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Vamos a España

By Julia Esposito

This past spring break, 26 students ranging from ninth to 12th grade traveled to Spain with NHP’s World Language department. Through a 10-day adventure, the students were immersed in the Spanish culture and language, all under trip-organizer and Spanish teacher, Mrs. Shirley Pincay.

The first day of the trip began at 7 a.m. when the plane landed in sunny Madrid. Although somewhat exhausted from the six-hour plane ride and the harsh six-hour leap forward into a new time zone, many students were struck by the intricate beauty and architecture that filled the streets of Madrid. After sightseeing, the group went up to the rooftop of one of the tallest buildings in the area to get an amazing, overhead view of the whole city.

“The view from the rooftop was absolutely breathtaking, especially since it was the first day. I really thought, ‘it isn’t going to get better than this,’ and being able to sit and relax after walking for so long was the highlight of my day,” senior Ivy Tran said.

Source by Julia Esposito

Seniors Sophia Carrotta, Alison Leontis, Adrianna Gomes and Julia Esposito enjoy a fun night out in Granada.

After stopping at Plaza Mayor, Plaza de Oriente and Estadio Santiago Bernabéu (home of Real Madrid), the group dined together at an authentic Spanish restaurant to end their first night.

“I ate all of it every night,” junior Bobby Kuskowski said. “The crème brûlée was definitely my favorite part!”

After spending the following day exploring the Prado Museum, having a picnic under the blossom trees in Parque del Retiro and shopping around the city, the group left Madrid early Saturday morning and headed for Toledo and Granada.

Once they arrived in Toledo, the group explored the Primate Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo and its intricate design and art. After, they ventured to a sword-wielding store to learn about the craft and even purchase real swords.

“After watching a live viewing of a craftsman making a sword, I knew I had to buy one for myself,” senior Peter Langone said. “The details on it are super intricate, and it can definitely help protect me from Barcelona’s pickpocketers.”

Source by Julia Esposito

Students take in views such as a sunny day in Seville with a picturesque view of the town.

The following day, the students explored the beauty of the Alhambra Palace in Granada. Given the time of their visit, the spring flowers were blooming and the ambience was breathtaking. In the afternoon, the group was able to catch an Easter procession in the Plaza Isabel la Católica. That night, everyone attended an authentic Flamenco dance lesson and dinner. After learning and practicing the moves, a dance battle commenced between the teachers and students.

“Granada has to be my favorite place we visited,” senior Adrianna Gomes said. “Exploring the Alhambra is something I will never forget!”

The next morning, the group was off to Seville. After visiting the captivating Plaza de España, students and teachers climbed to the top of the bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville to experience the bells ringing live. The next day, the group spent the morning painting ceramic tiles and exploring Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla, a bullfighting arena.

“The tiles were so intricate and it took a lot of hard work to complete,” junior Alex Tiwari said. “It was fun to give painting a try, and it took a bunch of precision.”

Source by Julia Esposito

Trip organizer and Spanish teacher, Mrs. Shirley Pincay, poses with senior Julia Esposito in the Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla.

Then, after a six-hour high-speed train ride, the group arrived at their final city, Barcelona. The following two days were spent enjoying the vibrant life and music that filled the streets, beautiful scenery at Ciutadella Park and Park Güell and a cable car experience that allowed the group to see all of Barcelona.

Although many were not ready to leave and wished to stay longer, Spain will remain a lifelong memory for most of the students and teachers. Through the new bonds made and expanded perspectives, this trip is one that the group will cherish.


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