Wood Students Travel to Spain

Romeo Ponsaran  The Alameda Sun shines on the city of Toledo, Spain, thanks to the Wood Middle School students who traveled there in March.

Wood Students Travel to Spain


On Friday, March 25, 22 current and former Wood Middle School art and band students (ranging from seventh grade to freshman year of high school) took off from San Francisco International Airport, accompanied by four Wood teachers, Ms. Shepard, Mr. Ponsaran, Mr. Reis and Ms. Verduin. After a layover in Frankfurt, Germany, we finally arrived in Madrid, Spain the next day.

We stayed in Spain for Spring Break, meandering through the narrow streets of San Sebastian, viewing the ancient city of Toledo, and travelling to the numerous cathedrals and museums throughout Spain. The educational tour company that assisted us was EF Tours. We were touring with an additional group from Chicago, Mt. Carmel High School, an all-boys Catholic school, a group we soon made friends with. There is some interesting history in each city we visited. Exploring the rich history within Spain was eye opening and an incredible experience.

The journey began in Madrid, the capital of Spain. The stay lasted two days and three nights. It was packed with excitement in the brightly lit streets replete with vendors and elegant shops and enormous buildings. People filled the streets and the Castilian dialect echoed from all corners. The first dinner spent in Spain after we arrived was at a tapas restaurant. If you didn’t know, being served tapas is like being served a series of multiple appetizers with toothpicks stuck in them, usually featuring bread, jamón (ham), calamari or other meats and seafood.

The next day our group explored the Royal Palace. Although currently no one lives in this lavish castle, the rooms we visited were kept in perfect condition as if they were masterpieces, which they virtually are. We visited the Prado Museum as well, where we were immersed in works by Rafael and Valesquez.

Then we visited the Reina Sofia Museum, where Picasso’s masterpiece, Guernica is displayed. Finally, we attended a flamenco night. The dancers wore lovely dresses that twirled about their ankles as they clapped and stomped and smiled. Although the jetlag tugged at some of my peers’ eyes, the night made for an exciting and very cultural experience! In the ancient city Toledo, we saw St. Martin’s Bridge and the Tagus River. We also had the chance to see extravagant sword blades and decorative fans being made by hand.

After Toledo, we toured Segovia, where an enormous aqueduct bridge (the Aqueduct of Segovia) was built approximately 2000 years ago. Despite its age and the fact that it lacks mortar, it stands tall throughout the 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) it takes up of the city. Before lunch, we explored Segovia Alcazar, a castle surrounded by an emptied moat. There are no alligators in this moat, despite many in our class expecting to see reptiles guarding the castle.

Soon, we were back on the bus and on our way to Burgos, which is located in the Basque country. Residents of the Basque country speak Euskara. In Burgos, we sightsaw Plaza Mayor, and the Burgos Cathedral. In the evening, we strolled along the Arlanzon river and enjoyed sugary churros dipped in warm chocolate. 

Marcella Welter is a seventhgrade concert band student at Wood Middle School. Next week she’ll share the students’ adventures in Pamplona, including Mr. Reis running from the bulls.