How could anyone pass up the chance to go to Europe, meet new people, experience foreign languages, cultures and foods, and escape from home for ten whole days? Well, I sure couldn’t! Last year, when my teacher, Mr. Fraley first told the Spanish and French 2 classes about the Europe trip, I was so excited. I’d always wanted to travel to Europe, and now I was going to get the opportunity. There was only one problem. Where was I going to get the $4000 to pay for the trip? So, I made a deal with my parents. We would each pay a third of the money for the trip. After telling my grandparents about the trip, they contributed about $650, and my school also made a generous contribution. In exchange for the school’s financial aid, we all worked our share of concessions during the volleyball and basketball seasons.
On the morning of March 25, 2010, we met at the airport at 6:45 and prepared to board the plane. After about 20 hours on planes and in airports, we landed in the beautiful city of Madrid. We had finally made it, and we were all ready for bed, but it was 8 in the morning, and we had a whole day ahead of us. Since we had a small group, we would be combining with two other groups, one from Ohio and the other from Florida. They wouldn’t arrive for another day and a half though, so we had our cool tour guide Joaquin all to ourselves. He showed us all the major sites and filled us in on all the history behind them, while making us walk 10 miles all over Madrid. He then dropped us off at the Prado Museum where we saw some amazing paintings. On the way back to the hotel, we were all dead on our feet and nodding off on the metro. Even though we were tired, we didn’t get cranky. This was going to be the best 10 days of our lives, and we weren’t going to let a couple lost hours of sleep put us in bad moods.
For the next couple days in Madrid, we met our other tour groups, experienced a Spanish flea market, and visited the Reina Sofia Museum while walking another 40 miles, losing even more sleep, and seeing amazing street performers everywhere. We also spent a day in Toledo, the religious capital of Spain and the steel capital of the world. After Madrid, we all hopped on the bus for Barcelona. On the way there we stopped in Zaragoza for a couple hours to wake up and see a beautiful cathedral.
In Barcelona, we took a tour of the city then we saw a mosaic park and the Sagrada Familia Cathedral, which were both designed by the famous architect Antoni GaudÃ. We also visited the Picasso Museum, tried our best to understand Catalon, and spent an hour on the beach.
After Barcelona, we packed our bags again and headed off to France. We made 2 short stops in Gerona and Perpignan, where we boarded a night train to Paris. We made the most of our one day by visiting some must-see sites: the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame. The next morning, after some emotional good-byes, we headed to the airport for our long journey home.
Now that I’ve been to Spain and France, all I want to do is go back. I miss everything about Europe, especially the food.
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