Fourth Formers Enjoy an Action-Packed Time in Aldebaran
Many thanks to Fourth Form's Amelia Hagan and Sophie Free who have written a number of blog posts on their recent trip to Aldebaran, Spain:
We all arrived at the farmhouse at 11.00pm after our flight from Bristol. We then enjoyed a light supper before a midnight swim for about 45 minutes. We went to bed at 1.00am- the perfect start to the week ahead.
We woke up at about 9.00am and had breakfast. We had lessons from 10.30am until 12.00pm and then we all played in the pool and sunbathed. At around 2.00pm we had lunch, then we took shelter from the heat. At around 7.00pm we went on a walk through a local beauty spot to the village nearby. We tried to spot wild boar but didn't see any. We had time for a drink and an ice cream and then walked back to the farmhouse via a different route. On arriving back at the farmhouse we got to try Marguerita's famous chicken paella before hitting the pool and swimming in the moonlight until around 11.00pm.
Breakfast was at 8.45am and then lessons only for half an hour at 9.00am because we had a jam-packed day ahead! First of all we went to the monastery at Escorial, where the all the kings and queens of Spain are buried. Then there was some free time to wander round the pretty town nestling at the foot of the mountains. Next we got back on the bus to visit the Valley of the Fallen, where prisoners of war from Spain's most recent civil war built the memorial to Franco, the country's last dictator. It took 18 years to complete the basilica built into the mountainside which is now home to Franco's tomb. It was a sobering experience. Mr Devesa explained the history to us and how these recent events have shaped modern Spain. We spent the rest of the day in beautiful Segovia with its famous Roman aqueduct, which still carries water across the town today. It was lovely to be able to wander around the cobbled streets soaking up the atmosphere.
We woke at 8.00am and had breakfast at 8.30am, then attending lessons between 9.00am and 10.30am. We caught the bus to Madrid at 11.00am where we had a tour of the Real Madrid stadium, the Bernebau. During the tour we had the opportunity to see the trophies, changing rooms, dug-out on the pitch side and amazing views of the ground from the very highest point. We then went shopping in the centre of Madrid before returning to Aldebaran for some essential cooling off in the pool. We had a BBQ and pool party to celebrate Will Rymer's birthday, plus ice-cream chocolate cake before bed.
After morning lessons we caught the bus to Parque Warner (the Warner Brothers theme park), south of Madrid. It was a whole day spent going on all the rides – amazing! Another delicious paella supper followed by another pool party when we returned. A really fun day!
Lessons began at 9.30am and finished at 11.40am. We went into town and each group was given four euros to buy the silliest item possible in either of the two shops. We did a survival languages challenge in the afternoon to describe our weird collections in Spanish and French. The other groups had to work out what on earth we were all talking about – a pair of speedos, a bizarre gold Buddha, a jar of dried beans or a plastic hotdog knife and fork holder. It certainly put our language skills to the test!
Then it was all over and time to negotiate our way back to Madrid airport for our evening flight to Bristol. We finally escaped the intense heat and watched dramatic thunder and lightning storms as the plane began its descent over Devon.
The Spanish trip was very enjoyable and we found it really helped us with our languages. We especially enjoyed our day at the theme park.
To view an album of photos taken over the course of the trip, please click here.