For a bit of something different, this Thursday evening we took the students to the Gaditano Errante escape room experience, where they teamed up in Cádiz catacombs to solve a series of puzzles in order to escape within just one hour. They were led blindfolded through the darkness of the ancient underground passageways into a room where as a team they were asked to racked their brains over a whole host of clues, guided by a mysterious masked man who quite literally held the key to their safety... Our group were unlucky enough to be caught with seconds to spare, but all the same got to console themselves with a rather fetching photo before once again heading off to the beach...
The following Friday morning saw our very last day of classes! In one activity, students were asked to research and present on different periods of Spanish art, all the way back from cave paintings to the Renaissance and even the modern era! We also bade a very fond farewell to our teachers Ana and Brenda, who played such an enormous part in making their stay in Cádiz so memorable.
Taking a more relaxed pace as we look ahead to a long journey across the Atlantic, Friday evening gave us some more time to enjoy on the ever-popular Playa de Santa María del Mar, with a special musical accompaniment from our coordinator Víctor who kindly brought his guitar and treated us to a serenade before the students had their turn!
On Saturday morning, we took a trip down to Spain's southernmost point in the beautiful city of Tarifa. Once there, we got all set for a whale watching expedition, with a local expert giving us a briefing in all of the animal species living in the Strait of Gibraltar, from bottlenose dolphins all the way up to sperm whales! The students were also given a safety briefing on how to navigate a ship properly before we climbed aboard the ship that would give us two hours out where the Mediterranean meats the Atlantic.
We soon found that we really had to get our sea legs on in order to best the choppy waters, which definitely left a few of us feeling a little green! And for that matter, the whales seemed to be in a rather camera-shy mood, although at least we did get to see some packs of dolphins jumping through the crystal blue waters of the Strait! It was also was fascinating to brush past the coast of Morocco, the closest most if not all of us had come to setting foot on the continent of Africa. We got to take in the paradisal vistas, although we were all rather grateful to return to terra firma!
With the seasickness shaken off, we had some time to explore the beautiful whitewashed city of Tarifa, with its winding, labyrinthine streets and beautiful churches. There was a chance to stop for an ice cream and a coffee while breathing in the sea air. And after an hour's journey back to Cádiz, where else would we end up but at the beach? The staff here in Cádiz are starting to get a sense of what attracted the students here in the first place!
Stay tuned for updates on our final couple of days in Cádiz, before some final goodbyes and, for some, a trip to Córdoba and Seville...
Paul Hyland recently graduated with a PhD in Spanish and Latin American literature from the University of Cambridge. He also holds a first class degree in Spanish and German, as well as an MPhil in European Literature from the same institution.