Exploring the diverse Spanish geography always brings new discoveries to our group of students who find unexpected places they instantly enjoy and appreciate. Our weekend excursion give students a break from their academic obligations while encouraging group bonding between participants and staff. Also, a week away from Madrid provides new opportunities to access different areas of the country and new approaches to its culture, its diversity and its people.
This past weekend, we took the group to the island of Tenerife, the biggest island in the Canary islands archipelago, Tenerife is probably the best-known of the seven islands thanks to its volcano: el Teide. Upon arrival, after a two and a half hours flight, the group took a catamaran to sail on the open sea. Unexpectedly, an unforgettable moment occurred which mesmerized everyone: a group of dolphins approached our boat and accompanied us for half an hour! The beautiful animals, flirted with the group jumping and spinning around as they seduced all of us with their play-ful company as we looked on in awe and amazement. Later, the group had the opportunity to dive into the ocean in a nearby bay enjoying its crystal waters and warm temperature.
We stayed in the North of the island in the coastal town of Puerto de la Cruz, were typical wooden balconies mixed with new intiatives as the decorated walls in La Ranilla area.
The next day we headed to the Teide National Park, where El Teide volcano rises to become the highest peak in Spain. We took a gondola to the upper area from where we trekked to enjoy 360º views of the ocean and three of the other Canary islands. The day was sunny and clear helping the group to enjoy the amazing landscape.
A visit to the towns of La Orotava and La Laguna, host of the island's university, allowed the students not only to try the local specialties (mainly the potatoes with mojo sauce) and some local species such as the drago tree, but to approach to its particular architecture and the history of these two places that had an important role in the past.
This trip to Tenerife has undoubtely been a milestone in the study abroad experience our students who will cherish in their memories for the years to come.