Editors’ note: A group of Lyons High School Students is spending their spring break in Spain; the following are blogs from that trip. To follow more of their adventures, the reader may go to my.eftours.com/departures/RATJ/tour_group.
Madrid: Day 1
Super Long 03/24/11
Well, we’ve all achieved a new skill: staying up for over 30 hours straight! Whoo! The flight to Dallas was blissfully short and “flew” (ha-ha) by so fast. But then came the nine hour
marathon. It really ended up being not that bad, but still, it’s hard to overcome nine hours. There were enough empty seats on the plane that virtually everyone got to jockey around enough to sit in the general location they wanted. Since we left at 6 p.m. Dallas time, 5 p.m. in Colorado, it really wasn’t time for bed right away, though that didn’t stop some people! We saw some pretty crazy people like this one guy who’s sleeping mask made him look like a raven and he NEVER MOVED and this woman who wouldn’t take the pillow off her face whenever she moved and slept completely bent over in her seat! Can you say uncomfortable?! Chris Boucher and I do not recommend the movie Morning Glory, though it is pretty entertaining if you watch it without sound and just make fun of Harrison Ford’s wacky facial expressions. :) Really, the whole trip couldn’t have gone smoother as no one lost anything and Keith was waiting for us right outside the gate.
When we arrived at the hotel it was about 11 in the morning and by the time we checked in it was time to meet with the other groups from Missouri and Minnesota at 12 noon. Our guide took us on this walking tour of Madrid along the Borrellia de Letras where some of the most famous writers have lived, through Puerta de Sol and Plaza Mayor. We even got to meet Spiderman! (Though he’s let himself go, like, A LOT). Then we had free time for “lunch” and exploring. Victoria, Dana, Piper, Erin, Leah, Emily and I ate this authentic pizza and then got to eat it in this giant oven! It was four flights into the basement and was kinda scary to eat in, but really fun! Then we as a group walked back to the hotel (and didn’t even get lost- that’s breaking one of the tour guides cardinal rules!) to rest for a bit before going to the Museo Del Prado. They had so many paintings and complicated rooms! Marcos, Lucy and I got lost at least five times, and only got shushed once! Ha! After a light dinner we came back to the hotel where the boys tried to convince us to go to an “arcade” (really slot machines) but their plot failed and Chris only won 1Euro with Mr. Garcia. Overall, a totally successful start to what promises to be a fantastic trip!
Madrid: Day 2
The March of Madrid 03/25/11
After the marathon of the day before, it was beyond nice to sleep in a bit and then have a leisurely morning as just our group. We ended up going to the modern art museum next door to the hotel, The Paseo, where Picasso’s famous Guernica is displayed. We’ve studied this painting a ton in class, so it really meant something to be able to see it up close. The most successful part of that trip, though, was fitting 13 people in the tiny glass elevator. Yeah, we may have gotten a few looks for that one, but those stairs were STEEP¡
Probably one of everyone’s favorite stops so far was the Royal Palace. We weren’t allowed to take pictures, which is probably a good thing because otherwise everyone’s families would have been subjected to tortuous slideshows of 1000s of pictures. It was really that impressive. The intricacy put into every detail, especially the ceilings and walls, was just astounding. And the fact that people had actually lived in these rooms and went about their everyday lives in such a work of art was mind-boggling. The boys especially enjoyed the armory, which they visited while the girls were in the bathroom (again).
After that we went on a “driving” tour (note the quotes and the title- we pretty much walked) of Madrid to see some of the most beautiful/famous buildings. Really, even the McDonalds was pretty. Then we returned to Puerta de Sol for a little free time pre-dinner. Luckily we found a little souvenir shop that had these fabulous sweatshirts with parodies of the Monster energy drink logo, but for Madrid. That’s right, we got matching sweatshirts. And we’re wearing them to school. So cool.
Sadly, they were short one XL for Forrest (note: for the purposes of the trip Forrest= Forrest Donnell & Jr. = Forrest Simpson. Some confusion is avoided that way. Some.) but the place we were having dinner decided to open late so we had an extra hour to traipse around the city to three more of the same store to find another one. But it’s okay guys, we got it.
So back to dinner, which was delicious pasta and pork, and Mimi’s birthday¡¡ We got to practice our Spanish singing even that night. :)
Combined with the excursion of yesterday, I think everyone’s feet were more than a little tired, but we chilled at the hotel before passing out for our early morning the next day. Day 2, ¡Fantastica!