Our First Day:
The excitement in the air was palpable as we arrived to the airport - it was time for our trip to Barcelona! For many of us, this was the culmination of or time at St Francis de Sales. The Barcelona trip had always seemed like a myth, something that the Year 6 children would always speak (and boast!) about, but was always just out of our reach as we transitioned through the Year Groups. It had been a long, arduous day of packing, but I was running on adrenaline by the time we met up at the airport.
It was finally time to say goodbye to our parents, which was a surprisingly emotional moment. For many of us, this would not only be our first time out of the country, but it would also be the first time that we have spent time away from our parents. As such, the 'goodbyes' took a little longer than expected! Although, by the time we boarded the plane (using our group passport), I was already looking feeling a great sense of being independent and an overwhelming sense of freedom. The plane journey was fun, especially as most of us had never been on a plane before - and, as always, we received high praise from the staff hosting us, who even asked us for a photograph for their social media feed!
By the time we arrived to our coach and put our suitcases on, we were starting to feel a little bit tired, with many of us grabbing a nap during the journey to Vilanova Park, where we first met Michael and Estrella, our wonderful, charismatic hosts. They were incredibly accommodating and showed us to our luxurious chalets (which even had our names on them, how fancy!). Shortly after, it was time for bed and lights out, although, I will be the first to admit that we all stayed up having a chat with our roommates for a while - we were just too excited for the adventures to come!
It was an early start the next morning, although some of us proved harder to wake than others! There were some nerves around the table during breakfast: what were we doing today? What would the week be like? Would I enjoy the food? Our heads were exploding with questions! After our lovely breakfast, Michael & Estrella talked us through our plans for the week and most of our worries and stresses were relieved! This was going to be amazing!
Our first activity was to go to the beach and play some games. What else should you do on your first day in Barcelona?! I can't put into words how amazing this experience was - Monday morning, school friends, teachers, sounds normal, right? Wrong! We were on a glorious beach in a sizzling Barcelona (sun cream on, of course!), playing football, rugby, tag, frisbee, building sand castles, having water fights, I'm even sure that I heard Mr Kennedy saying that he wishes he was a kid again!
After a bite of lunch, it was time for our first trip into the city, to the amazing and awe-inspiring Park Güell, which was designed by famous architect, Antoni Gaudi. We loved sitting on (and taking selfies with) the world's longest bench, which is situated in this amazing setting. We would learn even more about Gaudi over the next few days, particularly on our trip to La Sagrada Familia!
All in all, our first day was exhausting, yet definitely exhilarating!