Spain

Fiesta and Last Night in Madrid

Hi friends and family. Your Summerfuel student is now on their way home! This morning there were lots of tears and hugs in the Madrid airport but almost everyone has boarded their flights at this point.

Yesterday afternoon we arrived in Madrid by train and checked into our hotel. Later, we took a walk through the city, arriving at the restaurant we’d reserved for dinner before our reservation time which meant the students had a bit of free time to check out shops along a popular street. After a delicious Italian meal, we got ice cream on our way back to the hotel and enjoyed our last night together as a group!

The fiesta we had on Thursday night with homestay families and other friends was a great way to wrap up a fun-filled month in Conil. We enjoyed some of the students’ favorite Spanish dishes like tortilla de patatas and topped off the night by screening videos made by various student groups.

Thank you to all of the Summerfuel Conil students (and those who recently joined us from the Barcelona program) for helping us make great memories this summer. We will miss them so much! Stay in touch!

Final Days!

¡Hola a todos! Its been a very busy week here in Conil and today marks the last full day with our homestay families. While many of the students are ready to get home to their families and friends this weekend, leaving their Spanish home is a difficult goodbye. Tonight we will celebrate all of the memories we’ve made in Conil by hosting a final dinner celebration with the people who have made this month so special: homestay families, friends, students, teachers, staff, cooking/surf instructors, and more!

During our last week in Conil, we enjoyed one final surf class and also one final cooking class where we made atún encebollado, a tuna dish with onions, and a type of salad that contains tuna, tomatoes, and onions. The two dishes complimented each other very well and the students enjoyed both preparing it and tasting it!

We also spent a morning at La Lonja, which is where the local fisherman bring what they’ve caught to be sorted, weighed, and sold to buyers from not only Spain but also Portugal, Italy, and other countries from around the world. There we saw a huge variety of fish, crabs, octopus and more and experienced the process from start to finish including a boat’s arrival to watching the buyers choose their product.

Yesterday, we spent the day in two places: Gibraltar and Punta Paloma, a beautiful beach located near Tarifa, Spain. Our first stop was Gibraltar where we took the cable car up the famous rock of Gibraltar to see the monkeys. On our way back to the bus we passed through some of the shops along Gibraltar’s Main Street.

At Punta Paloma, we had an amazing afternoon! The temperature was perfect and the students enjoyed laying on the beach playing Spanish music, swimming, and walking down the beach to a spot where people rub a kind of clay onto their bodies for its natural skin benefits. At the end of the afternoon, nobody wanted to leave!

As we mentioned earlier on, today is our last full day in Conil. For this reason, the group took their final exams this morning and are now enjoying time with their families and hopefully packing too! Tomorrow we will take the train to Madrid and spend the afternoon/night there before departing from Madrid-Barajas airport on Saturday morning! Stay tuned for one last blog post recapping tonight’s party and our time in Madrid.

 

Exploring Cádiz and Vejer

Hi everyone! It is officially the last week of the program and while we were sad to say goodbye to our friends who participated in the 3-week program, 5 students from Summerfuel Barcelona have now joined us to experience all that Conil has to offer.

On Saturday afternoon, we took a trip to Cádiz which is the capital city of Conil’s province. Every year, the trip to Cádiz is an interesting experience for students since Cádiz is steeped in history! It is the oldest city in Europe and was also the place where Spain’s first Constitution (endearingly called “La Pepa”) was established in 1812.

Along our walking tour of Cádiz, we also stopped at the cathedral and climbed up the bell towers where the bells began to ring exactly at the moment we reached the top of the stairs. From the top of the cathedral, the group enjoyed beautiful views of the city.

On Sunday, we had the great pleasure of visiting the town of a Summerfuel staff member: Vejer de la Frontera. In fact, Cucu’s grandfather, who was the mayor of Vejer for 20 years, kindly gave us a tour and explained the history. Since Vejer is situated on top of a large hill, its location is strategic for protecting the coast line and this became one of the most important responsibilities of the townspeople who would send signals to watch towers in other towns to alert them of an approaching threat.

Vejer also has a very interesting tradition of raffling off plots of land every four years. While the land in most towns belonged to members of the upper class or royal family, the land in Vejer has almost always belonged to the people throughout history. The local government continues the tradition of raffling off plots of land to this day.

It is now Monday morning and the Conil students are showing the Barcelona students the ropes: where classes are, our favorite cafes and restaurants, the beach, and more! We are all looking forward to our last cooking class this afternoon and excursions to come later this week. ¡Hasta pronto!

