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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sephardic Heritage Trip 2017/5777: Day 6

The Sephardic Heritage Trip has been an amazing experience so far! Today we woke up in the Elliot hotel in Gibraltar, prayed and walked to breakfast. Everything in Gibraltar is within walking distance so it's nice to get to walk around and explore the scenery. We then boarded the bus to go to Seville in Spain. We all slept on the way and we were awaken with Sheila's famous "cookooreikoo" song. 
We arrived at a beautiful park filled with orange trees, flowers and lots of green scenery where we ate our lunch. We then walked to the old Jewish quarter in Seville. We learned about life of the Jews before they where expelled from Spain. The streets of the old city in Seville are tightly knit together with beautiful small homes and Spanish architecture and flowers. This gave us a sense of how Jews lived. The walkways were built narrowly in order to provide shade and air for the homes since air conditioning was not created yet. We learned about the Morranos, who were Jews who converted to Christianity to protect themselves but were Jewish in secret. 
We also toured the Royal Palace of Alcazar. The architecture was inspired by Muslim architecture: intricate and beautiful details with lots of carvings and gold leaf. We were then treated with horse-drawn carriage ride through the picturesque city of Seville which took us to Plaza de EspaƱa. 
There we prayed Mincha and had free time- we explored the scenery, shopped and took lots of memorable pictures. We ended off the day in Seville with a group picture by the the fountain near the plaza. We then caught the speed train which took us to Madrid. We checked into our hotel and hung out with each other. Since it's our last night in Spain, we met downstairs in the lobby for debriefing on the trip and hanging out together. We ate snacks and talked until curfew as we reflected on the trip. Today was a day well spent and not to mention the weather was so beautiful (70's and sunny). This trip is highly recommended :) it's an amazing experience in a beautiful country with friends and teachers!  ~ Claudia Chera, Class of 2017