At half past two on Thursday the 9th July, a group of fourteen sixth formers departed from the school en route to Stansted Airport, where they would fly to Madrid, Spain.
First impressions? Hot. To be precise, 39 degrees. Despite the shock of the heat, we were soon out exploring the city and absorbing the culture. On the first of many walks, we wandered over to Retiro Park passing the quirky street vendors as they called out in Spanish. Yet this was just one of the places we would experience. Over the next 72 hours we’d visit Atocha Station, The Plaza Mayor, The Puerta del Sol, The Reina Sofia Art Museum, The Gran Via, a cinema (where we saw the Minions movie in Spanish), The Prado Art Museum, The Royal Palace and experience the outskirts of Madrid from above in a cable car.
There were many opportunities to utilise our Spanish speaking skills. For instance, in our free time we were allowed to explore the streets of Madrid and we had to use our knowledge of the language to communicate with shop assistants, who were only too happy to humour us. Likewise, our Spanish was invaluable when ordering our tapas as we stepped out of our comfort zones and tried the local cuisine (our personal favourite were the croquetas).
The highlight of the trip, for us, was getting to see Guernica, a painting by Pablo Picasso portraying the Spanish Civil War. After learning about the context and meaning in lessons, we were in awe of the sheer size of it and the amount of detail which we had overlooked in the photocopies. It was definitely an unforgettable experience.
Would we go again? ¡Sí!