From the 14th of April to the 17th of April, a group of Collinstown Park Transition Year students went on a four day trip to Spain. The group consisted of twenty-four students and four teachers. The teachers that went were Ms Mohan, Ms Rooney, Mr ‘Higgo’ Higgins and Ms Mulholland.
On the morning of the 14th, everyone met up in Terminal Two of Dublin Airport at 4am. We were all in need of some sleep, which we luckily got on the plane. When we arrived in Barcelona after our two and a half hour flight, we went straight from the airport to our bus. Not long after, we met the tour guide who was going to give us a tour around Barcelona. We stopped off at the famous Sagrada Familia Basilica where we were given a brief overview of its history. We were also brought to a high point of the city, where we were able to see the entire city. After the tour, we had a couple of hours to ourselves to go shopping in Maremagnum and get some food. Later, everyone met back up at the bus and we travelled for two hours to Salou to our accommodation, Hotel Calypso. Once everyone was checked in and settled down in their rooms, we went to have dinner. There was a buffet waiting and after we were done eating, we had some free time. Most of us went to the game room in the hotel. It had games like bowling, air hockey and basketball. Everyone was back in their rooms by 11 pm.
On the second day, everyone got up early to have breakfast at 8am. Later, we had another two-hour trip on the bus. We drove to the Mountains of Montserrat. The scenery was amazing. When we got to the top, we went on a tram that travelled up the side of a mountain. Once we got off, we went on a hike to the peak of the mountain. It was a long and steep hike. After we came back down on the tram, we had some free time to look around the few shops that were there and have some lunch. Everyone met back up and we had another long drive that took us to the Barcelona Aquarium.
Throughout the aquarium there were many incredible sea animals in massive tanks. There were sharks, eels, lobsters, rays – everything you would find in the vast ocean. Everyone was tired after a long day of travelling around. Unfortunately, we had to endure another two-hour bus journey back to our hotel. Once we got back, we had dinner and we were told that we were getting a surprise. We left the hotel and walked for about twenty minutes. The teachers brought us to a mini-golf course. Everyone split up into teams of five or six people to play. There were twelve different areas. Each one was more difficult than the last. While most of us walked back to the hotel some people went to the shop to buy food. Back at the hotel, we had some free time before going back to our rooms.
The next day, we went to PortAventura. Surprisingly, the bus ride was really short. We got to the park and we were told a time and place to meet up for lunch. We never got lunch though as not only were the queues extremely long (some took over two hours) but Mr Higgins told us the wrong time as well! As was just mentioned, the queues were extremely long which ended up in people not getting on that many rides. Overall, PortAventura seems like a more two or three-day experience. Definitely too much for just one day.
Later that day, we walked to a place called the ‘House of Illusion’. We were greeted with a short magic show from two magicians. Everyone was amazed but also sceptical. After the brief show of magic, we were brought into the main room, where the actual acts would take place. Within the acts, there was comedy, magic and, surprisingly, shadow puppets. Everyone enjoyed the show. It was a truly memorable experience. Since we didn’t get lunch at PortAventura, the teachers decided to treat us with a trip to Burger King, where they paid for everyone’s food. Along the way, we saw familiar restaurants such as McDoner’s – pizza and kebabs. When we were done eating, we went back to our hotel to get some sleep for our last day in Spain.
On the last day, we packed our stuff because our flight was in the evening. We all cleaned our rooms and checked out of the hotel early enough. We left the hotel for the last time to go to Camp Nou. When we arrived we were given a couple of hours to look around the massive stadium by ourselves. There was a section under the stadium where we could go into the changing rooms of the Barcelona team. After we met up, we got back on the bus to go to CosmoCaixa, a science museum in Barcelona. There were a lot of experiments taken from famous scientists on display throughout the whole museum. There was a room dedicated just to mirror illusions which was cool.
After we left the museum we met back up and got the bus to Arenas de Barcelona, a huge shopping center where we could shop. A lot of us went last-minute souvenir shopping for our family and friends. We all met up and for the last time, we got on the bus to the airport. Everyone checked in and got through security. After a long two and a half hour flight, we landed in Dublin Airport at around 11 pm. Everyone left the airport that night with some amazing memories that won’t be forgotten.
Hannah Ingram and Rokas Galinauskas – TY Press