Lincoln Academy students in Segovia, Spain during the April, 2019 International Club trip.
By Grace Canny ’20
On Wednesday, April 10th, 29 Lincoln Academy Students and four chaperones embarked on a long journey to Salamanca, Spain. Even though Mr. and Mrs. Von Vogt had warned us that the time difference and jet lag would cause us to feel pretty awful, I had severely underestimated what awful meant. Thankfully, once we were in Salamanca, we met our host families, had lunch, and I took a huge nap.
We visited a couple different cities while in Spain, but my favorite part was all the time spent in Salamanca. It was a very walkable city and we had a lot of time to explore, walking down quiet side streets eating ice cream, and enjoying the beautiful architecture. Our days in Salamanca usually started with class at Enforex, the language school there. The classes were only spoken in Spanish, which was challenging at first but I ended up learning a lot. All of the exploring allowed us to get pretty familiar with the city and by the last day, I could navigate myself back to our host house all on my own.
We also took excursions to Madrid, Segovia, Toledo and Ávila during our trip too. My favorite two cities were Segovia and Toledo. Toledo is known as the city of three cultures and so we visited a mosque, a cathedral, and a synagogue. It was inspiring to see these amazing old buildings that have been preserved only by the determination of the people who care about them. The pace of our tour in Toledo allowed us to admire the complex architecture and contemplate the history behind each house of worship.
One amazing experience from our trip to Madrid was getting to visit El Prado. The Prado is home to tens of thousands of pieces of art, and if we were to see each and every one, it would take days. We viewed art by major Spanish artists, like Diego Velazquez, and Francisco de Goya. I found the black paintings by Goya especially captivating, and I spent about 40 minutes looking at all of them. As someone who has taken just a few painting classes, I really appreciated the vivid details Velazquez and Goya captured and the feelings they are able to invoke.
One thing I really cherished about my time in Spain was the relaxation and slow pace of things. Everyday we had paseo, which is when everyone heads into the streets to shop, chat, share tapas, wander around the many parks, or relax on a bench in the shade. This was such a passive way to understand Spanish culture, and it taught me so much. Paseo showed me that Spanish people value being a productive person, but it is so important to reserve time every day for family, friends, fun, and outside time.
The bus ride to Madrid as we left was very peaceful and quiet, most people were sleeping to get ready for our big day of travel. I got to absorb the beautiful Spanish countryside for the last time, with soft green rolling hills and mountains dotted with a lone tree. I am incredibly thankful that I got to go on this trip and for all of the memories that are still so vivid. I hope to go back soon!
Grace Canny is a junior at Lincoln Academy who traveled with the LA International Club to Salamanca, Spain in April, 2019.