Program Blog for June 18 - June 29, 2023

June 18, 2023

Our Mediterranean adventure has begun and is off to a great start!

Throughout day one, our travelers arrived in Spain, made new friends, and got settled in our temporary home here in Barcelona. We had dinner at a traditional Spanish restaurant, where our table was overflowing with delicious tapas.

After dinner, we got to know each other a little better, before getting some much needed rest. We’re excited to begin exploring Barcelona tomorrow, starting with a bike tour of the marina, followed by a walking tour of the Gothic Quarter, and ending with a traditional paella making class.

Hasta leugo!

June 21, 2023

And that’s a wrap on Spain!

Over the past three days we’ve experienced the energetic city of Barcelona. Along the way, we’ve developed our confidence, explored our curiosities, and strengthened our connections with each other and with the local culture.

Day two was spent touring much of the city and getting our bearings, first with a morning bike tour and then with an afternoon walking tour. With all of that activity, we sure worked up an appetite. Good thing we had a paella making class that evening, where we learned how to prepare our own four-course Spanish meal. Delicioso!

On day three we learned all about the Spanish artist and architect Antoni Gaudí, and saw much of his work as we visited Park Guell and the world famous Sagrada Familia. Following a brief siesta, we capped off our time in Spain by taking a Spanish flamenco dancing lesson, before watching the professionals perform in a full flamenco show. Increíble!

Today we said adios to Spain, and bonjour to Paris!

June 26, 2023

Au revoir Paris! Our past four days were spent exploring the enchanting Parisian city, cuisine, and culture.

We were welcomed to Paris with a rainy morning on day one, but we made the most of indoor activities. First, we visited one of the oldest and poshest department stores in all of Paris. From there, we got an overview of the city with our indoor, narrated boat cruise along the Seine. We spent much of the afternoon at the Louvre, seeing many works of art that we’ve read about for years. No big deal!

Day two provided us with our first proper introduction to the Eiffel Tower, where we viewed it from the famous Trocadero Steps. Of course, we took many photos. Then we took some time to savor the Parisian lifestyle by having refreshments at a cute street cafe, before moving on to lunch at a nearby park. From there we took a bicycle tour of the city and explored the urban and street art scene in the 13th arrondissement. La vie boheme!

We took a day trip to Versailles on day three, explored the palace, and learned more about French history and the kings and queens who lived there. We saw their beautiful collections of artwork, their bedrooms, and even some carriages that were ridden in by royalty. Then we returned to the Eiffel Tower that evening and climbed to the top to watch the sun set over the city. C’était magique!

Finally on day four, we began our day by exploring the Montmartre district. We had delicious pastries from the oldest patisserie in Paris, and then saw such famous local sites as the Moulin Rogue and Sacre Coeur. We took part in a perfume making activity in the afternoon, where learned about the history and process of making perfumes, and then we each made our own personalized scent. Très chic!

It’s hard to believe our adventure is almost over! This morning, we said “benvenute” to Italy, and to our final destination on this journey. We’re not ready for it to end, but we’ll be home soon!

June 29, 2023

Venice, you were magical! For the past 2 days, we have explored the canals of this enchanting city.

For our first full day in Venice, we began the morning on the island of Murano, where we learned about the its history of glass blowing, before moving on to the colorful island of Burano and its Instagram-worthy houses. That afternoon, we returned to Venice proper to see some of its most historic sites. And of course, what would a visit to Venice be without a gondola ride, which we took to cap off our evening.

We began day two by touring the Doge’s gorgeous Venetian palace and learning more about the history of the island. Following lunch, we took a mask-decorating workshop, and left with our own authentic Venetian masks. We finally had some beach time that afternoon, where we enjoyed swimming, relaxing, and getting to know each other better. After dinner, we took a sunset cruise through Venice, and admired the city’s beautiful skyline. What a perfect way to end our amazing experience.

Over the past two weeks, we grew our confidence in traveling, curiously explored new cultures, and built lifelong connections. Adios, au revoir, and ciao Europe! We know we’ll be back someday, but for now, we’re coming home.