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Claremont High School Academy

20,000 Spanish steps

Sixth-form students explore Barcelona on foot 

Every year, the Art and Design Department at Claremont High School swap the streets of Kenton for the highways and byways of Barcelona by taking a group of sixth-form students to this stunning city, the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region. This year’s residential trip, in March, was a long weekend exploring the cultural highlights, from the magnificent Gothic architecture to the awe-inspiring work of designer Antoni Gaudí. 

‘Walking the length and breadth of Barcelona, our students got a taste of the organic design aesthetic so prominent at the turn of the twentieth century in Europe,’ explains Ms Davis, Head of Art and Design, ‘as well as a feel for Catalan markets and culture.’  

Included in the itinerary were Parc Güell, Casa Batlló, the Sagrada Familia, the Mercat de Santa Caterina and the Catedral de Barcelona. 

These landmarks clearly made a lasting impression on the students. 

‘When I first saw the Sagrada Familia, I was in awe,’ says Oana-Georgiani Moisii in Year 12. ‘It’s impossible for one building to be that breathtaking! Looking up at the sacred site, I felt like an ant compared to it - the detail was impeccable. Even though the trip was full of walking, the views each day were extraordinary.’ 

Ms Davis smiles at this. 

‘Various tracking watches had a field-day, registering 20,000-plus steps every day as we walked the streets, taking in the extraordinary street art, shops and local cuisine.’ 

Drisanna Patel, also in Year 12, wasn’t bothered by the amount of steps: ‘I really enjoyed the walking side of the trip. We walked from place-to-place throughout the day and because of this we were able to take lots of pictures, which, looking back, shows how much fun we had and how much we learnt!’ Not only did she enjoy all the sight-seeing, Drisanna also appreciated the social side of the trip: ‘Playing games in the evenings with the teachers back at the hostel, once we’d returned from our daily outing, was a lovely way to end each day.’ 

Oana is in no doubt about the uniqueness of the trip: ‘Visiting Barcelona was a one-off experience, especially going with friends. We learnt to be independent, finding our own way back to the meeting points, and how to cooperate with each other and be sensible around the streets. When the nights were ending, we were dreading that our adventure was coming to an end so soon.’ 

It sounds like footsteps will soon be retraced from Kenton back to Barcelona... What discoveries will Oana, Drisanna and friends make next time?