This Lent break marks another successful trip to Madrid for the Spanish department and a group of thirteen 6.1 Hispanists. After a smooth flight and good night’s sleep, the group spent the morning at a language academy, International House, on a spoken Spanish course. Afterward, we were taken on a walking tour of Madrid, which gave us a brief taste of what the Spanish capital has to offer.
The next day, after a morning of lessons, the group set off to see one of eeriest sights in Spain - El Valle de los Caídos. Commissioned by General Franco as a supposed memorial to those who died in the Civil War, the ominous fascist architecture was a stark reminder of Spain's lesser known past. We then visited El Escorial, the Spanish summer palace, which also was an impressive display of power by the Spanish monarchy.
Saturday and Sunday brought a packed weekend of sight-seeing for ‘los guiris’, with visits to the ancient city of Segovia, The Bernebéu stadium, and la Plaza de Toros before a picnic in the sun in the Retiro park. To end the weekend, the group enjoyed a tapas cooking course, in which we learnt to make (and then got to eat) famous Spanish dishes.
On Monday, the group were given a highly detailed tour of the Prado museum, which houses all of the great classical artwork Spain has produced. Finally, on our last day, after some classes we participated in a mini-exchange with some of the Spanish students learning English at the school, during which we had to switch back and forth from English to Spanish. On the whole, the trip was a great success, thank you to Ms Henderson and Mr Sumner for organising the trip.
Report by James Innes Ker, C Social, 6.1
Spanish Trip Video