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Savouring España: An Educational & Cultural Travelogue


A group picture before we set off
Starting from Pune

What we are about to recount is nothing short of a fairy tale beginning. Our adventure kicked off with a visa ordeal—27 visas, in spite of meticulously prepared paperwork, met with an unexpected rejection. With just two days left until the trip, we found ourselves standing in shock and speechlessness, utterly clueless and uncertain about the next steps, as if trapped in a nightmarish scenario.

All smiles after visa stamping
At the Consulate General of Spain

Nevertheless, undeterred, we visited the consulate the next morning, faced a denied entry, made a stop at a nearby restaurant; making calls, drafting emails, and initiating a plan B. As the consulate closed at 2 pm, we opted to grab a meal, perhaps still holding onto hope for a miraculous turn of events.

Enter the fairy tale twist: our saviour, Ms. Eva Galán, the Director of Teresa Berganza school in Madrid, interrupted our lunch with a call, revealing that the consulate was prepared to stamp the visas. In a magical turn of events, Ms. Eva had dialed the emergency number designated for Spanish nationals at the Consulate General of Spain, only to have the Head of the Consulate personally pick up the call!

The result: Not only were all 27 visas approved and stamped, but we were also warmly welcomed by the Consulate staff to a pre-Christmas feast!


On 2 December 2023, filled with mixed emotions, the children, along with the Principal of Bharati Vidyapeeth Rabindranth School of Excellence, Ms. Jumana Gari, two teachers, Ms. Anushree Mane & Ms. Deepti Oak, and the LinguBee team, Ms. Praniti Lal & Ms. Radnyee Naik, set off from the school to Mumbai airport. The flight to Madrid, thankfully, unfolded without any dramatic twists, ensuring a smooth and well-paced journey as we arrived safely in Boadilla del Monte, Madrid!

Having settled into the hotel, we proceeded to the Palace of Infante don Luis in Boadilla del Monte. The tour through the palace proved to be truly enchanting and after a quiet pizza dinner, the first day in Spain concluded with a mix of excitement and fatigue.


Meeting buddies in Teresa Berganza, Madrid
Teresa Berganza School, Madrid

Day 2: The day's highlights for the children included a school visit, meeting their Spanish buddies, exchanging contact information, playing games, immersing themselves in cultural exchanges, and enjoying a meal in the school canteen.

The day commenced with a heartfelt welcome at Teresa Bergenza School in Boadilla del Monte. The school Director, Ms. Eva Galán, the Vice-Principal, Mr. Raúl Ruiz Escribano, and the former Director, Mr. Antonia Audije, ensured a warm and delightful reception. Ms. Jumana Gari, the Principal of BVRTSE, shared insights into Indian culture with the Spanish students. The atmosphere was charged with a deep feeling of pride when the Indian students sang the school prayer, and a few children performed an Indian song.

A group picture at Palacio Real
Palacio Real

Following the school visit, we headed to The Royal Palace of Madrid, also known as Palacio Real, the largest palace in Western Europe. The children were completely captivated by its architecture, intricate decorations, and beautiful paintings.


Day 3: Teresa Berganza School once again hosted us with engaging workshops, delightful activities, a sumptuous lunch, and personalised gifts for each child. The warm welcome and generous hospitality were truly overwhelming, and we aspire to reciprocate the gesture someday!

Following our visit to the school, we ventured to the Madrid Snozone, renowned as one of the largest indoor snow resorts in the world.

All geared up for the Snozone
Madrid Snozone

The children experienced the thrill of a lifetime with snowboarding. And although the adults opted not to participate, we thoroughly enjoyed watching them gear up for the snow and take on the slopes. The day concluded on a high note with a shopping spree in the mall.



Mesmerised by the beauty of Toledo
The City of Toledo


Day 4: At times, when beauty becomes overwhelming, you find yourself wondering where to direct your gaze. Toledo is precisely one such place on this planet that captured our hearts — a sentiment shared by everyone in the group. This ancient city, perched on a hill above the plains of Castilla-La Mancha in central Spain, is fascinating and breathtaking. Guided by our knowledgeable tour guide, the children not only listened attentively, but also posed pertinent questions, gaining valuable insights into the city's rich history.


Day 5: The morning was dedicated to a shopping spree at El Corte Inglés. The children shopped to their hearts' content, and it was amusing to see their enthusiasm as they picked up souvenirs for every family member. From little siblings to grandparents, some children sought our advice on every purchase, while others displayed a more independent shopping spirit. However, the moment they consulted us and the item exceeded 10 euros, we made it our duty to play the role of budget watchdogs.


In awe of Real Madrid stadium
Real Madrid Stadium, Madrid

If shopping brought joy, the visit to The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium or commonly recognised as The Real Madrid Stadium left us in awe. The sheer grandeur of the stadium was captivating. Despite being a highly anticipated experience, it left a few of us disheartened as the stadium was undergoing renovation.


Exploring the city of Madrid
In front of Real Teatro.

Day 6: The following day unfolded at a leisurely pace, with most of us feeling a bit tired and under the weather. Despite initially planning to visit El Prado museum, the consensus was to prioritise rest. Without wasting much time, we collectively decided to indulge in a bit more relaxation, enjoying lunch at the hotel before embarking on a city tour to Puerta del Sol, the historically significant semi-circular city square.

Our exploration included a visit to the Zero Kilometer marker—a small stone slab in Madrid's city square that denotes the geographical center of Spain and serves as the starting point for measuring distances across the country. Returning to the hotel sooner than usual, we retired early, gearing up for the final leg of our tour to Segovia the next morning.



The inspiration for Disney castle
The Alcazar of Segovia

Day 7: If there existed a place akin to paradise, it would undoubtedly be Segovia! Positioned to the northwest of Madrid, this historic city boasts a remarkable architectural legacy, with The Alcazar of Segovia (palace) considered to be the inspiration for the Disney castle. Nestled within the ancient streets, the palace sits on a cliff's edge, commanding a breathtaking panoramic view of the city and its surroundings. It offers one of the most stunning perspectives, encapsulating the medieval charm that defines Segovia.


Day 8 - 9: The study tour in Spain wouldn't have been comfortable without a dedicated bus at our service. Special thanks to Mr. Ashwani Goyal & Ms. Vini Goyal, Directors of Goyal publishers and START Pvt Ltd, for catering to every requirement right from the conception of this tour. To add to the success of the trip, were also the children who were complete sweethearts, and conducted themselves very well in a foreign country.

The tour not only presented the opportunity to visit a Spanish school and foster lifelong friendships, but it also served as a gateway to immerse in local culture, gave a chance to the children to engage with the locals in restaurants, shops, cash counters, etc. thereby enhancing their Spanish-speaking skills.

Finally, on 10 December 2023, with bags and memories in tow, a sleepy layover in Abu Dhabi, and a flight to Mumbai, we took a bus ride to Pune, bringing our Spanish adventure to a close and reuniting with the eager parents!


Click on the picture below to get some glimpses of our study tour in Spain!



2 Comments


Malhar Bhandari
Malhar Bhandari
Dec 23, 2023

What an experience for the kids to remember for a lifetime! The visa ordeal made it truly adventurous and courage to deal with real world challenges.

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Aishwarya Gurjar
Aishwarya Gurjar
Dec 21, 2023

What a wholesome experience. Am sure the kids would have loved and learnt so much from this trip

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