Arriving late on Friday night, Ranelagh students squealed with delight and hugged their long-lost Spanish exchange partners before disappearing off into the night in taxis, by car and on foot to apartments in Madrid. Some had 11pm reservations for dinner at local restaurants, others went to ‘pasear’ before dinner. Then followed the weekend with Spanish host families. Lots spent a day at the Casa de Campo theme park, interrupted only briefly by rain, with others heading off to stay in Segovia for the weekend or shopping until they dropped. For many, the highlight was the under 18s nightclub on Saturday evening.
It was so good to meet up Monday morning in the Colegio Decroly and enter the playground shared by all age-groups, from nursery-aged children up to sixth formers. After an hour of word games (on the theme of words beginning with ‘hum…’), the PE teacher Goyo arrived to oversee an hour of pingpong, volleyball and football (unfortunately rain did stop play). After ‘el recreo’, we took the metro to the Bernabeu stadium to do the official Real Madrid tour. Views from the top of the stand were breath-taking, but running onto the pitch from the dressing rooms was even better, not to mention the post-match press conferences. Back at school for 5 pm, students returned home with Spanish partners to get back into Spanish-speaking mode for the evening. A great day, despite the rain.