Radio Program and Goodbyes

¡Hola!

We hope everyone is well. We are doing great! Yesterday, our Advanced Level hosted their own radio program at Radio Conil. Everyone was a bit nervous at first but they did great. They talked about the differences between Spanish and American culture and played their favorite songs. It was a really good experience. The radio station will be posting shortly the link to the Summerfuel radio program on their facebook page https://es-es.facebook.com/RadioConil/

In the evening, we gathered at the beach with a guitar and Cajón flamenco to say goodbye to students who attended the program for 3 weeks. We ate, we sang, we danced and we had a good time. We also announced the winners of the “Points Competition”: The yeah yeah dance”

Tomorrow, we play basketball against a local team and Saturday 5 students arrive in Conil from Summerfuel’s Barcelona Program. They will be with us for the rest of the program and everyone is excited to meet them.

Here are some photos!

 

Córdoba y Sevilla

Hola!

We had a great weekend! On Friday we left Conil for Córdoba where we visited the Jewish Quarter, La Mezquita whose construction started in 782, and Córdoba’s old Synagogue and one of the only three Medieval ones left in Spain. We ate at the Mercado La Victoria and after lunch, we had tea at a beautiful and traditional Moroccan tea shop. That night we left for Seville where we had time to take a quick shower at the hotel before we went out for dinner. We had dinner on la Alameda which is an avenue full of restaurants and cafes. Students chose the place they like the best and they told us they ordered 13 different dishes! I have to say we have never had a group who enjoys eating and trying new things as much as this one.

The following day we met Juan, our tour guide, at 10 am and we saw so much: the Jewish Quarter, Plaza de España, la Catedral, la Giralda and Reales Alcazares, Seville’s Royal Palace where some of Game of Thrones was filmed (for fans out there, remember Dorne? Well, we were in Dorne). After a typical long lunch, we visit las Setas monument which boasts the best views in Seville. After a bit of free time, we went back to Conil.

Tomorrow Conil celebrates the Patron saint of Fishermen: “La Virgen del Carmen”. It is a lovely fiesta where the statue of the Virgen del Carmen is taken by boat all along the coast while followed by smaller boats.

Enjoy the photos!

 

 

Week 2

Hello!

We had such a good time this past weekend in Conil!  On Saturday, students had free time to spend with their families and friends on the beach and we all met at 9 pm to do Pilates and watch the sunset. Maria, the instructor, was so good and it was harder than we thought! But we had a few laughs trying to keep some of the positions. On Sunday, we played soccer against the Spaniards – we lost 3-2 but everyone gave their best and it was a lot of fun.

We celebrated another birthday yesterday with cream and strawberries cake that we ate after cooking classes. At cooking class, we made “Carne al Toro” and “Patatas a lo pobre”.

Today, we continue with community service and surf. Friday we leave for Córdoba and Sevilla! We will keep you posted.

 

Flea Market, Bike Trip and a Birthday

Hello!

Friday is flea market day in Conil and we visited it as part of a class activity. After lunch, we biked along the coast to La Cala del Aceite cove where we sunbathed and kayaked. Back in Conil we got together for pizza and cake to celebrate Jessie’s birthday! We had a great day.

Tomorrow, we have an easy day-  everyone can sleep in and go to the beach with family and friends, and at 9 pm we will be meeting to do “Sunset Pilates”. No, it’s not a new Pilates method invented in Spain, we just do Pilates at this lovely outdoor space while watching the sunset.

On Sunday, it’s soccer time: American vs Spaniards… I will let you know what happens!

And here are some photos…

Week 1

¡Feliz 4 de Julio!

We have been in Conil for  4 days now and have done so much. Language classes started on Tuesday and today students had their first exchange with Spanish students who are learning English. We made small groups and every 7 minutes they had to switch languages- it was very fun and a great opportunity to make friends with local teenagers.

The cooking workshop took place on Monday and Wednesday and students made tortilla de patatas and gazpacho – two popular dishes during the summer in Conil. They did a great job flipping their tortillas around which is not an easy task! Surf also started on Tuesday and will happen again today. Lastly, students who signed up for community service at the Alzheimer’s center have attended twice already. We are keeping really busy! Tomorrow we will go on a bike trip to a beautiful small cove called La Cala del Aceite where we will sunbathe and kayak.

Here are some photos…