38 excited pupils met at Manchester Airport on Sunday afternoon, suitcases packed and ready to embark on an adventure in the Catalan capital.
Even being in Barcelona doesn’t mean Year 11 pupils can avoid an early morning get up for school, straight after breakfast we were onto the metro to make our way to language school. After two hours of Spanish lessons in small groups with language tutors we began to explore the city. First stop a 4D Gaudi experience, highlighting some of the amazing, modernist architecture we would be seeing during our trip, followed by some free time exploring Parc Güell. The park was beautiful but the view was spoiled slightly by some cloud. Back onto the metro our next stop was Passeig de Gràcia for a spot of retail therapy on the main shopping street in Barcelona. The first full day of action was rounded off with a bit of karaoke on the rooftop terrace in the hostel. Even the teachers had to get involved with a near flawless rendition of Dancing Queen.
Tuesday started with another morning of lessons then onto La Sagrada Familia. We arrived at La Sagrada Familia already excited because of the impressive exterior. However, when we began the tour and entered the huge basilica we got to experience the real beauty of one of Barcelona’s most iconic landmarks. Our guides were passionate in explaining the intricate architecture inside La Sagrada Familia and the significance of the different colours of light streaming through the impressive stain glass windows. The afternoon took us for a stroll down La Rambla, Barcelona’s most famous boulevard. Starting in the Plaça de Catalunya we ended up in la Boquería market. Pupils had some free time to browse the food markets and enjoyed the huge variety of fruit, ice cream, tapas and chocolates. Back to the terrace after dinner meant a salsa lesson and a slice of pizza. A perfect combo!
Our last full day of sightseeing was always going to be a highlight for many pupils. We were up early, regardless of the day off school, to get to the Camp Nou, the home of FC Barcelona. The biggest football stadium in Europe did not disappoint and the chance to sit in the stands and get to the edge of the pitch was enjoyed by everyone, including those pupils that couldn’t help but wear rival football tops! The afternoon brought some more retail therapy and the day was finished off with a delicious variety of tapas by the port. Pupils were keen to try the local cuisine including Pa amb tomàquet (tomato bread), calamares (squid) and tortilla española (omelette of egg and potato). Tummies full, it was time for one last trip on the metro and home to get packed up.
On the last day there wasn’t much time for anything expect breakfast and an early check out. Lunch packed, we headed off to the airport and the last of our euros were spent on Milka and Toblerone.
38 tired Year 11s arrived home late on Thursday afternoon and had to acclimatise back to Manchester weather after 4 days of hot temperatures. The pupils were an absolute credit to the school. A trip away from home can be tough but they all exemplified our value of community and I really hope they gained a lot from their trip to Barcelona and take with them memories that will last forever.
Mr Burgess, Mrs Campbell, Miss Purdy and Mr Walker