Chestnut Grove Academy
45 Chestnut Grove
Balham, London SW12 8JZ
T: 020 8673 8737

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Year 9 Trip to Barcelona - July 2023


On Friday, we visited the sights of Barcelona. After some amazing singing by the teachers on the bus, we did a tour of the Sagrada Familia cathedral, the emblematic symbol of the city. The architecture inside was simply breathtaking. Afterwards, Mr Morrissey led a group up to the Park Guëll, the beautiful park designed by the same architect as the cathedral, Gaudí. Meanwhile, other students stayed in the city centre and had some free time to explore and to do some final shopping. Then it was time to go home after an exhausting but amazing week of sport, culture and language practice - not even a three-hour airport delay could dampen our spirits!


Thursday was the same as Tuesday, so we did the activities we hadn't done yet. We rotated between paddle boarding, windsurfing, kayaking and sailing. There was a lot of teamwork, bravery and resilience shown by everyone doing the activities. Freddie took to sailing like a duck to water, while Ms Anderson, Lyla, Sylvie and Riley helped to flip a capsized catamaran. Meanwhile, Ayoub, in charge of paddle boarding, got his comeuppance for getting everyone wet! We had a big photo on the beach and thanked our instructors for all their hard work. In the evening, Mr Tyldesley led a special awards ceremony to recognise some fantastic efforts in sport, speaking Spanish and helping out in the hotel over the recent days, as well as some less serious awards too... Then, everyone enjoyed some free time for our final evening.


DAY 3 

We had a bit of a lie in on day 3 (8 o'clock breakfast) and then it was time to head off to the water park. We spent the day sliding down some scary rides and cruising along some much more relaxed ones. After all the energy of days 1 and 2, it was a refreshing day out!

Here are some of the quotes:

"Getting dropped down the slide was a highlight" - Ashton

"I enjoyed the drop because it wasn't as scary as I thought" - Daniel G

"We felt like mermaids in the pool" - Kelsea and Ruby

"Overcoming my fear of heights in the toilet bowl slide" - Ms Anderson

"Doing a high speed roly-poly in the cereal bowl" - Ethan

Afterwards we headed back to our town for a quick round of mini golf before some free time to explore the local area. Ivan managed to make a record timed run along the promenade and back (10 minutes)!

DAY 2 - By Chantae and Freya

We started early at 6.30 am to meet for breakfast at 7 am. Once we had eaten we headed to the beach and got put into groups for water sports. We did our first water sports activity where G3 (our group) did paddle boarding and jumping off rocks (with life jackets). We managed to convince Charlie to make the leap of faith. After our first activity, we had lunch (including traditional Spanish gazpacho and padrón peppers) and headed to the supermarket. Everything was super cheap so we got some good deals and some of us tried ordering in Spanish. We then went back to the hotel to get ready to go back to the beach for our second water sports activity. Our second activity was windsurfing and was very challenging but very entertaining. The instructors were really patient and helpful. Freya amazed everyone with her skills. After our second activity, we headed back to the hotel and had a shower. We had dinner and then used our free time to go and get some Spanish souvenirs, explore around town and go to the beach. We headed back to the hotel and got ready for bed by 10:30pm. 


DAY 1 - Monday 10th July, by Patrick and Joe

On Monday morning, we all arrived very early way before Mr Tyldesley did, but they got to the airport eventually. We then enjoyed our hour and a half "totally painless" check in according to Ollie. We ran over to the plane and on the plane we met some lovely kind travellers and had some typical Spanish snacks for lunch and Mr Morrissey was basically a flight attendant helping out.
We then arrived in Barcelona and the heat hit us straight away. Hyped up after our singing on the coach, we finally arrived at our hotel. When we had all settled down, we did a treasure hunt around Blanes, the town where we are staying. We walked along the promenade and visited some of the sights in the town centre. There were clues at each one to work out the name of the destination which was the castle on the hill above the town. 
Some of us spoke a bit of Spanish with some people in shops and the locals. 14 of us accompanied by Mr Silk bravely decided to trek up and down the castle. It was very sweaty but the view at the top was amazing and waiting for us at the bottom were Mr Morrissey and Ms Anderson with ice lollies to quench our thirst.
Back at the hotel, despite a lift breaking down, we got showered and ready. Dinner had something for everyone and after we all chilled outside by the pool and talked for a while. 10:30 came and it was time to go to bed in our nice air conned rooms.