2020 Spanish exchange to A Coruña (12/2/2020 – 19/2/2020)
Leaving after lunch on Wednesday afternoon, the journey began with the long bus ride to Heathrow airport, with a lucky stop at a service station along the way. With the arrival in Spain looming, everyone was excited, yet a little anxious, to finally meet their Spanish exchanges and their families. We boarded our plane at around 8 o’clock and savoured the last couple of hours around people who spoke the same language as us!
Nerves high, we made our way through the airport to meet the Spanish people, ready to embark on our first night alone with a foreign (in both senses of the word!) family. We all said our goodbyes and were all driven off to what would be our homes for the week. I think it’s safe to say that we all slept very well that night, exhausted by the travelling and the emotions of the day.
After the first night adjusting to the new surroundings and people, everyone was happy to reconvene at the entrance of the Spanish school of our exchanges on Thursday morning. We had the amazing opportunity that morning to attend our exchanges’ first lessons – some had an easy ride in English, others had a slightly trickier time in Physics! After our first experience in a proper Spanish classroom, we headed out to the first destination of many trips around the local area we made during the week – DOMUS, an interactive science museum. Then, after a brief walk along the coastline, we visited the Aquarium Finisterrae (and saw the seals being fed!).
After going back to our respective homes for lunch with our exchange partners, we met up again outside the school for a guided tour of the Museo Picasso (Pablo Picasso’s old house). The 6th form students especially enjoyed it when we could show off our knowledge about Picasso’s ‘Guernica’, a painting we have been studying recently in class! After a short amount of free time looking around the shops, we returned back home to get some well-earned rest ahead of another busy day on Friday!
The long-awaited morning had finally arrived – a traditional breakfast of chocolate and churros in a small café in the city. I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that they definitely lived up to our (relatively high) expectations…
And would the day even be complete without another science museum? Before the afternoon we were to spend with our exchange partners, we walked over to the Casa de las Ciencias to look around the museum and watch a video in the Planetarium on the top floor (in which, admittedly, a large number of people dozed off). Refreshed from our naps in the Planetarium, we were all ready to go home and spend our weekends with our Spanish families, doing a number of exciting activities!
Some of the things we all got up to include:
- Visiting Finesterra (the furthermost point of Spanish land, looking out to sea that stretches, uninterrupted, all the way to the East Coast of America!)
- Meeting our exchanges’ grandparents in various pueblos across the region
- Watching a football match
- Going to the cinema
- Go Karting
On Monday morning we had another great opportunity to join our exchanges in some of their lessons, and then got on the bus to Santiago de Compostela, the capital city of the region of Galicia and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although the cathedral itself was covered in scaffolding (both on the inside and outside), it was still an impressive sight – and very entertaining watching all of the pilgrims finishing their pilgrimages with all of their huge backpacks and walking sticks!
Our last full day, Tuesday, was by far the busiest of them all. Departing from the school at 8.30, during the day we visited Pontevedra, Cambados, Combarro, La Toja island and…the beach! Seeing as this was our last day we all made the most of it, which can definitely be seen in these very beautiful photos!