Friday (7/8): We headed to Selaya to check out the Joselin factory, where we toured the famous factory and learned about the banking process. Most importantly, we saw how sobaos (morning pastries) and quesadas (famous cheese snack) were made by combining sugar, butter, eggs, and lots of love. We sampled them, learned about their history, and later went to the store to further our knowledge about these local delicacies.
Saturday (7/9): Half of the group went to the Palacio de Magdalena in Santander, where they learned about the history of this great summer home that the King and Queen of Spain occasionally visit (and is currently used to celebrate local weddings and celebrations for people around Santander). Students got to see the outside of the palace with their local tour guide, Lucia. The other half enjoyed great weather for their excursion to go to the top of the Picos de Europa. They did a bit of hiking and enjoyed the beautiful views from the top of the second tallest mountain range in Europe (after the Alps). They even got to ride the state-of-the-art cable car (teleferico) to the top.
Monday (7/11): We visited a big mall in Malianyo called Valle Real. There, we did intercambios with various shoppers. Students conducted interviews in which they practiced their Spanish, gave presentations, and competed for prizes. All had an amazing time!
Tuesday (7/12): Half of the group enjoyed a cooking class, where they learned how to make tapas and picked up new recipes from some Spanish chefs. The other half went to Forestal Park to do a high ropes course and ziplining near the beach. Both groups really enjoyed these fun activities!
Wednesday (7/13): The group toured a famous local pueblo called Comillas. There, we visited a house built by Gaudi for the marquess — this house really showcases the brilliant architecture of Gaudi (outside of Barcelona). We had a fun tour guide that gave us the chance to practice our acting skills to learn about the history of the region, and he showed us why Gaudi portrayed things the way he did with his eclectic style.
Thursday (7/14): Some of the group explored surfing in Somo, while others enjoyed free time to do some last-minute shopping.
Friday (7/15): Students wrapped up their end-of-program tests and thanked their teachers for the great classes. We concluded the trip with a wonderful going away party, where we sampled multiple types of paella and shared stories and memories from an incredible experience!