Tuesday morning. We arrive in Malgrat, about 3 hours early. While we try to arrange who's going to go in which room, without disappointing too many students, they have a first look around town. At noon we get a speech about the tourism development in the Costa del Maresme. The students are fairly quiet, more because they're tired than anything else.
Tuesday night. 14 of us are at Camp Nou to watch Barcelona beat Panathinaikos and reach the semi-final of the champions' league. We are illegal, an uncle of one of the students arranged places of seasonticketholders. Funnily enough some of the girls are extremely enthusiastic. These are the ones that inside school need a ton of pepper up their behinds. Good night, only getting back to Malgrat at night is a nightmare.
Wednesday. Unlike yesterday the weather is crap. Which is unfortunate as our walking tour of Barcelona is not the favourite part of the students. The Sagrada familia is more beautiful than you can imagine. The students are all moaning, a few drops of rain spoil it for them. We oblige them to spend the afternoon in the city, most of them enjoy it after all.
Thursday. The bus is leaving late, 3 of the boys are still in bed 20 minutes after we're due to leave, and they had missed breakfast completely. One girl is ill, according to one friend some Italian spiked her drink last night, according to my colleague she had one too many, according to herself the booze just didn't go down well. The rest are lethargic while our guide for the day is explaining things about Cataluña and the wine tasting coming up. Sometimes we wonder why they study tourism?
The wine tasting is great, we get an audio-visual, a tour through the cellars, even a tour on a little train through miles of storage. Obviously, there's some tasting included. All students are back to normal by now. The visit to a local school of tourism was not a success. We didn't know anything but their address, they hadn't really prepared the visit, didn't know what to expect. Shame. The visit in the afternoon to Montserrat was a big hit. The black Madonna is a holy shrine for the whole of Catholic Spain. Myth has it that if you touch the hand of the Madonna, you'll be pregnant within a year. Some of the girls do so anyway. I guess the Italians in the disco are a bigger threat. Some of the girls show a great sense of humour, though at the wrong place (silence is obligatory at the church..). The last night I went to the disco myself. Firstly, to have a look at the place, secondly because the manager had invited me three times already, thirdly I wanted to keep an eye on some of the students after last night's antics. Finally, I had to make sure that the 4 grounded weren't there.
Friday. A visit to Figueras is the last thing on our programme. The Salvador Dali museum was crowded. Nor was it to the liking of half of our students. Booze and lack of sleep aren't very helpful. The few that have a good look around do see the art in some of his paintings and sculptures. Dali's mind was a great point of discussion among them back on the bus. Worth the visit therefore. 20 hours to go until we're home. I do some more correction. My colleagues are stunned by the language used in one of the movies we watch. Generation gap. We talk to many the students; they all enjoyed the week. The journey is long, my back is killing me, the correction work is boring me, but the atmosphere is great. We have a lot of fun, get on well all.
Saturday morning. We're back at 8 o' clock. I think I have slept for about 4 hours, not too bad therefore. Nearly all get picked up, I wait for the last parent to show up and take the bus to the train station, as do 2 of the girls. Home at half past nine. Tired. Satisfied.