Santiago de Compostela Trip
The journey to Santiago ran smoothly, the airline services were up to standard and everyone was punctual to check-in.
Santiago and its amazing views welcomed us with sunny spells here and there, cold nights and strong winds, although when the sun did come out, it was exceptional.
We stayed at the Hospedaria Via Lucis, an amazing hotel which was once a monastery. The people who worked there catered for our needs, whether it be cleaning up or cooking, and they did so with soothing smiles and welcoming embraces.
The streets of Santiago were quiet in the morning and at lunch time, however in the night shops and the people of Santiago came out to explore the stars above them and ‘shop till they drop'.
Although there was a language barrier, nothing stopped us from experiencing Santiago and its many wonders. In our group we had fluent Spanish speakers, aside from the teachers that came with us (Mdm. Williams & Mdm. Hurn). Catarina, Abrehet and Stephanie lead the way in understanding bits and bobs, when it was necessary.
Aside from the selfie challenge, shopping challenge and public speaking exercise, as a whole cohort, we took part in a pilgrimage, called Camino de Santiago. We walked from Monte de Gozo back to the hotel, which was a staggering 4 km.This pilgrimage was done as an equivalent to bridge walk, and we also raised money.
On Sunday, we went to church, a cathedral called Santiago de Compostela Cathedral.
The whole mass was in Spanish however, it was done in the same manner as any British catholic church would do it. Near the end of the mass a giant thurible, which in Spanish is called a botafumeiro, suspending from the ceiling, was swung back and forth through the strength of 8 men, blessing the church and ourselves.
To dip ourselves in the richness of Santiago, we went to a Spanish school. We saw lots of different lessons like maths, PE and citizenship. They had a morning break in which we got the chance to talk to new people and play basketball and football together.
We also went to watch a film at the Spanish cinema, and even though some of us didn't speak much Spanish we managed to follow the main points. On top of that we ate lots of good Spanish food (like churros) and even learned to cook a Spanish omelette at a cooking school.
Everyone that came on the trip was saddened at the realisation that we will not be staying in Santiago for as long as we would hope to stay. When leaving, awards were given out to those who made an amazing effort and contribution to the trip and the whole experience.
I would strongly recommend that the trip is planned again for year groups below me, because it is an experience that every child should have, and it has a great impact on a child's faith.
By Obed Eyeson