Student Travelogue: HVRHS Travel Club explores Iberia

La Sagrada Família basilica in Barcelona, Spain.

Danielle Melino

Student Travelogue: HVRHS Travel Club explores Iberia

Vibrantly colored buildings lined the crowded streets, inviting tourists to stop and stare at their joyous shades of yellows, pinks and blues. A ceaseless swarm of visitors slowly meandered among souvenir shops and gelato stores. Beneath our feet, carefully laid tiled roads twisted in patterns of black and white. In the distance, beautiful homes were perched among the mountains, creating the illusion that we had been magically transported to a fairytale village.

While Sintra, Portugal, felt like the perfect place to explore, other locations the Housatonic Valley Regional High School International Travel Club visited during our 12 days abroad were each unique in their own way. After spending four days touring sunny Lisbon, peaceful Évora and coastal Algarve, we continued to Spain and experienced the lovely climates of Seville, Costa del Sol, Granada, Valencia and Barcelona.

Thanks to the fundraising from Northwest Corner: Students Without Borders and the annual Wine Dinner and Auction last fall hosted by the White Hart Inn, 21 students, two teachers and our principal were able to travel to Portugal and Spain over spring break. Overcoming a few hiccups in the schedule, our tour guide, Samuel, guided us through any challenge and determined the best ways to get the most of our time abroad.

Every student gained something from the experience. Some of us had a wonderful time watching a demonstration of how tiles are made that are similar in style to those in the Alhambra, while others relished seeing the famous works of Antoni Gaudí and exploring old cathedrals with beautiful stained-glass windows. Many of us loved trying paella, a Spanish dish consisting of rice, mussels and shrimp, while some marveled at the Moroccan coastline and the Barbary macaque monkeys in Gibraltar.

Monkey in Gibraltar.Elinor Wolgemuth

By the end of our whirlwind travels, we were thoroughly exhausted. After trying so many new foods, exploring beautiful palaces and cathedrals and speaking some Spanish, everyone was immensely grateful for our opportunity to experience other cultures.

Elinor Wolgemuth is a junior at HVRHS and visited Spain and Portugal with the Travel Club over spring break. She plans to travel to Thailand with the club in 2025.

The HVRHS International Travel Club would like to thank and acknowledge the 21st Century Fund's support for of this trip.

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