Spain trip with Senora Thompson was unforgettable

Kana Roarty

By Kana Roarty

It wasn’t until I was sipping on a cool glass of Minute-Maid Orange Juice watching a flamenco dancer perform in a tiny cave-like room that could only fit 30 people, that it really sank in that I was in Spain, a country whose nights didn’t include sleeping and days that were jam-packed with adventures.

It was when I was running past 26 gates in the JFK airport with 10 minutes to reach my connecting flight to Madrid that the thrill of the trip began. The trip started with the beloved Spanish teacher Rachel Thompson and 13 students which blossomed into something incredible.

Reaching Sevilla after a smooth six-hour flight, I was greeted with beautiful architecture and huge palm trees lining the cobblestone street. Taking in the transcendent Semana Santa processions, I was able to see huge floats carrying items that were hundreds of years old. Eating at a restaurant named Toby’s, we devoured the tapas served there the moment they hit the table. Without a doubt, the Spanish omelet would be considered a five-star meal for me with the rich tastes of eggs, cheese and potatoes all put into one slice.

Entering one of the oldest Catholic churches in the world, we climbed a whopping 40 flights of stairs to reach the top of a bell tower to take in the breathless view of the city.

Leaving Sevilla, we hopped onto a tour bus with our guide Juan to glide into the city of Granada. Making a short stop to the childhood home of world-renowned poet Federico García Lorca, Thompson had a very emotional heart-to-heart moment stepping into the house, because Lorca is one of her favorite poets.

Once we reached the city, we were able to understand how Arabian culture heavily influenced the area with translations and rich foods deriving from the country. Walking a lengthy three-hour tour to visit the Alhambra (located next to the Sierra Nevada), we were bemused by how such an old “palace-like” structure was able to maintain its beauty for more than nine centuries.

Staying only a short time in Granda, we then drove over to the rural city of Rhonda where we walked nine whole miles on a hike to tour the steep mountains and countryside. We also completed a scavenger hunt to discover the treasures of the location, which included eating at possibly the best bakery ever, Daver’s, where we ate a delicate piece of rich, smooth coffee cake.

Our last night in this wonderous city included a vegetarian cooking class where we dished up meals such as Patatas Bravas (fries with a tomato/pepper based sauce), soup and a delicious lemon yogurt dessert.

Our last, highly memorable stop was in the famous city of Madrid. We visited iconic art museums such as Prado and the Reina Sofia, taking in the work of artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Francisco Goya.

Waking up the morning of our flight back to the U.S. was heart-wrenching as I had felt that Spain was almost like my new home. It gave me some life-long friends and memories that will endure throughout time. Although the cobblestone streets definitely took a toll on my feet, looking down on them when leaving our hotel, it was the one thing that I would strangely miss the most, because it reminded me that I was in this beautiful country and that each pebble represented each experience that I went through, good or bad.