Salamanca Trip: Spanish, Salsa, Tours & Tortillas!
By Ms Barbosa, Head of Spanish
Salamanca, city of legends and hidden places, with its cobbled streets and student buzz, was the scenario of a rewarding and exciting new experience for a group of students of Spanish from Years 10 to 13, during the February half-term. Students got to immerse themselves in the Spanish language and culture by staying with host families who were eager awaiting their arrival. The itinerary included morning lessons at Colegio Delibes, an institution known for its Spanish language courses, which allowed students to practise their language skills in an immersive context.
Our journey started early in the morning of the 13th February at Gatwick Airport, and we arrived in Madrid Barajas airport ready for a new adventure. From Madrid, we took a bus to Salamanca, where we were welcomed by the director of Colegio Delibes, and girls were introduced to their host families. This was the beginning of a week, in which students had the amazing opportunity to experience Spanish culture first-hand and to practise their language skills with native speakers.
Salamanca is known for its rich historical sights, and girls were able to visit landmarks such as the Plaza Mayor, La Casa de las Conchas, the Cathedral of Salamanca, and the Cathedral’s Medieval Towers. The Plaza Mayor lies at the heart of the city and is one of the most famous landmarks in Spain. It is a large square surrounded by beautiful buildings, restaurants, and cafes, making it a popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike. Students were delighted as they savoured churros con chocolate in Salamanca’s charming streets near the Plaza Mayor. La Casa de las Conchas is a historic building covered in scallop shells, and the Cathedral of Salamanca is a stunning example of Gothic and Baroque architecture. Both students and teachers were struck by the beauty of La Casa de las Conchas (The House of the Shells), which hides a legend that claims that a treasure is hidden beneath one of the more than 300 shells which decorates its façade.
During the trip, girls had a guided tour of Salamanca, a photo rally around the Plaza Mayor, a salsa dance class, and a cookery class where they learned the art of cooking the traditional tortilla with the guidance of a lovely teacher by the name of Esperanza (‘Hope)’¡La tortilla estaba riquísima! They also made non-alcoholic sangría. After Esperanza’s cookery lesson, many of us were still unsure whether to prepare tortilla using a simple recipe or to add additional ingredients to enhance its flavour. We will surely discuss this culinary dilemma in our Spanish lessons!
One of the highlights of the trip was certainly the guided tour, during which Sara, a teacher at Colegio Delibes, explained to students the unique tradition associated with a frog that is located on the façade of the University of Salamanca. Legend has it that if a student can find the frog without any help, they will have good luck in their exams. It was exciting to see the students try to locate the frog and experience the excitement of finding it! These activities allowed students to learn more about Spanish culture and cuisine and to practise their language skills in a fun and interactive way.
As the trip came to a close, on the afternoon of the 17th February, it was heart-warming to see that some students were reluctant to leave Salamanca and say goodbye to their host families who had provided them with a warm and welcoming home away from home during their stay in the city. The trip was a fantastic experience for everyone involved, allowing students to learn more about Spanish language and culture while exploring one of Spain’s most beautiful and historic cities. As a teacher, it was a pleasure to see the students grow and learn throughout the trip and to share in their experiences. Miss Gamberini’s contribution to the success of the trip cannot be overstated and her dedication to the students made this trip an unforgettable experience for everyone involved. ‘Salamanca, te echaremos de menos… ¡hasta pronto!’