Thursday, January 22, 2009

Castles and Cork

Today, we visited the International School of Sotogrande, where Sylvia may attend when she turns three years old. It's only about 5 minutes from their house and she loved it!! The school reminds me of the schools which our boys attended when we lived in Mexico City, especially. The school has an enrollment of approximately 700 with predominately British and Spanish students. We went on a tour of the school and Sylvia was infatuated with the other children and the activity centers. I think that she is very lucky to have such a great school available to her. She will grow up as a global citizen with strong bilingual skills. She and Savanna are so fortunate!

When the girls settled in for naps, Charles and I decided to brave the rainy weather to visit a castle about 30 minutes away. The drive was beautiful with twists and turns and incredible views - even through the clouds. We walked all around the castle grounds and saw the little village which was attched. We even found a home for sale just a few kilometers away from the castle!!

Along the drive, we also stopped to see a Cork Oak grove. I guess I have never thought about where cork came from, but this was interesting to me. The Cork Oak is native to southern Spain and can only be found in southwest Europe and northern Africa. The tree forms a thick, rugged and corky bark, which is harvested every 10-12 years. The harvesting does not harm the tree and a new layer of cork regrows. Cork Oaks live around 200 years and a tree can be harvested 12 times in its lifetime. We also drove past a cork factory, where the cork is gathered, cut and bundled for usage.

Afterwards, we drove through some local communities and ended up back in Sotogrande near the yacht club. We stopped for another cafe' con leche before heading home. Hay rico! :)

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