Last weekend thirty junior pupils travelled to Barcelona to experience and culture (and do some geography fieldwork) in one of Europe’s most wonderful cities. Form I pupil Marco Trolese reports on what was a most enjoyable and interesting trip for everyone.

The touring party outside the famous Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

Very very early on the morning of Thursday 25th January, thirty excited pupils left St Columba’s for the cultural trip to Barcelona. We had a full itinerary organised for four days from Geographical sites to Architecture, History and experiencing Catalan culture. On the walking tour of the city we learnt a lot about the history of Barcelona. We walked through the streets of this fantastic city each day. One day we clocked up close to 17KMs!

The Sagrada Familia by Gaudi was so overwhelming and the building is expected to be completed 2026. All the tiny intricate details are very impressive, as was the stained glass windows and skylights. This was definitely my highlight of the trip. Park Guell has some beautiful sites and the architecture is so colourful with the mosaic tiles. This was where the richest people in the city lived, and you could see why. Barcelona’s aquarium was good and it was impressive to walk through the glass tunnel with the all the fish swimming around us.

The tour of Barcelona’s home stadium, Camp Nou, was interesting because we got to see the history of the team and achievements in the past. The football team clearly means a lot to the city. We were fortunate to have tickets to watch Barcelona play at home against local city rivals Espanyol in the Quarter Final of the Copa del Rey. What a great atmosphere – it was fantastic to see Barcelona’s 2-0 win. We also paid a visit to Montjuic where the Olympics were held in 1992. This gave us a fantastic view over the city in a nice area. The Olympic stadium was based here.

For the geographical study we went on a field trip to Sitges which is 30 km from Barcelona. Here, we learnt about coastal landforms and erosion. The weather was bad with rain pouring down on top of our makeshift ponchos (bin liners!). We completed a pebble study which linked to our coastal geography work in school. We got to discuss longshore drift, erosion and deposition. This helped to understand these processes.

Barcelona is a sustainable city and was the first city in the world to be awarded Biosphere certification. You could see why it’s considered sustainable with many solar panels, excellent public transport and city bikes calling ‘bicing’. After long busy days we were able to enjoy local cuisine and evening activities. We had an evening of competitive ten-pin bowling. The Lazer Tag game was an adrenalin filled competition with each team winning a game.

I would like to thank Mr Duffy, Mr Stevenson and Ms Harrahill for a very organised trip, which was so enjoyable and memorable. Overall this was a fantastic experience. Marco Trolese, Form I