“Mom, can I go? It’s a lot of money but it will be the trip of a lifetime.” That was my plea to convince my mother to let me go to Spain with a few other kids from the Spanish club at my high school. I love Spanish class and I love to travel but I never imagined the amazing experience that I was in for that summer. That summer contained the single best trip of my life that I will never forget. In those ten days I changed. I grew up. My perspective of the world was altered and I will forever be a different person because of this trip.
In early June, I was to spend ten days traveling around Spain. We, the group, landed in Madrid and would wind our way around Spain to Segovia, Burgos, Bilbao, San Sebastian, Pamplona, and Zaragoza until we ended our trip in Barcelona. We were so busy, but each place was special and no matter how much or little time we spent in each place they were all very sentimental and left a lasting impact on my life.
In Madrid we went to El Palacio Real, El Plaza Mayor, and El Museo Prado. These were some of my favorite places because the people were so nice and welcoming. El Palacio Real was so beautiful. In El Plaza Mayor the people were so comforting the area had a metropolitan feel. El Museo Prado was my favorite place that I went to on the whole trip. The extensive collection of works was amazing and really made me appreciate artists like El Greco. We had one problem with the trip. Because our group had so many places to go and so little time to do it our tour guide Richard Canning was constantly hurrying us along, causing us to be very frustrated. Richard was a very cosmopolitan Britain who was very concerned with deadlines, rules and the “proper way.” He rushed us across streets, away from local stores, and through cities faster than we wanted to. So in Pamplona, Segovia, and Burgos we were there only about a half an hour to half a day but the sites we saw were beautiful. The great aqueduct was so powerful in Segovia. The path of the running of the bulls was so interesting because it looked so dangerous. Burgos’s cathedrals were delightful. In Bilbao we went to the famous Guggenheim Museum. In San Sebastian the group stayed in a castle that was renovated into a hotel. We shopped and went to the lovely coast and sat in the soft white sand. In Barcelona I walked Las Ramblas and went to Museo Picasso. It was there that I really started to respect and admire Picasso’s work. He is now my favorite artist. I also went to the beach at Barcelona and watched the ships on the shoreline. In Zaragoza we shopped at the enormous seven-story El Corte Ingles.
This busy trip caused me to think about how other cultures live. I now realize that the United States isn’t the only country on this Earth. I realize that there are other ways to live; some are even better than my way. I learned that my actions don’t affect just me but people that are thousands of miles away. I learned to appreciate and enjoy fine works of art, architecture, and cuisine. I took on more responsibility while I was there. I am now a more open minded person and respect other cultures and countries much more than I did before.
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