A couple weeks ago was my Semana Santa trip around Europe with my parents and my brother! Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is a pretty big deal in Spain (especially in Andalucía). I remember being a little angry with myself when I studied abroad because Sevilla has one of the biggest (if not the biggest) Semana Santa celebrations in all of Spain. But I’m not TOO bitter because I did miss it for my incredible trip to Greece, so it was a fair trade-off. With this Semana Santa, I went traveling again because we had a 10-day break off of work!
The week before Semana Santa was “Cultural Week” at my school which meant it was one big party. All of my kids were so excited because it’s something they look forward to every year. Basically all of the ESO (high school) classes put together their own skits, complete with costumes, props, and sets, that correlates with the chosen theme of the school. This year’s theme was Spain in the 1980’s. I basically didn’t work for the entire week because the students spent all day Monday and Tuesday preparing because Wednesday and Thursday were the big days. During these two days, all of the students in the school got dressed up and all of the hallways were elaborately decorated. Then the primary students went upstairs to watch the secondary students perform their skits. It was such a fun week and a great start to our vacations!
Although I would have loved to see my students’ performances, I decided not to go in to work on Thursday because I was too busy preparing for something even better…my parents’ arrival to Madrid!! Back in September when I hugged them goodbye at the airport, their April visit felt so far away. But then, with every Skype talk, we began to cross off months from our countdown until those months turned into just a matter of weeks. Before we knew it, I was there at the Madrid Barajas airport welcoming them off their flight from Rome! It’s amazing how fast 7 months went by! And thank God for Skype. It really makes living overseas so much easier.
I spent the first couple days of Semana Santa showing them around Madrid. We had a nice dinner inside the Plaza Mayor, got drinks on top of Círculo de Bellas Artes at sunset, toured around the Royal Palace, took them to the popular restaurant El Tigre (which they loved!), as well as my favorite ice cream place. I also showed them where I work and my apartment of course. Saturday morning we took a half-day trip to Segovia. It was nice being able to show them a Spanish city that isn’t as big or bustling as Madrid.
Our time together in Madrid came to an end way too soon. There was still so much more on my list that I wanted to show them! But Sunday morning came (5:30 AM to be exact) and it was time to head to the airport for our European excursion! In a matter of a week (yes, it was really fast-paced), we went to Salzburg, Austria; Munich, Germany; and took a road trip around Ireland. Here you can read more about our trip: