda Tower. Our effort was rewarded with beautiful panoramic views of the city and a well deserved breeze.
After the sight-seeing was complete, Ms. Harris treated the scholars to a movie in Spanish! They saw “Boss Baby” and really tested out their Spanish skills! They also had some tasty snacks and did a little bowling. Sadly, all good things must come to an end. It was time to pack for the trek back to Madrid. The next morning we boarded the bus and headed back to where all our fun started for one more night before our flight home the next morning.
We were all so lucky to participate in this adventure. It was full of beautiful sites to see, cities to explore, new foods to try, opportunities to practice our Spanish, and of course, the experience of soaking up the rich culture and traditions in this part of the world. Thanks to all who helped make this trip possible. I have only one question left to ask…where we going next year?!?!?