Spain trip will make lifetime memories

Published 8:15 pm Monday, March 9, 2009

The 15 Charles Henderson High School Spanish students, who will leave Saturday for Spain, have chosen an appropriate motto for their trip.

“Ten days in Spain, a lifetime of memories,” pretty much sums up their expectations for the trip that will take them all across the country, from north to south.

“This is going to be a very special trip,” said Pam Merkel, CHHS Spanish teacher. “We have a special group of Spanish students and two teachers, seven parents and a couple from the community who will accompany them. I’m very excited about this trip.”

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Merkel said the group will serve as ambassadors of the school they represent, the City of Troy and the country.

“There are people in other countries who don’t have a good impression of us,” Merkel said. “So, if we can go to Spain and smile and say, ‘Buenos dias,’ we can help to change that.”

The 10-day tour will include Barcelona, Madrid, Seville and Costa del Sol.

“In Barcelona we will see Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, the unfinished cathedral, which is Spain’s number one tourist attraction. In Madrid, the highlights will be the Royal Palace and the Toledo excursion.”

The group will travel to Cordoba by AVE train, which is a high-speed train. In Seville they will visit Columbus’ gravesite and the Giralda Tower and also enjoy a Flamenco evening.

“Costa del Sol is the playground of Europe and the students will really enjoy the beaches there,” Merkel said. “Of course, there are other sites in all the cities but these are just a few of the highlights.”

Merkel said the trip to Spain is the ultimate field trip.

“It’s an educational experience without equal,” she said.

In order for the students to get as much from the experience as possible, Merkel asks them to maintain a daily journal of their discoveries.

“In the journals, they should note all things different, new vocabulary from what they see and hear,” she said. “I ask them to write a minimum of one page a day of everything they see and do and their overall impression of Spain, the people and the culture including music and art. “Spain is like a precious stone, the more you know about it, the more you will appreciate and value it.”