Sunday, July 13, 2014

Semana 5

We meet again, padres! Welcome back to the blog. This week we had a different mix of activities. 

On Monday, students had a pretty normal day full of classes, lunch, sports and theater and choir practice. As we approach the end of the program and thus the farewell show, the plays, we can say for sure that the songs and dances are coming together very nicely. 

On Tuesday, we took a half hour bus ride to a city called Almagro to watch a play called "Donde hay agravios, no hay celos" (Where there's offense , there's no room for no jealousy). We arrived well before the start of the play, and thus had time to kill in the Plaza Mayor where students ate snacks brought from home, did a little souvenir shopping, enjoyed coffees and desserts, and relaxed and chatted with each other as well as with some of the host families who came along as well. 

In the Plaza Mayor
 Just the chicas guapas
 And I guess we need one with those handsome boys too...

We had to take advantage of some photo ops with the beautiful  night scenery in Almagro of course!

 Stay tuned for the program magazine (a kind of yearbook of the whole trip) that your son or daughter will bring home, as it will feature all of the selfies and much more!

Finally it was time to head down to the theater to watch the play under the open night sky.

Almost time for curtain call!

Students all enjoyed the play very much and while the Spanish at times was difficult to comprehend, students were able to understand much more than they thought they would. They have all made such significant progress with their Spanish!

On Wednesday, per the normal ritual, we headed to the cinema and to the restaurant 100 Montaditos to chow down some delicious bocadillos. I wonder how we will survive without this place upon arrival back to the US!

Thursday we had a Disney night where students gathered at the school to view The Lion King in Spanish. This idea was definitely a hit and there are many requests to have another Disney night next week. Unfortunately, we have dozens of requests and only one night open...we look forward to seeing which flick the students decide on.

Friday rolled around and we headed out of Ciudad Real, Madrid bound!

Here we are, awaiting the train AVE, Alta Velocidad Español (High Speed Spain train) to zip us over to Madrid.

Aboard the train! 

Here we are upon arrival to Madrid, just outside the AVE station,  ready to explore the city.

 Quick pitstop for some breakfast. Here we are in one of the grandest cities in the world, and where do most of the students head for a coffee? Yep, good ole' Starbucks! Never seen such excitement over a Starbucks before, it's as if it's their first time :)

After breakfast, we separated into two groups, one headed to The Museum of Reina Sofia, and the other to The Prado Museum. 

Here is the Reina Sofia group in front of the museum.

 On our way inside Reina Sofia, posing in front of some interesting artwork that we are not really sure how to describe or interpret!

 A little Salvador Dalí inside the museum...:) Taking photos was not aloud in the Picasso exhibits :(

After touring the two museums, both groups met back up together to continue the adventure in Madrid.

While waiting for the other group, we had to get a shot with the local policía, and they were all about it!


 Here we all are at the Palacio de Comunicaciones (Communications Palace), in the shade of course trying to take as much advantage of it as we can--we've got a long day of trekking in the sun is ahead of us!

 Here we pose real quick on our way to our next stop, the Congreso de los Diputados (Congress of the Deputies)

Here we are at our destination, Congress of Deputies, about to head in and get an inside look at where the most prominent and influential Spanish politicians convene to discuss the issues of the day. Unfortunately, taking photos was not permitted inside,  but we were all amazed by the intricate architecture and beautiful ornament of where the President of Congress along with the congressmen and women meet to conduct business.

Marching our way through the streets of Madrid, heading to a meeting point where we would then depart for lunch and free time to purchase souvenirs.

 After lunch, our next stop was the Palacio Real (Royal Palace). 

Here we are about to head in to the palace.

We took a guided tour through the  palace, exploring dozens of rooms where previous monarchs and their families dined, slept, and of course, we got to see the previous thrones of the monarchs.

Sadly, our day in Madrid had to come to an end at some point. Here we are in the Plaza Mayor before we head back to the train station to travel back to Ciudad Real. Hopefully some students will have the opportunity to explore this fabulous city again if they return to Spain in the future!

Hasta luego Madrid! 

Over the weekend students unwound and relaxed with their host families. Some stayed in Ciudad Real while others traveled with their families to neighboring cities. Students are all doing extremely well and have had the time of their life, but they are beginning to grow a bit sad as they realize their journey in Spain is quickly coming to a close. 

Hope you enjoyed the blog! Until next time, padres!

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