Sixth form trip to Barcelona
On Friday 17th January, 9 Sixth formers visited Barcelona for 4 days immersed in art and culture. Students visited the main attractions in the city and got to view a wide variety of art to help inspire them with their projects.
It was an early start on Friday morning, with us all meeting at the airport at 5:15 am for the flight. We had a very pleasant surprise when we arrived, wall to wall blue skies and sunshine. Some students even braved Parc Guell wearing their t-shirts!
It was early to bed that evening, everyone exhausted from our early start and trek to find Parc Guell. One tip if you are visiting the city… study the bus maps carefully (they are complex!) and check the end destination so that you don’t end up going in completely the wrong direction across Barcelona.
Saturday morning’s plan to visit the Picasso museum was disrupted with the museum being closed temporarily due to a lighting issue. Fortunately we were able to visit the MEAM gallery first and swap the visits around. Students were blown away with the realism in some of the portraits and many of them drew from the figurative sculptures on display. The Picasso museum was worth the wait and it was really lovely to see so many of them drawing from the vast array of his artworks. It truly is amazing to see the progression in Picasso’s style, definitely worth a visit!
We made the most of the beautiful weather in the afternoon, ambling down Las Rambla to the beach to sit on the wall and appreciate the stunning scenery. We clocked up 25,000 steps wandering around the city!
Sunday morning featured a quick visit to the National gallery and the awesome views from the top of Montjuic. So much to see here that an hour was certainly not enough time. We caught the metro over to La Sagrada Familia, the highlight of my trip. The imposing architecture on the outside may not be to everybody’s taste, but inside you can’t help but be in awe at the huge tree-like columns, the spiky golden ceiling and the glow that comes through the stained glass windows. It is a magical place, and pretty special to be able to view a holy communion service happening downstairs. Unfortunately due to the windy conditions we were unable to go up the tower as planned. I have had the privilege of seeing it 6 times now, and it is amazing to see how much it changes with every visit. I will certainly be returning to see the completed Cathedral in 2026!
The last gallery visit of the trip was on Sunday afternoon at the MACBA the contemporary art gallery. Students unfortunately weren’t very impressed with the work on display here resembling industrial air vents…(you can’t please them all) but the building was certainly impressive!
There was time for some shopping in the afternoon. I must say I had a bit of a worry that they weren’t going to be able to fit their purchases in their hand luggage at one point, there was talk of how many layers of clothing they would need to wear in order to get it all home.
On the last day we took part in a ceramic painting workshop followed by some churros and chocolate at Poble Espagnol, a typical Spanish ‘village’ showcasing a range of arts and crafts. By this point the weather had taken a turn for the worse and we were all absolutely freezing. It felt like snow was heading our way.
A couple of hours spent in (another) shopping mall to keep warm and we were at the end of our trip.
The rain was hammering down as we boarded the plane, and I have never felt a plane rock so much from side to side while we were stationary on the runway… but luckily the turbulence wasn’t half as bad as we thought it would be.
We came down to land with a (very loud) bang…Not the smoothest of landings!
A huge thank you to the Arts Society for their generous donation towards our residential. It enabled us to book on to the art workshop and purchase the travel cards for the duration of the trip.
A huge thank you to the students for being so wonderfully behaved during the whole trip. They were a credit to the school.
Also a big thank you to the parents for getting students to and from Bristol airport at unsociable hours.
And finally thank you to Mr Doughty for supporting us on the trip for the second year in a row. He has been converted to city breaks now and is full of knowledge about Picasso.
Leader of Art
Director of Learning for Expressive Arts