13th - 20th February 2019
Writing: Will Knox (Year 9)
Photography: Will Stubbs (Year 9)
Editing: Matt Human (Year 11)
At the slightly antisocial hour of 3:45 am, a group of Year 9 and 10 boys congregated at the school bus stop, all eagerly anticipating our forthcoming exchange trip to Murcia. We boarded the bus and began our journey to Alicante in Spain where we arrived late morning.
From the airport we were taken to La Flota sports centre in Murcia, followed by a short walk to the school - IES La Flota. After a brief tour of the site we met our exchange partners who were all friendly and welcoming towards us. They took us home to meet our host families who we’d be spending the week with.
At first it was quite awkward around the house and I didn’t understand everything that was said, especially as they spoke so quickly, but after a while I started to understand more and felt confident to speak more Spanish. In the evening we went out with their friends and had a late dinner, at around 9:00 pm.
On Day Two we arrived promptly at the school for 8:00 am, and once everyone had arrived we were taken on a informative walking tour around the city of Murcia. We saw many famous and iconic landmarks including the big and breathtaking Cathedral de Santa Maria. The day was thoroughly enjoyable and we learnt a lot from it.
On Friday we went to Cartagena, a beautiful historical city near Murcia surrounded by the sea. We were taken to an authentic Spanish cafe where we ate fresh churros with a mug of indulgent hot chocolate, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed and unsurprisingly returned back for seconds! Once everyone had finished we all headed off to the beach where we played a huge game of beach football between Year 9 and Year 10. After a few hours of free time we headed back to the coach and returned to IES La Flota to spend the evening with our new Spanish friends.
On the weekend we spent our time going out with our exchange and their families. Whether it was for a family lunch, or to watch a football match, everyone had a great time. The Spanish parents also organised a fun trip to the beach, with a few of us braving the sea, which one student claimed was “As cold as the Welsh Sea!”
On Monday we were lucky enough to go to Valencia, and were taken on a tour of Mestalla Stadium, home to Valencia C.F. Here we learnt lots of interesting facts about the club's history, as well as being given the opportunity to sit inside the changing rooms and walk through the tunnel out onto the pitch. Once our tour had ended we went to the Valencia Aquarium which was one of the best aquariums I have ever been too. At this amazing aquarium there was everything from jellyfish to prehistoric looking walruses, with my particular favourite being the sharks because of their colossal size. After a tiring day we got back onto the coach and headed back to the school.
On our penultimate day we went to a luxurious spa where we all relaxed and had fun in the lazy river and many jacuzzis - what more could you want! Our final activity of the trip was our farewell dinner where we could choose out of a delicious range of hotdogs, sandwiches and omelettes, but by the end everyone was in a somber mood as it marked the end of our visit. However we wouldn’t have to wait long to see our exchanges again, as they'd be arriving in England in just over two weeks!
The last day dawned and we arrived at the bus stop to begin our trip home. Everyone took lots of photos and said their goodbyes, before we boarded the coach destined for Alicante Airport. Thank you to Miss Sealy, Miss Ashton, Miss Nicholson and Mr Burn for an amazing and memorable trip. Hasta luego amigos (See you later, friends)!