Apr 302015
 
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A Trip of a Life Time

1 - SpainTrip

St Christopher’s School’s very first venture into the Iberian peninsula turned out to be exactly what it promised to be, a life-changing experience. We thoroughly enjoyed exploring Madrid, its magnificent Parque del Retiro, its beautiful Royal Palace, the imposing Plaza de Toros, the Museo del Prado and its impressive art collection, and the astoundingly hi-tech Bernabeu museum and stadium where Michel Toutoungy managed to hug a real Real Madrid player and get his shirt signed by him. But we all agreed that it is Andalucia that captured our heart. Our visit started with the 8th century Mosque of Cordoba, we then visited the Alcazar de los Reyes and were treated to a mesmerizing sound and light show in the evening. We arrived in Sevilla on the very first day of the Semana Santa (Holy week) and we had the unique opportunity to see the processions of the different brotherhoods of the capital of Andalucía, all making their way to the Cathedral of Sevilla.

1a - Spain

We then left the crowds, and headed to the museum of Flamenco where we saw professional flamenco dancers perform, and were taught how to perform the basic flamenco moves by an experienced bailadora. It was then only fitting to end our incursion into Andalusia with the visit of the real gem of this region: Granada and the Alhambra Palace. The Patio de los Leones, the gardens of El Generalife left us all wondering how men could have built such a beautiful edifice. Granada was the last Moorish kingdom to be re-conquered by the Catholic monarchs in 1492. There is a legend in Granada which says that when Boabdil, the defeated Moorish king, left Granada, he sighed, or may even have wept in front of his mother, who according to legend again, said to him: “weep like a woman for the kingdom you couldn’t defend like a man”. The place where this scene may have unfolded is nowadays called “The Sigh of the Moor”. When we left Granada, and Spain, we could not help but feel as inconsolable as King Boabdil…………