LHS Spanish Students Travel to Spain

Eight Lutheran High Students and Teacher Take a 10-Day trip to Spain
Posted on 06/06/2018
Spain Trip

On Monday, June 4th LHS Spanish Teacher Emily Meier and 8 of her Advanced Spanish students left Kansas City for a 10-day trip to Spain. On the trip the group plans to visit a number of cities including Barcelona, Valencia, Granada, Costa del Sol, and Madrid. They will return on Thursday, June144th. Interested readers may track their trip by checking back to this page daily to read comments about their travels made by Ms. Meier.

Day 1 consisted of sitting on airplanes- no issues, smooth connections, everything arrived on time!

¡Buenas noches de Barcelona!

Day 2 we arrived in Barcelona, made it through customs (see passport stamp group picture below), got our checked bags, and met our Tour Director, Borja. We also met the group from Ohio who have been very nice and energetic on this long day as well. Next we transferred to the hotel where each group got one room to store luggage in and change for the day. After that quick turn around our bus drove us into the city and we walked to the Plaza San Jaime for the beginning of our bike tour. About 10 mins into the bike tour I was so tired I no longer thought it was such a good idea to ride bikes while jetlagged, but we all made it through and even had a great time!

Some highlights include Ciutadella Park, Barceloneta Beach, Barceloneta Neighborhood, Olympic Village, and the Catalunan Parliament building. After the bike tour we grabbed a quick lunch on the way to the metro to head to the FC Barcelona Stadium- Camp Nou. I was nervous we would arrive late because the bike tour started late, but everything worked out perfectly and we got to experience public transportation! We had our own private, guided tour of the FC Barcelona Museum and Stadium by a lady who is from Barcelona and has season ticket members with her family (a true Barça fan!) She was so enthusiastic about the history of the club and the success of the club it’s hard not to be a fan now (at least for me ).

Some highlights from the stadium tour were- we got to see the champions league trophies, Messi’s golden boots, sit on the bench, go up in the press box, and step out (almost) on to the field. Some interesting cultural insights into the club were some famous names of players throughout history such as Kubala, Di Stefano, Cruft, and of course Messi. I found the theory behind the La Masia training program fascinating- they call it “fútbol total” so not only training skills, but working on the whole player- diet, attitude, behavior, etc. Our guide said players trained in La Masia academy are trained from a young age to be skillful, yet humble. It definitely made me think of a Sporting KC player who came from La Masia academy (Ilie Sánchez) - this description definitely fits him. Finally the cultural aspect of the tour was how the Camp Nou stadium helped keep the Catalan spirit and Catalan language alive during the reign of the dictator Franco (1939-1975) during which time the speaking of Catalan was outlawed, but was not able to be enforced in such large gathering as soccer games. That’s why even today the soccer team is owned by Catalonians and is a part of their identity.

After the tour we had some free time to shop in the world’s largest FC Barcelona store and relax in the air conditioning for a bit. Then we headed to dinner with a quick stop at a gummy bear store and after dinner our bus picked us up and we headed to the hotel. Now it’s time to rest and hopefully be over the Jetlag!

¡Buenos días de Valencia!

