Ms. Martinez sent this most recent update from our exchange program in Spain!
Hello from Madrid. This has been a long day. We took the bus at 5:00 am this morning and went to Cuenca. It is chillier than we expected in the mountains, and everyone was tired from the dinner last night. We walked around the old town, crossed a narrow bridge over the river, and saw the hanging houses built into the cliffs. You can google Casas Colgadas and Puente Colgante to see the pictures of where we were. After about an hour, we went for a big lunch in Cuenca.
Next we went to Toledo, which is a beautiful, old city surrounded by a river. We went to a synagogue from the twelfth century, which was meaningful to many of us. There was a dedication to all of the Jews that have been killed and mistreated in the past 600 years.
Quite a few Wheatley students were proud and knowledgeable of their Jewish history and traditions. In the museum, they taught us what we were looking at and read some Hebrew to us. Toledo had a large Jewish population many centuries ago, and there are tiles in the architecture with Hebrew writing as reminders of the past.
Next, we walked around the medieval, historic neighborhood and went to the shops. They had ceramics, metal crafts, swords, chess sets, and antique- looking guns that the kids enjoyed looking at.
Since the weather is a little colder than average, we may have to stop and pick up a few sweatshirts for the girls tomorrow. They will probably have Batman or Tweetie on them, since we are going to Warner Brothers Amusement Park!
Dinner is a buffet. There are kids in our group that eat everything and love trying new foods, and there are kids who eat little more than bread and french fries. Tomorrow we will try to go to a vegetarian restaurant to even things out. The food is not easy in Spain. When you tell the waiter you are a vegetarian, he offers you chicken, fish, and eggs. The salad always has tuna in it, and some of the kids don’t eat fish. Still, they are surviving.
Now we are at the hotel with the Spaniards. We will eat dinner at 10:15 PM, because that is what time people eat here. The kids are settling into their rooms and making some noise. The hotel is full of boy soccer teams who are crazy. They will be blamed instead of us if anything goes wrong! The receptionist called our kids mature and “civilized.”