Friday, June 12, 2009

June 12

Hello to all in blog land. 

I remember the first time I heard about a blog. 

 ?!@# = blog. 

 This is what I thought...or didn't think. I just thought it was an odd name with an odd functionality. OK, I was wrong...about the functionality...the name is still odd. But as I journey to Spain with this summer school class I can certainly understand why one would blog. The National Geographic blog will be if you would like to read another entry from this trip.

Spain 2009 Itinerary

June 16:  Fly from Houston International Airport, on Air France flight #33 to Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris, connecting to Air France flight #1400 to Madrid.  

June 17 – 21: Hostal Nuria, Madrid  C/ Fuencarral, 5229004 Madrid, Spain

Your National Geographic Student Expedition leaders will meet you this morning upon your arrival in Madrid. During our orientation, we'll get acquainted as a group and explore Madrid. Begin working in photography teams. Visit the city’s lively neighborhoods and examine museums such as the Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza, Reina Sofía, and Casa Sorolla. Have a picnic lunch in the Parque del Buen Retiro, and a take a rowboat ride on the lake for views of the grand monuments and parklands.

June 21 – July 1:  Hostal Costa Azul, Granada

C/ Rosario, 5

18001 Granada, Spain

Ride the train to Granada. Here, we’ll spend the days exploring this lively Andalusian city and the surrounding countryside with cameras in hand. See the tombs of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in the Renaissance cathedral. Take the back road up to the Alhambra, and visit the gravity-powered fountains of the Generalife gardens. Visit nearby sites of interest such as Córdoba, Ubeda, the Sierra Nevada and the hamlets of the Alpujarras. National Geographic expert Tino Soriano will join the group during this portion of the trip.

July 1 – 4: Hotel Fernando III, Sevilla

C/ San José, 21  
41004 Sevilla

In Sevilla, continuing to work in photography teams, we’ll visit the old Jewish quarter of Barrio de Santa Cruz as well as historical sites such as the cathedral, the Giralda tower, and Alcázar. Explore the vast Parque de María Luisa and the ancient Roman city of Itálica.

July 4 – 6: Hotel Monte Puertatierra, Cádiz

Avda. de Andalucía, 34

E-11008 Cádiz, Spain

The program concludes in the lively seaside city of Cádiz. Sample delicious seafood in sidewalk cafés. Explore the rich maritime history of the city. Swim or relax on the sparkling beaches of Costa de la Luz. The final nights feature presentations of photography projects.

July 6: Fly Málaga-Paris-Houston via Air France flight #2631 connecting to flight #36, arriving at the International Arrivals area at Houston International Airport at 1:55 PM local time.

Mail should be sent via airmail, c/o National Geographic Student Expeditions, where mailing addresses are indicated.  Please allow at least 10 days for delivery of mail to Spain.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Cathy, Congrats on your journey to Spain and into blogging territory! I look forward to following your adventures. Stay safe and have a fun trip! Can't wait to see the photos! Hugs! Diana


Sunset on the Amazon

Sunset on the Amazon
We had some of the most spectacular sunsets. Our cabanas over looked Piranha Laguna. From our open air lodge you could see the most beautiful close to the day.

National Geographic Ecuador Group

National Geographic Ecuador Group
We gathered with Massimo (front and center) for a group shot before he had to leave us and return to Italy. We are all back in Houston now and have made many wonderful memories.

White water tubing

White water tubing
In freezing cold river water, our group loaded onto two tube rafts for an adventure ride. Lots of gasping for breath as the cold water hit the body, lots of screams as your tube raft headed into the rapids, and lots of smiles from everyone.

Watching and waiting for Hummingbirds

Watching and waiting for Hummingbirds
Biologist, Nicki, names some of the birds that we are trying to photograph.


Day four started with a ride across the canopy in the tarabita.

Bug Hunting Hikes

Bug Hunting Hikes
In the evenings, when it is not pouring down rain, we hunt along the road for nocturnal critters. It is quite entertaining to see the students excitedly looking under leaves and rocks. I would have to say that Callie and Madeleine Ham won the most critters found award for our time in Mindo.

Making Chocolate

Making Chocolate
As one drops the cocoa beans into the press the other pushes down and out come delicious chocolate. We had bananas, kiwis, apples, and pineapple to dip. We even had left overs....wish I knew where that tub of chocolate was.