Day 3 started with a bus tour of Barcelona where they explained the history of the city, especially because the city changed a lot when the International Exposition was held there in 1929 and when the Olympics were held there in 1992. In 1929 they added two towers that are copies of the bell tower of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice (see picture below). They also added a fountain called the Magic Fountain where we saw a light and water show in the evening (see pictures below). In 1992 they added many buildings for athlete housing and stadiums that are now used for apartments and events. Interestingly enough they also made several beaches because there used to not be any beaches in the city of Barcelona itself.
We also drove up on a mountain called Montjuïc and learned about the layout of Barcelona- it is in between two mountains on one side and two rivers on one side, so there is not much room for the city to grow out and therefore apartments in the city are very expensive and many people that work there live in small towns outside of the city because it isn’t is more affordable.
Along those lines, Barcelona plus suburbs has a population of 3.6 Million which is the 3rd largest population density in Europe. Park Güell was the first stop on the bus tour. It was designed as a residential living area for rich people a bit outside of the city by Antonion Gaudí. The idea was to have houses and then a neighborhood market, hospital, school, park, etc. only for people that lived there, but it was never finished because it was too expensive and too far away from jobs for most people. What was completed (the marketplace, a patio, and 3 houses) are now a public park and museum. Gaudí has very unique argitecture, drawing a lot from nature and using many colors. You can see in the pictures below columns that look like trees and many colorful mosaics of small tiles. It is such a unique place to visit! (see pictures below).
After Park Güell we went to Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) which is a cathedral designed by the same artist as Park Güell, Antonio Gaudí. With the tour guide we just saw the outside, but later in just our group of 10 we went inside so I’ll explain more about it later.
After the guided tour we had free time for lunch and shopping. I also have a good friend that lives in Barcelona, Sergi, so they were able to practice a little Spanish with him and get a perspective of the city from a Barcelona native. We split up for lunch and some of us ate Italian food, some Asian food and a successful free time was had by all.
After free time we went by public transportation to the Sagrada Familia for our visit inside. We were able to have Audioguides with our tickets that explained some very interesting information about it, I’m going to try and summarize a bit here. The cathedral has been under construction for over a hundred years already, since the 1880’s. The final product will have 18 bell towers and three facades. Currently only 8 towers and two of the facades are finished. The 18 towers will be one for each of the 12 disciples, 4 for the four gospel writers, one for Mary and one for Jesus. The first facade that was completed is called the Nativity facade and shows the birth and life of Jesus (see picture below). The other one is called the glory facade and it is called the glory facade and shows Jesus crucifixion and death (see picture below). I could write so many details about what exactly is shown on each, but I’m afraid this email would be much longer than it already is, so ask your students to explain what they remember about the statues and architecture of the two facades. Then we went inside- WOW! It is designed to look like a forest with the columns looking like trees, amazing stained glass windows using light and so many colors, the main entrance doors having the Lord’s Prayer in Catalan on them with also the words give us this day our daily bread in many languages, and a unique altar area with an organ that we heard (see pictures below).
After our visit we headed back to meet the group for dinner which was a buffet of authentic Spanish foods, but also pizza and salad so everyone found something to eat :). After dinner we headed with the whole group to the Magic Fountain Light Show I talked about earlier. It was so unique to see that and worked out great that the whole group went so we didn’t have to take public transportation the hotel- Our tour bus came and picked the whole group up!

Day 4 began with a four hour bus ride from Barcelona to Valencia. When we arrived in Valencia we first went all together to eat paella, a typical Spanish dish first prepared in Valencia. I also have two friends that live in Valencia, Arturo and Alicia, that were able to join us for lunch and the walking tour and added many interesting details to what we were seeing. Ask your students what they thought of the paella- there were mixed reactions to it, but all were glad they tried it.
After lunch we tried Valencian Horchata (spelled Orxata here) and then went to the Fallas Museum which is the festival with statues that they burn. We watched a video about the festival and then got to see the statues that were saved for each year as well as portraits of the winning Fallera each year which is kind of like the Queen of the festival.
After the museum we had a few hours of free time. We first all walked in a park called Parque Gulliver that used to be a river but then they moved it and made the river bed into a park with many unique statues, activities (bike paths, playgrounds, chess, mini golf, cafes, skate park, etc). Then we split up and half went shopping at a nearby mall and half kept wandering in the park and found a 6 person bike ride, ice cream, and almost a free concert but it started when we had to leave.
After that we went to the hotel for check in and dinner at 9:15 pm! (The Spanish way- they are adapting well!) Dinner was Spaghetti Bolognese, Chicken and potatoes and an almond cake called Tarta de Santiago. It was another great day in Spain!

¡Buenas días from the beach in Benalmádena!

