30 April 2018
After meeting at Heathrow Airport at 1pm, well in time for our 4.15pm flight to Málaga’s Costa Del Sol airport, 14 enthusiastic sixth formers got psyched up to experience a week packed with food, sun cream and James Blunt. After a minor delay with the flight, we arrived at the Malaca Language School. Although arriving slightly late, our Spanish parents were waiting for us and we headed home to get some sleep before an early start the next day. We experienced the Spanish timetable straightaway with dinner at 10pm!
Every day we had 4 hours of lessons in the morning, split up into two grammar lessons and two speaking lessons. We also had a lot of cultural immersion activities in the evenings and multiple hours to relax by the school pool after lunch with the best Abingdon DJ. On that first day, we knew that the beach was awaiting us, so as soon as we could, we went for a relaxing walk on it. With the sun beating down on us, it was the perfect opportunity to get sun kissed and enjoy the beautiful weather right from the start, and over the week some of us even got a (reddish) tan….We were also allowed some time to browse the nearby streets of Málaga, with some of us picking up gifts for home in the traditional Spanish shops.
As for cultural activities, we did a brilliant treasure hunt around the local area, asking the residents questions about Spanish culture, and in general got to know Picasso extremely well, watching the film “La Banda Picasso” and visiting the outstanding museum which is full of Picasso's personal favourite pieces from his own collection. We also had a lecture on Picasso by the amazing Rafa who explained, with some passion, about Picasso’s innate genius. And we cannot forget our Salsa lesson, one of the most enjoyable and useful Spanish skills we learnt!
The weekend was extremely busy and enjoyable. On the Friday we were taught how to cook paella negra by the in-house chef, Miguel. We each had a task of dicing vegetables, peeling langoustine, or slicing squid and then all ingredients were combined in a large paella pan to create a really decent paella. Alongside the savoury cooking, we prepared chocolate dipped strawberries and torrijas. The meal left everybody happy and ready for an early start on Saturday.
The focus of Saturday’s activities was the city of Seville. Along with a group from the language school, we were taken around parts of the city. Starting from the Plaza de España, we headed around the city with the tourist guide pointing out various features of the city’s past. The final destination of the tour was, of course, the Cathedral. Throughout the day we had a few breaks for free time, which allowed us to familiarise ourselves with more of this city.
Sunday was the last day and, after a later start which allowed us a bit of a lie-in and a relaxed breakfast, we concluded with an extremely enjoyable and enlightening trip around the city centre of Málaga, and the chance to buy some last-minute souvenirs. A relaxed lunch with the families who had been so kind to us all week, followed by the chance to top up our ‘tans’ by the pool, was the best way to end the week. We then made our way to the Costa Del Sol airport and hoped that we could bring the weather to England.
Overall it was a very cultural and interesting trip and special thanks must go to Mrs Pradas and Miss Fraile who were both enthusiastic and great company.
Written by Max Hall, Syed Naqvi and Will Franklin