Saturday - The group met at the station and by some miracle everyone was there early so we hopped on an early train! All group members including leaders arrived at Gatwick and after much fun on the moving walkways, headed to the shuttle and made their way through security. For those who had never flown before it was an exciting new experience already. The students wandered off around the airport and the teachers sat and relaxed whilst babysitting a battalion of suitcases.
When the group got to Granada they passed through security and a rep from the Spanish agency met the group and showed them to a private, air-conditioned bus!
They arrived in the city and were immediately met by host families, who whisked them away for dinner and an early night.
Although the families didn't speak much, or any, English, everyone managed to communicate. The teachers were already so proud of the effort that they were putting in.
Sunday: The group were met by their guide Daniel. It was reassuring for the group to know he would remain with them for the next three days.
The weather was baking hot by 11am and at the Nerja caves everyone was almost happy to be heading deep underground.
The caves were amazing, a Spanish guide explained everything. Anything the students didn't understand, Daniel and the teachers were able to explain, but the students got most of it from the Spanish.
The walk down into the caves was easy; the walk back up was more effort! Then it was time for a quick tour around the gift shop and an ice cream, then lunch and back on the bus to head into Nerja Town.
The group visited the beautiful Balcon Europa and then spent two hours chilling on the beach, followed by free time in the town.
Lots of ice cream and shopping! Finally, it was back on the bus again to visit a small town called Frigiliana.
There are lots of historical mosaics, and it was boiling hot so lots of suncream and yet MORE ice-cream. The group arrived back in Granada at 7 and the students had free time until being back
at their host families at 9 for dinner. It was great to see how the Spanish timings of the day are different and by now the two school groups were starting to get to know each other a bit better too.
Monday: on Monday morning the group met at school and were introduced to their Spanish buddies and their English teachers.
Everyone was so friendly! The students had a tour of the school with their buddies and then went and settled into lessons. The teachers had a chance to get some work done.
After school there was a walking tour of the Albecin area and saw the Alhambra from a viewpoint.
The Hove Park students put in so much effort to speak Spanish in all their transactions with patrons in shops and interested passers by. At about 6, the students disappeared off to meet their buddies and the teachers went for some well earned tapas. Again it was instructed to be home by 9 and everyone obeyed their curfew. It was brilliant for the teachers to be able to trust their students to follow instructions and not get lost!
Tuesday: met at school again, this time without Ms Stallard who had to fly home. Everyone met their buddies and had a great day of lessons, with lots of participation. At one point the students from Longhill and Hove Park actually led an activity in an English lesson, and learned about philosophy!
After school they had a packed lunch and met Daniel in town to tour the alhambra. Suddenly there was a huge rainstorm, everyone got soaked but survived, and by the time the tour was over, churros and hot chocolate were much needed to warm everyone up!
Wednesday: another early morning and off to school with the buddies. After that, the students went to Nevada shopping centre for some retail therapy. The buddies joined so that everyone could have a last adventure together. At the end of the day the group got the tram back into town. The group was very nearly depleted by the loss two of the Longhill girls, but it was all OK in the end! Back home for an early night and packing ahead of the sad journey home.
Thursday: as usual, everyone was on time and ready to go for the flight home, although packing the suitcases full of souvenirs was not easy! Luckily Easyjet allowed us to put our bags in the hold for free, so it was a hassle free journey home.
Granada Airport is really not very exciting though! Everyone from Longhill was picked up at the airport, and the Hove park students, Mary and Ms Perronno made their way back to Brighton on the train.
A truly fantastic adventure!
Next stop Barcelona in October 2018!!!