Day 5 began by driving for 7 hours from Valencia to Granada. On the way our tour director pointed out many interesting landscapes like a dry, dessert area called Almeria where many American Western movies have been filmed. The further inland and south we went, the more mountainous it became and we saw the Sierra Nevada (meaning snowy range) mountains. There was still some snow on the top of the tallest mountains and on our tour in Granada they told us that it’s been such a cold winter that even 3 weeks ago you could still go skiing on that mountain.
We also saw several old castles on top of hills or mountains and Borja explained that many of them have been turned into fancy hotels by the state and they are called Paradores (see picture below). This way the buildings are used and have money to repair them and keep them up. We also listened to a lot of music including some Flamenco by Paco de Lucía and watched part of a Spanish comedy about the differences between Spaniards from the north of Spain and Spaniards from the south of Spain.
Once arriving in Granada we checked into the hotel and then all got back on the bus to head into the city of Granada. They dropped us off at a lookout at the top of the Albaicín neighborhood (ancient Arab living quarters, now well known for its white houses, narrow and steep streets). The first lookout was called Mirador San Cristobal. From there we could see a bit of the Alhambra palace and a bit of the Albaicín. Then we walked as a group through the narrow streets to another lookout called Mirador San Nicolás. This is my favorite lookout- it has a full view of the Alhambra palace.
Then we went by ourselves to our Flamenco educational concert which was in a cave about a ten minute walk from there. We found it with only taking one round about way (the streets are so confusing there)! The concert was awesome! There were three guys who gave the educational concert for us- a guitar player, a singer, and a dancer. It was interesting to see a male Flamenco dancer because the majority of them (especially the flashy shows for tourists) have only women dancers. We learned that Flamenco started with the arrival of gypsies in Spain and it’s a combination of many types of music- gypsy, Arabic, church music, Greek, African, etc. The first part of Flamenco music was the singing. Traditionally singing has not been taught in schools, it has just been passed down by families from generation to generation. It’s very difficult to learn to sing Flamenco, you really have to just be born with it. The next thing to be added to Flamenco was instruments. Typically a guitar is used today, but the first instrument was clapping using your palms. This is still used today and there are various types of palm clapping used to keep the rhythm. The dance is the last part of Flamenco to be added, although today it is the most well-known part. The most important thing for the dancer is their shoes because (similar to tap shoes) they have nails in the bottom to be able to make a beat while dancing. The dancers use their rhythms to communicate with the singer and the guitar player. There are two types of Flamenco music- libre (free) and rítmico (rhythmic). That’s all I can remember for now- ask you students what they remember and to send you video!
After Flamenco, we had a nice walk down to the city center of Granada along the river and got to stop and get some ice cream- yum!!

¡Buenos días del autobús! We are on our way from Benalmádena to Sevilla- time to update on the past two days.

Day 6 began in Granada. We had our earliest wake up yet because we had an early visit (8:30 am) scheduled for the Alhambra. It was so nice going that early in the morning because it wasn’t packed yet and we had space to see everything and walk around.
We learned so many interesting things about the Alhambra- hopefully I can summarize them in not too many words. The word Alhambra is Arabic and means the Red One, because the Alhambra palace is red. It was constructed in the 13th century and was a palace and fortress for the Muslim rulers of Spain that controlled parts of the peninsula from 700 AD to 1492 AD. Granada and the Alhambra was the last Moorish stronghold in Spain and the last to be conquered by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492 before they decided to financially support Christopher Columbus. In it’s time there were over 2,000 people living in the Alhambra and they also had a garden for flowers and fruits and veggies called Generalife which means paradise architect in Arabic.
The Garden has many areas with little pools and flowing water that comes from the mountains. They set it up using gravity in many places so it flows like little fountains. There were also different areas of the palace where the servants lived, where the soldiers lived, and where the rulers lived. We saw the servants’ bathhouse which was very impressive with heated floors by hot water under the floor back in the day.
Later on Ferdinand and Isabella added a convent on site which is now a hotel and Charles V added a palace which was never finished- there are only two of three stories built and the roof was never finished. There was also a part of the Alhambra where you could go up on the roof of the building and from there have fantastic views of the Albaicín where we had been the day before. In the 1700’s and 1800’s it was pretty much abandoned or ransacked by Napoleon and others, but actually thanks to Washington Irving who was a squatter there for awhile and wrote about the palace, it became more well known and they started to take care of it again.
After the Alhambra visit we did the EF scavenger hunt which took the kids through the city of Granada taking pictures of various important buildings and sights and talking to people to get the information that they needed. We had two teams- the 6 girls were one team and the 2 boys were with the group of 4 students from Texas. Both groups competed well and...THE GIRLS WON!!
Then we had free time for lunch and we all went to the beginning of the Albaicín which has stores everywhere like in Arabic countries- many purses, jewelry and rugs for sale. There are also many restaurants called Teterias which are known for their many flavors of hot tea and for their decorative pillows and seating areas.
A part of the group ate lunch in one of those Teterias and a part of the group went shopping in the area during free time. After that we drove 2 hours to Benalmádena which is a town on the Costa del Sol (Sun coast). After checking in to the hotel we walked to the beach as a group and stuck our feet in the water- wow it was cold! But so beautiful to see.
Then we had dinner and went back to the beach to see the sunset. There were buildings in our line of sight that blocked us from seeing the sun, but still we could see the changing colors of the sky and the weather was beautiful! After the sunset we went walking to find food and ended up finding ice cream- yum!

