On Monday the 20th of June Miss Green had the privilege of travelling with 10 Year 9 students to Barcelona, for many of whom it was their first trip abroad. In addition to the 20 thousand plus steps a day exploring every corner and height of Barcelona, the students’ resilience, courteousness, and humour truly made the trip an unforgettable experience.
Day 1 – Students travelled to Birmingham Airport to meet their travel companions, 40+ other students from schools within the Matrix Academy Trust. Our 10 students immediately formed a close bond, which later in the week welcomed other students who could not believe how ‘posh’ the Nuneaton accent is. Arriving at our home for the week, Urbany Hostel, we dropped out bags off before exploring our local shopping sent Glories for dinner before an early night.
Day 2 – Our first ride on the Metro, which became our main mode of transport for the week, lead us to different sites around Montjuic. We visited the Olympic Museum and arena for the 1992 Olympics and the cable car up to Castell de Montjuic for some impressive views over the city. After this, we got the Port Vell Cable car across to Barceloneta Harbour (some of our students embraced the views, others hid behind their masks). We then enjoyed a lovely meal on the harbourside before heading back to recharge ourselves for another jam-packed day.
Day 3 – We began with a trip to Camp Nou, home of Barcelona FC, where we had a tour around their trophy room, stadium, and side-lines. From there, we headed to La Rambla, where students were able to soak up the culture of one of the most famous streets in Europe. That evening, we had a movie night, watching some of the latest film releases (although students were pleased to hear the films were in English with Spanish subtitles). School groups were mixed up, providing the chance to get to know each other more.
Day 4 – Gaudí Day, exploring two of the most famous works of one of Spain’s most famous architects. First was a tour of the impressive Sagrada Familia where we were able to marvel at the detailed sculptures on the outside and the sunlight shining through the stained-glass windows on the inside, spreading fantastic colours through the interior. We even took a bit of time to make our own artwork, inspired by the building. We left the Sagrada Familia and after a lot of escalators, steps and hills made it to Parc Guell, where students were given time to explore this large fantasy-inspired park, before meeting at El Drac, a larger-than-life mosaic sculpture of a lizard. As we headed home that evening, we started to see the fireworks and bonfires being set up for the evening’s festivities, which took place all over Barcelona, including right outside our hostel, until the early hours of the morning.
Day 5 – Friday began with a well-earned lie-in, before a trip to see the Barcelona aquarium and an afternoon spent relaxing on the beach, followed by another delicious meal in the harbourside.
Day 6 – Saturday saw us heading to see some of the wildlife in the Barcelona Zoo, including tigers, rhinos, and elephants. After a wild day, we headed back towards La Rambla for a spot of retail therapy, before heading up to see the views of the city from the Palau Nacional.
Day 7 – Sunday was the day that some of us had been looking forward to the most, a trip to Portaventura Theme Park, which is home to over 50 exhilarating rides, including Dragon Khan and Shambhala. After a fantastic day, we returned to Barcelona before a final evening meal together.
Day 8 – A mad dash to the airport gate and a tearful goodbye! A huge thank you to both Miss Dunkley and the Turing Scheme for this once in a lifetime opportunity – our students truly had the most remarkable trip, one they cannot stop reminiscing about. They are eagerly awaiting their memory books!