Year 9 Trip to Cantabria
Thursday, 30 June 2016
On Monday 27th June, thirty-six Year 9 girls and five members of staff set off from Presdales, bound for beautiful Cantabria on the north coast of Spain. For the next three days, we were treated to the best of Spanish hospitality at the Hotel Campomar, a stone’s throw away (literally) from the sandy beach where girls and staff alike enjoyed playing rounders in the evenings. While there, the girls had the opportunity to sample delicious regional tapas and, on the first evening, cool off in the hotel pool.
On day two, we visited the port of Santander. After a tour of the markets, during which the girls practised their Spanish to buy some of the local fruits available, we did a trail of the old town and then had free time for shopping. The afternoon was spent walking in the sunshine by the port, and watching sea lions, seals, and rock hopper penguins play in the water at the mini sea-life zoo. We finished the visit with mouth-watering ice creams, which the girls of course asked for themselves in their best Spanish!
Day three was spent in the beautiful medieval towns of Comillas and Santillana del Mar. We began by visiting the Altamira caves, where we saw stunning examples of prehistoric art. We then took a guided tour of El Capricho in Comillas, one of the few buildings designed by modernist artist Gaudí outside Barcelona. The girls intending to take Art and Design at GCSE particularly enjoyed this. Santillana del Mar, reputed to be one of the prettiest towns in Spain, did not disappoint. Having wandered the cobbled streets and popped in and out of shops, many of the girls were to be found sitting lined up at the counters of various cafés, indulging in the typically Spanish treat of chocolate con churros!
On the final day, we were sad to bid goodbye to our hotel, but we still had one more sight to see: the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. In this astounding modern building, we saw works of art and sculpture both modern and turn of the century, and the girls had the opportunity to show off their art skills and get inspired themselves. We arrived back at Presdales tired but content that evening. The girls’ behaviour was excellent throughout, and it was a real pleasure for all staff involved. Especial thanks, however, must go to Mrs. Russ for organising and leading such a successful trip.