Day 7 was our free day without the rest of the EF group. We started by going to the beach before breakfast and some people were able to run for a bit, and then even got in the ocean to swim! For some it was the first time in the Mediterranean and they really enjoyed it!
After breakfast we walked 30 mins (uphill) to church at 11:30. It was one of the most modern Catholic masses I have been to, with women doing the reading and helping serve communion, and a sermon of only 15 mins. It seemed like a very active church, they said next week they are celebrating having 80 new members join! It was a large church and was pretty full. The service more or less followed what they sent to me for the order of service so that was nice.
We were able to notice and discuss a few differences between Lutheran churches and Catholic Churches- in the decorations they had some chapels on the side with statues of saints in them, they rang a bell when the priest said the words of institution, and there was no organ or piano or hymns really, just a few chanted parts that someone in the front rows started acapella.
After church we went back to the hotel to change and then took taxis up to the cable car place. We ate lunch there (oddly kind of like eating at an amusement park in the US- the cable Car is right next to an amusement park and belongs to a company that also has a zoo and an aquarium). Then we headed up in the cable Car!
The trip up took 15 minutes and everyone did great- even those with some fear of heights! We literally went from the coast to the top, top, top of the mountain. Our guide said the cable car trip actually takes you from the town of Benalmádena to a completely different town of Sierra Mijas because it’s so far. The views from the top were incredible! Our guide explained to us how the area developed because now it is full of hotels, but historically there was hardly anything there except the fishermen’s houses and a bee keeping area.
We saw how the various towns are now connected by hotels all along the coastline- Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Fuengirola, and Málaga. Our guide also explained about the plants and animals we were seeing- all of the plants are Mediterranean plants so they are used to lots of sun and no rain. There are also many wild animals living up there like goats, snakes, and even pigs.
Thankfully we didn’t see any of those, but we did see a lot of hens and roosters wandering around and the kids loved that! We walked around the top of the mountains on some trails for a bit and then we went to a bird show where we saw them release eagles, vultures and falcons. It was so cool! Ask your students to send you some of their pictures- a bird landed on our heads even!
Then we went back down on the cable car and walked back to the hotel to change quickly and go to the beach! It was beautiful when we first arrived, but then got pretty windy so we went back to the hotel for dinner. After dinner headed to bed because this morning was another early morning.

¡Buenos días de Madrid!

