Valencia Trip July 2022
At 4am on Wednesday 22nd June 2022, 29 excited Year 9 and 10s arrived at Lealands to begin a trip that had been 2 years in the making. Unfortunately, due to covid restrictions, it had to be cancelled previously, but with experiences like this being so important for young people, we persevered and the day finally arrived!
As with all best laid plans, there were a few hiccups on the way, however, we all arrived safely; albeit with an ‘almost’ lost passport and minus a suitcase, but ready to start our adventure in the sun!
There was no time for relaxing in the hotel after the flight, so after sorting out rooms, we took our very hungry travellers to Burger King for something to eat and then walked to our first visit. This was a guided tour of Mestalla Stadium, the home of Spanish La Liga side, Valencia CF. We were then taken across the road to their club shop to purchase some merchandise. After that, it was back to the hotel for dinner and some free time.
Day 2 started with an early breakfast, followed by a paella making workshop. This was an amazing experience where students and staff learnt how to prepare and make a traditional Valencian paella. This is not a seafood paella, but contains chicken and various beans. The students got to be involved in all parts of the paella making including; chopping the ingredients and adding them to the huge paella pans! They also made a Spanish tortilla as an accompaniment. Once the paella and tortilla were ready, it was time to eat and no Spanish meal would be complete without a jug of sangria - non alcoholic of course!
That afternoon we took in the sights of Valencia on board an open top sightseeing bus that took a route around the whole city. We got off in Valencia old town and did some souvenir shopping, before jumping back on the bus to head back to the hotel for dinner and some more free time.
Day 3 was another early start, ready for a 9am coach pick up to take us to the Coves de Sant Josep for a 800 metre river cruise. The spectacular underground river within the caves is the longest navigable underground river in Europe!
From being underground and out of the sun, it was time to make the most of it and head to the beach for an afternoon of fun and relaxation! This included; splashing in the sea, playing beach games and a bit of sun bathing. I think this was probably the highlight of the trip for many.
Before we knew it, it was Day 4 and the final day of our trip. However, there was still lots to pack in before boarding the flight home. With everyone packed and checked out of the hotel, it was time to head to Valencia’s cultural centre. The first visit on the itinerary was to the Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe (Science Museum), followed by lunch, shopping and then onto the Oceanographic Aquarium. This is the largest aquarium in Europe and offers visitors a journey through different marine ecosystems; promoting the conservation of the seas and their inhabitants.
Once the tour of the aquarium was complete, it was time to head back to the hotel ready for our transfer back to the airport. Even the missing suitcase made an appearance ready for the trip home!
On arrival at the airport, unfortunately we were made aware of an hour's delay to our flight, but after such a wonderful trip, nothing could possibly spoil it for us, so everyone just made the most of an extra hour of shopping.
An hour later than expected and extremely tired from a packed four days, we all arrived safely back to school and to a car park full of expectant parents waiting to hear the stories of the previous days. Everyone said their goodbyes and headed home to enjoy the remainder of the weekend before school again on Monday.
Our time in Valencia was a resounding success and it was an absolute pleasure to have been a part of it and an experience we will never forget. It was wonderful to watch the students enjoy new experiences, bond with each other, develop new friendships, and make fabulous life long memories.
We were overwhelmed by the response we received from members of the public about how wonderful our students were throughout the trip. We even received a lovely email on our return to school from a couple who shared our flight home. This was the first time we have done this trip and after such a great experience, we can’t wait to do it again so watch this space for more info!