After a small amount of planning, January came by ever so quickly and before we knew it we were off to Barcelona.
Hand luggage in toe, we arrived at Barcelona airport where we were welcomed warmly by our local guide, who was our information point for the duration of the trip. We had a leisurely morning, dropped our bags at our lovely accommodation, explored our surroundings and tasted some authentic coffee, which I was craving after a 6am wake up call!
Instantly I knew I was at home. Even the smallest cafés were delicately decorated with beautifully tarnished paintings and elegantly littered with small knick-knacks. The locals were wonderfully accommodating of the entire art group taking endless photos of the interior, accompanied by the odd selfie.
Our tour guide was charming, funny and most importantly, flexible. He was not pushy and catered to the whole groups needs throughout the trip. He double checked exactly what we wanted to see and if we wanted to stay longer at any landmarks he had no problem hanging around and answering our endless questions.
A personal highlight of the trip was on the fourth day, when we took a trip to the church of Colònia Güell to see some of Gaudi’s impressive work. The intricate design and beautiful glass work was both beautiful and inspiring. This was a perfect spot for some of the students to sketch and take notes of colour work. Here was where I got the opportunity to do some hands-on learning and help students expand upon their ideas. From here we went to the Picasso Museum which I was informed opened in 1985, the combination of our tour guide and the staff in the museum meant none of our questions ever went unanswered.
Not all of our trip revolved around art, which I think was much to the relief of some students. We received opportunities to visit the Olympic grounds and Camp Nou. Students discovered the delights of these magnificent places and took plenty of pictures.
Upon returning home, the feedback from students was amazing and I did give myself a well-deserved pat on the back once we landed.
Most importantly for me was that when we arrived back in the UK was that my students were bursting with ideas for their final piece, they really worked hard to incorporate things they had seen on tour into their work. Some students even used images they had taken whilst we were away to draw parallels with their own work. My students were not only inspired but also got back to work with determination and belief that they could succeed in gaining the overall result they desired.