Day 8 started with getting up early to see the sunrise on he beach and then a drive from Benalmádena to Sevilla. On the way we stopped at an Olive Oil Farm and Factory. We learned so much about how it’s made and different things to look for on the labels! I’ll try and summarize here what I remember- If the olive oil you buy doesn’t say Virgin or Extra Virgin on it, that means there were added chemicals used in the process, and the process of extracting the oil from the olives was done naturally. The olives on olive trees are ready for Harvest in October or November. The most expensive olive oils are made with olives harvested in October because they have less oil in them and it requires more olives to fill a bottle. There are different kinds of olives- we saw trees of Zorzaleña, Gordal and Manzanilla- but the only difference between green olives and black olives is when they are harvested.
If you wait until December or so to harvest the olives they will be black. We also learned about how they are harvested- traditionally they would hit the olive tree with a bamboo stick so the olives would fall to the ground or they would handpick them, but neither are very efficient. Nowadays they have an umbrella type thing that goes around the base of the tree and then a machine that shakes the tree while workers “comb” through the branches with a rake looking thing to make sure they have gotten all the olives.
Then we went into the factory and saw how they go from olives to the oil- first the entire olives are crushed into a paste for 30 mins or less, then put into a centrifuge to separate the oil from the mass of olives, then they are put into tanks with no oxygen to cool and the oil is removed from there. We also learned that olive oil should always be in glass bottles, not plastic, and that it should always be kept in temperatures less than 80 degrees, in the refrigerator if necessary. Finally we got to try some olive oil!
The first was their typcial plain Extra Virgin olive oil and wow! The owner said it should taste and smell like apples, bananas, and fresh cut grass and did it ever! The second one was infused with orange and vanilla and they served it to us with chocolate ice cream- I was very skeptical but it tasted so good! Then we had some time to shop before getting back on the road to Sevilla.
When we arrived we first had free time for lunch and then we had a guided tour of the Cathedral of Sevilla. It is the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world and even has the Guniess Book of World Records certificate to prove it. Originally it was built as an Islamic mosque when the Moors were in control of the area, but Ferdinand and Isabella converted it to a Catholic Church. Because of its history as a mosque it has some differences in architectural style- it’s shaped like a square instead of a Latin cross, it has one tall tower that used to be the minaret called La Giralda and we have a smaller copy of this in Kansas City on the Plaza! It has an incredible altar piece with 44 scenes from the Bible decorated with gold leaf.
There are 30 smaller chapels around the outside of the church with statues of Mary and Jesus in them along with a few benches to sit or a railing to kneel at. These surrounding chapels are very common in Catholic Churches, but not something that we are used to in Lutheran churches in the US. It was interesting hearing the kids’ reactions to this- “isn’t that idolatry?” and “why are there so many?” because that is one of the things Martin Luther was protesting in his theses and why we have very few statues (if any) in our Lutheran churches. Most have only an empty cross.
Sevilla is also the most well know city for Semana Santa (Holy Week) processions where they process through the streets with the statues from the cathedral at various times throughout the week. We also saw a relic but I don’t remember what it was exactly- maybe some of Peter’s bones? I just remember they have never opened it to DNA test and see if it is real...
Finally in the Cathedral we saw the tomb of Christopher Columbus. It was in Central America for many years, but after all of those countries won their independence from Spain, the Spanish monarchs asked to have his remains back. They have DNA tested the bones inside and it does indeed match to his descendants so they know they are really his bones. His tomb is above ground because Columbus asked not to be buried in Spain. This way he is not buried, just in a tomb above ground (clever, huh?).
After touring the Cathedral we went with the guide to the historically Jewish neighborhood called Sabra Cruz. It is right behind the cathedral because the Jewish people were the bankers for the Spanish monarchs until they were kicked out of Spain during the Inquisition. They have very narrow and curvy streets with unique houses kind of like the Albaicín in Granada.
After walking through the streets we had some time for ice cream and quick souvenir shopping before heading on the bus to the Plaza España. This means Spanish square and was the pavilion for Spain in the 1992 world expo. It is one of the most well known sights of Sevilla and was even used in Star Wars as a palace on planet Naboo. It is in a semi circle shape with a bench for each of the major cities in Spain decorated with tiles and a scene important to the city in some way.
We had a lot of fun walking around and taking pictures there! After our visit we headed to the hotel for dinner and early bed time- it was a long day and everyone was exhausted!

¡Buenas tardes de Atlanta! We are all through customs and security, now waiting at our gate for our flight to KC- see you all soon!

Day 9 began with a drive from Sevilla to Córdoba. Córdoba is the 3rd largest city in the state of Andalucía after Sevilla and Málaga. Historically Córdoba has been a very important city. Our tour guide described it as being the Silicon Valley of 1,000 years ago under Moorish rule, and also as being a cultural center in Europe at that time.
The city has been inhabited and ruled by Romans, Muslims and Christians and there are remains from all of those civilizations in the city still today. The first one we saw was the Roman bridge we walked across and then we toured La Mezquita de Córdoba (the Mosque of Córdoba). It was built on Roman ruins as a Mosque by the Moors when they ruled this area, and then the Christian rules added a Cathedral smack dab in the middle of it after they took control. It is 23,000 square meters big and 80% of the original mosque is still preserved.
In addition to the main church sanctuary with altar piece and choir section, there are also 45 chapels around the outside. The mosque part of the building consists of around 850 columns with a semicircle above them in red and white stripes. Each of the columns was handmade and signed by the artist and are all unique. It is such an impressive sight to see on the inside and crazy to think it has survived in such good condition this long!
After the tour inside the Mezquita our local tour guide took us through the historical Jewish quarters- like in Sevilla also characterized by white houses, narrow streets, flowers decorating the houses, and being near the Cathedral. After our tour we had free time for lunch shopping and gelato, of course! Then we headed back in the bus to Puerto Lápice.
It is a small town in the state of Castilla La Mancha which is most well known for being the location of Cervantes’ book Don Quijote de La Mancha (you might be more familiar with the musical version, Man of La Mancha). There were some Don Quijote statues, a little museum, and a few gift shops that we were able to look at while we and the driver took a break.
Then we headed the last hour and a half to Madrid! Once arriving in Madrid we checked into our hotel and then walked down the street to dinner.
After dinner we walked as a group through a park across the street from our hotel called Parque Río. It’s another very long park that runs along a river and was a nice walk after a long day of driving!

