Monday, 23 July 2012


You may have seen on the news that there are large forest fires in the north of Spain.  As a result the main motrway has been closed.  I have just been told it has reopened but that we should expect long delays and possible reclosure.  Our drivers are checking alternate routes if the road is closed.  It looks likely that our journay may take longer than planned.  If we are likely to be delayed significantly we will post a note here -- I´ll phone a teacher in the UK who will update the blog for me.

Sunday, 22 July 2012


Today was spent at Isla Fantasia -  a large water park.  It was exhausting watching them all zooming non-stop around the pools and down all the slides, but great to see everyone having such a good time.  The schedule over the last few days has been very busy, so they enjoyed the chance to unwind. 

In the morning they check out after breakfast, then spend a few hours doing last minute souvenir shopping or playing frisbee or boules on the beach.  After lunch at the hotel we will start the journey home shortly after 1pm.  We are scheduled to get back to Oxford at 11:30 on Tuesday but I will ask students to text or call family when we are about 90 minutes away. 

The children have continued to be a pleasure to be with.

Saturday, 21 July 2012


It is Saturday evening now.  Apologies for the infrequent postings - it has not been possible to do them from my phone as hoped.

On Friday we went into Barcelona and started with a few hours in Parc Guell.  After that we went to Las Ramblas for a bit of souvenir shopping (and an ice cream of course).  Whilst there we busked in a square full of cafe's -  people really enjoyed listening to the choir.  Afterwards we had a tour of the Sagrada Familia and there we sang Amazing Grace.  The impressive surroundings seemed to raise the level of the choir and the acoustics were amazing -- they sounded so fantastic and lots of people came up afterwards to say they enjoyed it.  I was very proud of them -- I hope they are proud of themselves too. One elderly Spanish gentleman came up with a tear in his eye saying how moved he had been. 

In the evening we gave a concert in a small town square.  There was a real community feel and people were so friendly, welcoming and appreciative.  They laid on food and drinks for us and all the choir were given a cap as a present.  It was good to see the choir mixing with the local children and trying out their Spanish.

Today we went to Montserrat.  We took the funicular up the mountain then walked further up.  The children that had never been up a mountain before were clearly thrilled with the experience.  A few lucky ones also got to see two hummingbird hawkmoths feeding happily two feet away from us -- something none of us had seem before.  After that we took a look in the basilica at the monastery. Unfortunately the famous boys choir were on holiday, so we didn´t get to hear them perform.  We sang outside the basilica and attracted a big and appreciative crowd. An hour in the hotel pool to cool off was much appreciated. 

This evening we sang in another town and I was proud of the choir.  Despite the small and miserable audience (so differernt from last night) the choir did really well. 

Tomorrow (Sunday) we´re off to spend the day at Isla Fantasia -- this should be fun.

The children have been amazing - behaviour has been excellent and everyone seems to be happy (but with the odd worry and homesick moment). They have been a real joy to be with and the staff are having a great time too.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

The journey was not particularly comfortable, but the students have been fantastic - no moaning and not even one ´`are we there yet¨.  Our drivers, Ian and Mark are friendly, professional and safe drivers.  They will be with us all week.  The hotel is comfortable but fairly basic.  Hopefully everyone will sleep well. 

After arriving the first thing the children wanted to do was go for a dip in the pool-- this was a good way to unwind and get some exercise after the journey.  Everyone was in their rooms for bed at 9 to get an early night.

Tomorrow we´re off to Barcelona centre to visit Parc Guell (the Dali designed park), Las Ramblas (the centre of Barcelona) and the Sagrada Familia (the Gaudi catherdal).  We will do some busking whilst there. 

In the evening we have a concert in a nearby town square.  We have to stop off at the police station first to pick up our escort -- we will have two police motorcycles to take the coach into the centre of town.  Not because the place is rough!  The town is quite old with narrow streets so they want to escort us to help us get through the streets safely.  I´m told we should get a good audience as this is where the local people gather on a Friday night. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2012


The forecast for Barcelona is high 20's and sunny, but with a chance of a thunderstorm on Sunday. 
We're off to Barcelona today.  Parents -- if you need to contact me my number is in the information leaflet that your child brought home.  We have a long journey ahead, but five days of glorious sunshine awaits us :-)