You cannot spend time in Europe without educating yourself on the history of the area, and visiting in many cases numerous cathedrals. What was interesting in particular about this trip versus other areas that I have traveled was that in Spain the Moors ruled the Iberian peninsula from the year 700 until 1492 (a date easy for any school child to remember as in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue). As a result there are still any number of what are now Christian Cathedrals that were converted from former Mosques. Though the majority of mosques were destroyed, the beauty and architectural diversity of these hybrids preserved both forms of worship.
Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo
With Cathedrals also came Compromise. We were on a tour, which was wonderful, and we were happy with the fact that it was pretty 50/50. Equal parts guided tours with the group and free time. However, in true teenage form, the kids were less appreciative of the planned tours. Tours now versus 20 years ago when I last toured include devices called whispers. They are little boxes worn around your neck with an ear piece so that you can easily listen to your guide. The kids rebelled by not using theirs and moodily huffing through the Cathedrals.
However, glimpses of interest materialized as they snapped photos with there phones and over dinner conversation one evening Sidney expanded on the conversation based on what she had heard from the tour. So though there was forced compromise that they were not always particularly happy about, they still learned about the Cathedrals even if through osmosis.