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Fourth & Fifth Form trip to Valencia

Friday, 23 February 2018

On 8 February, 26 eager City boys accompanied by Mr White, Mr Edmundson and Ms Robinson from the Modern Languages department, arrived at Gatwick to depart for a week of cultural and linguistic experience in the beautiful southern Spanish city of Valencia. Fourth Former Jude wrote about his half term week away.

"After arriving, we left our luggage at the language school, our base for the next week, and headed out to explore the city. We visited the bullring nearby, where we were shown a spectacular yet gory video of a matador, and then went to the beach. We met up with our hosts for the week in the evening and got some well-earned rest after a busy first day.

The next morning, after some introductory lessons at the language school, we were treated to a tour of the old parts of Valencia, visiting the ancient city walls and the cathedral (home of the Holy Grail). We went to a café where we tried horchata, a local sickly-sweet drink made from blitzed tiger nuts. We then met up with some local Valencian students for a linguistic exchange, with both English and Spanish customs explained and both languages corrected on a regular basis.

On the Saturday, we paid a visit to the Oceanographic, the largest aquarium in Europe, which has 45,000 animals of 500 different species. The delphinium, where we watched 30 dolphins perform flips, twists and turns, was definitely a highlight. We let our hair down at the nearby Gulliver play park, which had slides and walls shaped like the character from the eponymous novel, ready for an early start on the Sunday.

After a long coach ride early in the morning, we arrived at the seaside resort of Peñiscola, a town steeped in history and ruled by many dynasties over the years. We enjoyed our excursion and competitive match of beach football before heading back into the centre of Valencia to experience the pre-match build up before we watched the local derby at the Mestalla. Valencia prevailed against Levante, with warm support shown to the three ex-Premier League players on the pitch.

After a slightly later start, we were taken on a tour of areas filled with graffiti, some of it more artistic than the rest. We then had a chance to create our own, which resulted in many messages of classic City humour (temporarily) being sprayed on a Valencian street wall. After lessons, a football match of our own at the local university’s astroturf pitch brought some enjoyment as we looked forward to Tuesday.

On Tuesday, after some more lessons and many Kahoot battles lost and won, we headed back to the beach for yet more football before enjoying a paella party laid on by the head of the language school, who had cooked for 100 people on his own! It was a delicious end to the night, with the final full day in Spain still to come.

Wednesday started with a late-morning visit to the Central market, where many local foods were on offer, including every part of a cow, even the tongue. We then headed to a cooking demonstration, and sampled delicious Spanish cuisine like Spanish tortilla, salmorejo (similar to gazpacho) and sangria (alcohol-free, of course). After our final round of lessons, we went back home for our last night with our hosts.

Presents exchanged, thanks given, we headed back to London with a full Spanish experience courtesy of the Valencian people. Many thanks to Mr White, Mr Edmundson and Ms Robinson for what was a thoroughly enjoyable week. Gracias!"


We were treated to a tour of the old parts of Valencia, visiting the ancient city walls and the Cathedral.
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