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Y9 trip to Córdoba

From 17th October to 21st October, twenty-nine Year 9s and three teachers travelled to the wonderful country of Spain to learn about the culture, have some amazing once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and, of course, eat some delicious churros!

The adventure started when our plane touched down in Malaga. We had the chance to explore the town and take loads of selfies. On our way inland to Cordoba, we stopped off at a pottery factory. The man using the pottery wheel was so quick and deft – we paled in comparison when some of us had a go! We were allowed to purchase some of the finished bowls and I found it hard to choose. They were all so carefully crafted! Once we got to Cordoba, we met with our host families and went to our new homes. I was ecstatic upon discovering we had a balcony, as I have always wanted one.

On our first day, we drove out of Cordoba and went to an olive oil mill, where we got to see the oil being made and even try some of it. I’m not the biggest fan of olives, but I have to admit: it was delicious! Next up was a wine cellar. No samples here for obvious reasons, but we got to sit and have our lunch in the sunshine. In the afternoon, we headed to the historical mosque-cathedral, the Mezquita, where I took plenty of photos. The collision of Christianity and Islam was interesting to see, and the building was incredibly beautiful. Afterwards, we roamed the gardens of the Alcazar and tried to guess what the stone statues were ‘doing’. After a long day, we ventured into the shopping district, where we had no trouble spending our euros.

The next morning, we were enlightened with a Spanish lesson, just to bring us back down to earth! It was surprisingly fun though, and we even got to keep the colourful folders we were given. Before lunch, we stumbled across an anime convention, and I had to restrain myself and my friends from buying everything. Afterwards, we set off for the Tower Calahorra, presiding majestically over the river. We were amazed by the stunningly lifelike models of Cordoba and fascinating artefacts, and enjoyed the interactive audio tour. Finally, we all had fun with a flamenco lesson and show afterwards – snacks were provided and highly appreciated.

On our last day in Spain, we hopped on the coach to Seville and spent the whole morning wandering around the royal palace, wide-eyed at the mesmerising patterns on the walls. We managed to get a photo – with Mrs Diez standing in a roped-off section! Luckily we didn’t get told off and she got a great picture. Later, we visited the Plaza de Toros, and learned all about Spain’s most famous animal: the bull. The ring was enormous, yet its structure was so intricate. Before we left, we floated down the river on a boat and saw the whole of the city. It was incredible, nothing like England.

Eventually, the time came to say goodbye to our host families (and an adorable pet dog, in my case). But as I sat on the plane more than four hours later, I remembered all the things I’d learned. That sienta is sit in Spanish; that Spanish people have dinner later than us; and that they have really good sweetshops in Cordoba. With all these memories, I knew I would never forget this trip. It was an incredible experience; if I could, I would do it all again.

Nina, 9M