Day 10 was our last full day in Madrid :( but we made the most of our time and saw so many things! First thing in the morning we went to the Prado Art Museum. The students completed a scavenger hunt while looking through the museum (and some even did two because my brother wrote one for them and EF had one for them!).
The scavenger hunt my brother wrote focused on six important Spanish painters (or painters who worked mostly in Spain)- Diego Velásquez, El Greco, José de Ribera, Fransisco De Goya, Tiziano, and El Bosco. All of the groups completed the scavenger hunt and won a prize! Ask your student what their favorite painting they saw was.
After the Prado part of our group had free time and the other part of our group went with the schools from Texas, Colorado and Ohio to the Real Madrid Stadium (Estadio Santiago Bernabéu). This was not a planned part of our tour, but some of the kids from the other schools wanted to see a soccer stadium and weren’t able to in Barcelona like us, so the tour director helped organize this one.
I’m always up for soccer things and we have at least one Real Madrid fan in our group, so some of us went to this one too! We went by Metro which was an experience for the kids from the other schools, but your kids were public transportation champs because we had already used it in Barcelona!
We had about an hour of a self guided tour through the Real Madrid Stadium and got to see the locker room, the press room, the stadium from way up high, the stadium from the field, the bench, all of the La Liga and Champions League trophies (and some others I can remember) as well as individual players’ trophies like Ronaldo’s many golden boot and golden ball awards. We all wished we would have had a bit more time because there was so much to see!
After the stadium tour we hurried on the metro to meet the rest of the group for our guided tour of the Royal Palace of Madrid (in Spanish- Palacio Real).
Even though it has that name, the royal family (Spain still has a King and Queen, mostly figureheads like in England though) does not live in the palace anymore. It is too big and fancy for them with its 2,800 rooms. They have a smaller palace outside of Madrid with 150 rooms that they use. The royal family does use El Palacio Real when important visitors come and they have official meet and greets as well as dinners here. They also celebrated a royal family wedding here a few years ago with thousands of guests and over 800 wait staff!
We were not allowed to take pictures inside the rooms we saw so you will have to ask your students to describe them to you- some were downright incredible with all of the ornate decorations! I’ll attach the pictures I took before we got into the rooms and also explain a few facts here. At the top of the staircase walking up to the rooms we saw there is the crest of the Spanish Royal family with part of the symbol representing the various regions of Spain. The first room you will always see in a palace is the guard room and this one included a picture of the Royal family. The former King Juan Carlos actually abdicated in 2014 and had his son Felipe become King (on the right in the photo). Then we got into the fancy rooms that were built by King Carlos III- he had one room for breakfast, one room for dinner, and one room for lunch. He also liked unique clocks and we saw several impressive clocks from the 1700’s.
We also saw a Cloak room in rococo style with embroidery on the walls so fancy you couldn’t tell it was sewn, a dining room with a table that seats 144 people, a chapel just for the Royal family, and the Throne room. After the end of the palace tour we had some time for souvenirs and pictures before heading on the bus for a quick sightseeing tour- we drove by the Senate building and the Deputy Congress building. We saw some of the original city walls- Madrid was walled and expanded 4 different times in history. We also learned a bit about a huge urban development project they successfully put through several years ago to reduce pollution and traffic in the city.
After our bus tour we had two hours to finish our final souvenir shopping and then we walked to our final dinner together. After dinner our tour director Borja led us in a whole group secret Santa where we each took turns sharing our highlight of the trip and then giving our secret Santa gift to the person whose name we had drawn.
It was a nice reflection and final time together! Then we walked part of the way back to the hotel and stopped at El Corte Inglés, the largest Spanish department store, to see the sunset from the top floor. It was a beautiful sight! Finally back in the hotel it was time to pack and sleep our last night in Spain. It’s hard to believe it’s over already- the time went by so fast!