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01-06-2015

SAM 1528SAM 1532Monday, 9th March
In the week of 9 until 13 March, thirteen 4V students and two accompanying teachers went on an exchange trip to Cerdanyola, a small town in the surroundings of Barcelona, Spain.

Monday was spent travelling, by bus, then by plane and then again by bus. As the Terrassa group (4tto) went on the same day, of course we shared our means of transport. We, the Cerdanyola group, were dropped off first at Pere Calders, the school of our Spanish exchange partners. Some hugging and tear shedding was considered necessary, before the Terrassa group could continue their trip. Then, one by one, our students were welcomed by their partners and all were picked up by the parents to spend the rest of the afternoon and evening at their host families’.

Tuesday, 10th March
SAM 1555SAM 1581

The next morning was spent at the school, where we first got a guided tour and entered some classes to chat with the students. We even met some with Dutch parents, who could speak our language a little! Then we joined an English class, where our students were each assigned a group of four or five Spanish students, with whom they exchanged information about themselves, their schools, hobbies, etcetera.
After that we visited an Economics class, where the high unemployment rate among youngsters was discussed, and a music class, where we were taught the chorus of a Catalan song by Shakira! Our students, in their turn, taught the Spanish 1st years the refrain of ‘Sexy als ik dans’. It was great fun.
In the afternoon we took the bus to Cerdanyola town, where we were welcomed by the mayor, who gave us a speech in Spanish that had to be translated, visited the Can Domenèch Museum and had some free time, during which some of the girls tirelessly performed a dance for all the passers-by to enjoy. Around 17.00 they were all picked up by their partners, to spend the evening together.

Wednesday, 11th March
Wednesday was our first Barcelona day, and what a lovely day it was! Two architectonic highlights were admired, such as Casa Batlló  and the Sagrada Familia. And then came the part that everyone liked best: the guided bike tour. After all, let’s admit it: riding a bike is simply in our Dutch genes; we felt at home immediately! That the weather was fantastic added much to our pleasure, of course. After that, back to Plaça de Catalunya, to take the train back ‘home’.

Thursday, 12th March
Thursday, our second Barcelona day, we first had a guided walking tour through the Gothic Quarter. As the guide followed a chronological order, she made us walk many, many kilometres, passing the same streets more than once. After that, we took the tube to the Hospital of Sant Pau, another marvel of architecture, dutifully photographed by the students, who were frankly starting to reach saturation point.
Thankfully, they had that afternoon off, free to spend in any way they liked, as long as they turned up at Café Zurich at 18.00, which they did, together with their Spanish partners, who had also been in Barcelona. Back in Cerdanyola, they all arranged for pizza to be ordered and then eaten at one of the boys’ houses, so that was a nice conclusion of the day.

Friday, 13th March
Friday, our last day. Our plane wouldn’t leave until 16.55, so this allowed us to enjoy a morning visit to the Monastery of San Cugat. In the village, some of the students bought typical Catalan sausages as souvenirs for their parents, and then started eating them themselves.

Back at the school, the Spanish partners had brought snacks to eat, as a farewell treat. Then the bus, with the Terrassa group inside, arrived and it was time to say goodbye. The ‘Terrassa girls’ immediately started assessing the Spanish Cerdanyola boys, and soon agreed on who was the handsomest. Both groups were quite adamant that their trip had been the best, and spent the whole journey back discussing how they would show their Spanish partners an even better time, when they came to Holland. All in all, it was a wonderful trip with a very pleasant group of students!

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