Nicole Downey

Nicole is in Spain with British Council. She is linked with Crookfur Primary School in East Renfrewshire.

Two Thirds Gone!

Hola Chicos!

It’s been a little while since my last post because I’ve been very busy working with all the kids at school because they’ve had lots of exams. But this is a quick update before all my Easter holidays adventures – Easter already, I’ve already finished two thirds of my year abroad and only one term left at school!

I want to tell you about el Templo de Debod (the Temple of Debod) first, which is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Madrid. I visited the temple for the first time a few weeks ago, although it’s only about ten minutes from my flat!  The temple was built in Egypt at the beginning of the second century B.C., so it’s thousands of years old! So why is an ancient Egyptian temple in the middle of Spain? Well, in 1960m  huge lake was created in Egypt, and many monuments were submerged in the water and Egypt asked the world to help rescue the monuments. Egypt gifted the monuments to the countries which helped them, and in 1970, the temple was brought to Madrid, rebuilt, and opened to the public in 1972. It’s definitely one of the most interesting places I’ve visited in Madrid, because the last thing you expect to see walking through the park in the middle of a big city is an Egyptian temple! (People also say it’s the best place to watch the sunset in Madrid, so I’ll go back to find out if that’s true or not and let you all know!)

Also, this week there was an exchange at school between the Spanish pupils and visitors from Denmark. So I got to go on one of their trips to the beautiful city of Segovia, which is about an hour and a half outside of Madrid in the region of Castilla y León. Segovia is a very, very old city, which was very rich in the past for many reasons. Firstly the city has a mint, where money was made in the past and sent all over Spain. It’s a city full of Churches, but the most beautiful is without a doubt the huge cathedral (Catedral de Santa María de Segovia). Segovia also has a castle called Alcázar de Segovia, which was built as a fortress, but also used as a royal palace. The castle makes the whole city look like a fairytale, and it is said that it is where Walt Disney got his idea for Cinderella’s Castle which is so famous nowadays. However, the thing that I found the most interesting was the city’s huge aqueduct. It was built hundreds of years ago by the Romans to carry water from the mountains to the city.  There is a legend that says a young girl who used to climb the mountain to get water every day made a wish to the devil asking for an easier way to get water.  The devil said that he would do it, but if he finished before morning he would steal the girls soul. However, he had one stone left when morning came and he did not finish. Now, in the place where the stone should be is a statue of Mary, Jesus’ Mother. People from Segovia say it is good luck to touch the aqueduct when you visit, which of course I did! On the ground there are also special tiles to indicate where the aqueduct runs underground. It was definitely a very interesting and cultural trip!

Remember to ask any questions or anything else you want me to find out about!

I’ll post again after the holidays!

Hasta luego!

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