”It has been a pleasure to have you here these last few days. I would be proud to have you as my children, and you will have a family in Granada for ever. Have a safe trip home, we hope to see you very soon, and my wife and I send hugs to you both in the meantime.”
So wrote one of the families who hosted some of the 21 Upper Fifth pupils who spent time in Granada during October half term.
Despite being book-ended by flooding in the Malaga region and storms from the South Atlantic, our five days were bathed in Andalusian sunshine. Exploration of the city’s historic Albayzín quarter and the Alhambra complex was a memorable delight, as indeed were the flamenco show in which many pupils took to the floor, the traditional Moroccan tea shop in which many took to the cakes, and the evenings spent in the Lorca park and at the San Nicolás lookout, when many took photos of friends as the sun set over the vega.
The stay was punctuated with Spanish lessons with the inimitable Natalia and Paco, pomegranates and tortoises made many appearances, and several pupils displayed a hitherto untapped talent for the consumption of pastry-based items against the clock.
“The Spanish language now makes a good deal more sense to the trippers, having met many of the people who speak it and discovered how the country in which they live works,” said Head of Modern Foreign Languages Mr Latimer.
“The road to A Level is now clearly paved, and the ability to survive and thrive in a foreign-language environment is a life lesson which will remain long after the turrón is all gone.”