School trip to Barcelona 1996

Easter time and happy Good Friday to everyone, may your day be filled with Hot Cross Buns!

This is a time of year when many schools are taking their students on an annual trip, an educational trip and back in the 90’s I worked as an English teacher in a language school in Trento twice a week. It was a small school and it was private so the classes were manageable and the students liked my lessons as I solely concentrated on their speech, getting them to read and speak as fluently as possible. We had to study James Joyce, Virgina Woolfe, Shakespear and Dickens but I also interjected fun pieces into the lessons using magazines from the UK such as NME, Smash Hits and other fun teen-related reading material.

sagrada familia

When I was asked to accompany them to Barcelona I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I knew it wouldn’t be a problem for my children as the hotel was shut and Enrico could look after them. We were to travel overnight by coach along the Italian and French coast arriving on the Spanish border in time for breakfast. The journey was uncomfortable but at leat being a ‘prof’ meant I had two seats to myself to spread out and try to get comfy.

Our first stop was at a stunning monastery, Santa Maria de Montserrat, a fabulous Benedictine abbey built into the jagged mountain and a favourite religious retreat where young people hike to overnight to watch the Catalonian sunrise. A memory that has stuck in my mind from that visit was a small chapel where parents had left momentos, prayers, pieces of clothing asking the monks for their assistance with their poorly children. It made me thank the Lord that my children back home were healthy and led good lives and reminded me that we’re not all lucky.

gaudi

Our 3 night stay in Barcelona was amazing and although in the position of Prof I couldn’t get out and see everything I would have done we managed to walk the Ramblas, do a coach tour of the city where I stood in awe at Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia and skipped like a child through his Parco Guell and dance flamenco in a local restaurant one evening.

barcelona parc guell

We visited Picasso’s museum and art gallery which was utterly fascinating, how a 14 year old boy could have produced such masterpieces in oil was mind blowing to me. I adored Dali, was fascinated with Gaudi and amazed at the amount of art and architecture in this vibrant city. I haven’t been able to go back again yet but it is a firm favourite on my list and as soon as the girls can walk enough to sight see we’ll be off to sunny Spain.

One last photo that cannot be missed – when the students called the flamenco dancer over to dance with me! Another very embarassing moment to add to my long list, you can tell by my fake smile as I just hope it’s all over and done with quickly – no teacher wants to be ridiculed for her dance moves, especially not flamenco ones!

Please make this end soon!

This is my Flashback Friday for Easter and for many more head over to Karin at Cafe Bebe where you can have a lovely peek at people’s past and maybe reminisce in some of your own good times.