Experiencing Rural Aragon by Bike
Last week, March 9-10, students at SYA Spain were divided into four groups for a two-day educational trip exploring different locations close to Zaragoza. The excursion was specifically structured to show students beautiful places not too far from the city center, provide a change of scene from their normal learning environment, and to visit destinations they may not have experienced were it not for an organized trip there.
These short trips are also referred to as interdepartmental trips at SYA. Each teacher leading the trip (two teachers per group) prepared lessons focusing on topics students are currently studying at school; literature, art, science, history and philosophy.
Exploring Castles and Rock Formations
The trip to the picturesque countryside that surrounds Zaragoza was made by train and once there, by bike. This area offers sweeping vistas of rolling hills, rugged cliffs and is dotted with pine trees and naturally occurring olive groves. The group left by train to Ayerbe, 73 miles north of Zaragoza and from there they cycled eight miles to the Castillo de Loarre. This was the most difficult section as students steadily climbed the steep gradient by bike.. They then had the opportunity to visit the castle, a fortress built in the 11th and 12th centuries, have lunch and enjoy some free time. After cycling the nine miles or so downhill back to Ayerbe they continued on to the Biscarrues Hostal located four and half miles from there. This completed their first day.
On Thursday, the group awoke early and after a good breakfast they took off to cycle the 11 miles to the Riglos de Mayos along the Gallego River. Once they arrived at the Riglos, a rock formation that reaches 275 meters in height in parts, students explored the base of the rocks marveling at the imposing natural structure. It was created when the Pyrenees were formed between 80 to 20 million years ago. The group then enjoyed a lunch and more free time or cycling before they headed back to Zaragoza!
Photo Credit: James Cardichon (Belmont Hill School)