Here you can find the video report:
England Diary, By Aina Sallent Fortes
Sunday, 22nd January 2017, 1st Day – Arrival.
Okay. First of all, I know this project is about efficient transport… but did we have to use cars, a plane, different kinds of buses, two trains, a shuttle and the ferry to get there? Why is it so hard to travel to the Isle of Wight?! Don’t worry, I’ll stop whining.
To be honest, after a two hour flight, and two more hours of train, with a lot of walking and carrying our luggage with us and getting onto buses, and then the ferry… we were so damn tired but also immensely glad we had made it without much trouble.
For your information, in the Gatwick airport, London, they have a thing called “shuttle” – no we don’t have that in Barcelona –, and it took us from the airport to the platform (nope not 9 ¾) where we got on the train. And it’s fast and free: that’s what I call efficient public transport. So, we get off the ferry; walk about ten minutes through a lovely, old-looking wooden bridge and get to the beginning of the pier, where Senade Adams, our beloved coordinator from the project in England, picked us up in a mini bus and drove us to the hotel. Let me tell you: the hotel was the coolest thing! It was modern, clean, with good service, small and quite empty, so we kind of felt like we owned it hahaha. Also le
t’s point out that we had a TV in the rooms. Dinner on regular days became a feast at Merrie Garden’s, a fantastic restaurant in front of the Premier Inn (our hotel). I think I gained a few pounds that week omg. Okay. 00:00. Time to go to bed, we’re crushed.
Monday, 23rd January 2017, 2nd Day – First school day.
Do you know the feeling you get every year when school starts again? Here we were, five Catalan students walking into Sandown Bay Academy and feeling exactly that.
I promise you everyone turned to stare and it was super awkward. Meanwhile Loli and Jordi talked to Senade and figured out what we’d do today. So we were shown around the school: It’s huge. I kid you not, it consists of three buildings bigger than IES Sant Quirze, the gym facilities are enormous, there are a couple classes for every subject and the land surrounding the school seemed endless. Also their climbing wall is ten times bigger than ours. I cannot begin to tell you how impressed we were by the school. Another curious thing was that they have motivational posters and pictures hung on the walls. There’s such a positive, motivational message going on in the corridors, it makes you feel you can do anything with hard work. I guess it’s a clever way to improve the student’s attitude, and spread studying positivity.
We had lunch in the canteen with other friends there, such as Chris, Hayden and Sophie. The food was good although I’ve never seen a school provide so many unhealthy things for students, omg those cupcakes!
Later in the afternoon, we went on the minibus around the island and to see the beach, but there was a lot of fog so we couldn’t see much. Anyways most of us fell asleep hahaha… we were spent after so much admiration. The day ended after a lovely meal with some students and teachers at a pub. We slept like babies after such an intense day.
Tuesday, 24th January 2017, 3rd Day – Getting used to it.
It was the third day in Sandown and we, again, had to go to school met our buddies. By Tuesday the fog was almost gone and we could see that the school at its best.
We had lunch at the canteen again and started getting used to how things work there and maybe memorized a thing or two, like how to get in and out of the academy without getting lost and where we could find some toilets. Whatever. It was a fun day. English lessons at Sandown Bay are almost everyday and after trying to keep up with the class and deciding I had no idea what to do about my notes, I stopped taking them and started listening more, as well as getting to know the students around me. After that all the lessons became much more entertaining and I got to know some nice people.
In the afternoon we decided to go for a walk and visit a little bit of the area around the hotel, to be honest, the town wasn’t amazing, but we were lucky and enjoyed the most beautiful views of the sunset and the remains of the fog that was clearing up. It seemed magical to me. We then decided it was the perfect time for dinner and after that: film night in the boys’ room!
Wednesday, 25th January 2017, 4th Day – Let’s go to the beach!
Fourth day was the perfect one for activities after school.
Lessons were nothing out of the normal, but I have to say that R.S. (stands for Religious Studies) was surprisingly fun. The teacher was awesome and there was a really cool and playful vibe in the class. We learned interesting things about Christians and Buddhists.
It was a really cold day and we were freezing, but those English girls still wore their skirts like it was no big deal! Savage.
Later that day we went to see the beach and visited some local stores, where we bought some presents for our families and we all bought some cookies, which were REALLY good. We then had some free time and the five of us spent it together messing about as well as taking some windy pictures with our hair all over our face. Dinner and film had already become a habit and the five of us went to bed late but content. Oh yep, that’s me!
Thursday, 26th January 2017, 5th Day – Hover boards and food poisoning.
Thursday was quite an interesting day, since three of us weren’t feeling well after eating something that wasn’t in good state, the day before. Dani and Martí threw up a couple of times while Raquel had only got some stomach ache.
Despite the food poisoning or whatever it was, we still went to school and had a different lunch, with something that wouldn’t hurt our stomachs. We skipped one or two periods, the last ones, and instead we went to an excursion with the students there (Hayden, Chris, Sophie, Megan, Kelsie and Josh). We didn’t get on a hovercraft, but we did see them. They are a typical type of boat from the isle which can go on water and earth. They have some bags which inflate so that they can float through water.
After this, we visited a place where they made things with glass and sand (which are the things the Isle of Wight is known for) and bought some more souvenirs such as beautiful Crystal ornaments and necklaces. We had a little coffee break, so we could Snack a little and not long after that we came back to the hotel.
Dinner and TV were postponed until our mates were feeling better. Blanca and I took care of them and we had yogurt and fruit before going to bed.
Friday, 27th January 2017, 6th Day – Last day of school and dinner.
Friday came and everyone was feeling a little better:
We went to school feeling bad about having to leave. We’d made some really good friends and knew that it would be hard to leave them.
After doing the usual lessons and having lunch at the canteen, we gave each other our phone numbers and Snapchat usernames so that we can keep in touch.
We went straight to the beach, where we had spare time and could shop or just walk around chatting which seemed best for us. Lucky that Martí and Dani weren’t dizzy and everyone’s stomachs were fine, we stayed near the beach and walked around before meeting everyone in a restaurant near just there, with beautiful views of the sea at night.
Also this was in a bench full of scarfs Megan, Libby and Kelsie, couldn’t make it to the dinner, but the rest did, and we had a lovely evening that went by too fast for my liking. We finally said our last goodbyes and were feeling quite down after realising we’ll probably never see them again!
Saturday, 28th January 2017, 7th Day – The saddest day came.
We woke up at 6 am and left half an hour later. We went by taxi to get the ferry and ate something while waiting since we hadn’t eaten yet, then we got in the ship without trouble.
After that, we got the train, and kind of slept in our wagon for around 2 hours. We arrived at the airport and realised we had a lot of time before having to get on the plane, meaning about 3 hours or so (in my opinion waking up at 6 was crazy) so we just sat for a bloody long time.
We also had something to eat, bought some last minute presents and left for the gate. It was a huge surprise when we saw a lot of our friends from SBA at the airport! They were there because they were going on a skiing trip to Italy.
We can say it was the last England joy before we got on the plane and left.
The flight wasn’t short nor long, it was about three hours more or less and when we landed, our families were waiting for us. Can’t say I had really missed them that much with all the fun I had! Hahaha, just kidding. Everyone was happy to be reunited with their families and we were looking forward to telling them all of our English Adventures. This has been a magical experience, thanks everyone involved for making me have an amazing time!