We had a very early departure time to meet our ferry. We had a two-hour ferry ride from Belfast port to Cairnryan. After seeing some of the idyllic Scottish country, we toured the home of Robert Burns, considered the poet of Scotland. We then visited Glasgow on a very windy afternoon, saw some of the newest street murals painted by local art students and took in the architecture of the city center. The early wake-up call took its toll, so we settled in early to our hotel in Edinburgh.
You may recall that last year, Oak Hill Academy embarked on a European trip during Spring Break through the highly respected EF (Education First) Tours company. It was a tremendous success with our nearly dozen students coming away from Spain with a memorable cultural experience and friendships that will last a lifetime. One of our chaperones, Oak Hill Academy English teacher, Chris Tobin committed to make this trip an annual offering–but with a caveat: Let’s see another part of Europe – Ireland and Scotland!
The trip to Spain is still documented on this page, and this year’s trip will be chronicled here as updates and pictures come from Ms. Tobin and her group, comprised of 8 students. We hope you enjoy seeing their journey unfold as much as we do!
Entry #1 3/14/18 Hello, from the land of rain… A trip to this part of the world wouldn’t be complete without some rain. And rain, and rain, and rain.
It was a very wet day, and we walked more than five miles around the city center (Dublin). We visited St. Patrick’s cathedral, saw the Book of Kells at Trinity College, did some shopping, and took in some art at the National Gallery.
We leave pretty early tomorrow, heading north to Belfast. The kids had no problem turning in early tonight!
A contingent of travelers from Oak Hill Academy spent part of Spring Break on an educational tour of Spain. The journey took seven students and two faculty member chaperones to six cities. Kudos to our student adventurers for taking advantage of this opportunity to broaden their experience with international travel!
Thanks to Mr. Moseley for organizing the trip, and to Ms. Tobin and Mr. Moseley for accompanying the group.
Read more about the trip here.
Dear Parents and Friends,
We are in Barcelona and will depart to the airport in a few hours. We ended our trip with a couple of gorgeous days here in the northeast of España. We visited sites including Park Güell, Montjuic, Sagrada Familia and the Gothic Quarter. We had dinner at the harbor and said our goodbyes to the group from San Diego. I think we have all had a blast.
We look forward to a safe trip back to the USA.
Today, Kristina K. updates us again from Spain. Apparently, they are moving fast and taking in a lot of cultural experiences.
The first day was very tiring because of the overnight flight. That night (Saturday), we went into town (Granada), which was very pretty. We saw people performing music, a flamenco dance lesson, and a beautiful sunset over Alhambra from the oldest part of town. We also had the opportunity to tour an olive oil production facility and olive farm.
The architecture of the buildings has been the best part–all the hand-done detail is very beautiful. And the food!–the paella (an exotic seafood stew) is sometimes spicy, sometimes salty, and always filling with a great taste. The Cathedral of Sevilla (The World’s Largest Gothic Church) was surprising because of all the gold decorating the artwork. Travelling around all the big cities is a great way to get to know Spain (we’ve seen Malaga, Granada, Sevilla and Cordoba already, and will see Madrid and Barcelona). Although we are seeing some of the same things, each city is different and they’re all different from cities in the United States.
Today’s blog post comes courtesy of junior, Kristina K. and recaps the group’s experience in Grenada.
We just finished our 2nd day in Granada, which is in the heart of the Andalusia region in southern Spain and the region in Dosin closest to Northern Africa. The proximity to Northern Africa is seen when visiting Granada and The Alhambra, a Moorish palace and fortress originally built in the 9th century and completed in the 13th century. The Sultan surrendered control of The Alhambra to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492, and it has been under Spanish control ever since and is the most visited tourist site in Spain. It is one of the most well-known representations of Islamic architecture in the world.
After touring the Alhambra, all students participated in a “City Challenge” in which they had to find ten key monuments/squares/altars and had to find the answers to important cultural and historical facts about the city.
After the city challenge, we had lunch in a classic Spanish plaza setting and lively pedestrian activity as it was Sunday afternoon. Then, we had Moroccan tea and an assortment of Moroccan sweets in a traditional Moroccan tea house.
As it was a gorgeous afternoon, we walked through the old, narrow cobblestone alleys and passed through a key market area with numerous shops selling wares of numerous types.
After the day, we were happy to get back to the hotel for dinner and sleep. Hasta Pronto!
We are getting more excited with each passing day for Oak Hill’s 2017 Educational Tour of Spain. All seven students and two chaperones depart from Charlotte, NC on Friday, March 17th. Some of the seven students arrive in Charlotte the night before, and the others arrive in Charlotte on the morning of the 17th. At this point, we have finalized all logistics for the trip, and we are ready for the journey to begin. We connect in Detroit, Michigan and Paris, France before landing in Málaga, Spain, the first stop on our tour of Spain. Safe to say, we will have a few hours to watch some good movies or read a good book!
Similar to the tremendous diversity of Oak Hill’s student body, on this trip we have participants from three countries (Bahamas, Sierra Leone and the USA) and from five states (Florida, North Carolina, California, New York and Pennsylvania). One thing that unites us all is that we are enthused about the opportunity to see the countryside and six wonderful cities within the country of Spain (Málaga, Granada, Sevilla, Córdoba, Madrid and Barcelona). We are excited about myriad components of our trip, including touring The Alhambra, flamenco dancing, eating paella, drinking Moroccan tea, visiting an olive oil farm and biking through the streets of Barcelona.
That’s it for now, but please stay posted as we plan to have daily written updates, photos and videos of our journey through España.
In just a few short days, a group of Oak Hill Academy students and two faculty chaperones will embark on an immersive tour of Spain. We are pleased this year to offer this option for interested students who wish to spend part of their Spring Break in a cultural experience.
Stay tuned to this blog and Oak Hill Academy social media over the next week and a half to follow our group on what should be equal parts adventure, cultural learning and memory building! The tour is coordinated through Education First International, Ltd. (EF Tours). Please see the itinerary for our particular trip here: