THIRTY Ilkley Grammar School year 11 students spent the half term with their Spanish counterparts in Madrid on their ninth exchange visit.

On February 13 the group of GCSE Spanish students set off the visit to Pozuelo, a suburb of Madrid. The students, along with their Spanish partners visited the Spanish School, Escuelas Pías de San Fernando. The school caters for children aged two to 18 and has about 1,300 students.

The visit to the school was interesting for the students and highlighted the differences between the Spanish and English education systems. The party enjoyed a walking tour of Madrid with one of the history teachers from the school and visited La Plaza Mayor, El Puerta del Sol, El Palacio Real and the ancient Egyptian temple.

During their week in Spain they also visited the Roman city of Segovia where they saw the magnificent dry stone aqueduct, built by the Romans in what is thought to be the 1st Century AD.

The group managed to visit two of Madrid’s most famous sporting stadiums. The first was El Estadio Santiago, Bernabeu, home to one of the world’s most famous football teams, Real Madrid. The tour was fascinating; they were shown the vast array of team trophies as well as the player’s lavish dressing rooms. They also looked at the pitch.

After the tour they headed to Las Ventas, the famous bull ring in central Madrid.

The final full day saw the group visit the ancient city of Toledo. Toledo is dubbed “the city of three religions” as there was a large Muslim, Jewish and Christian community in the past. The students visited an ancient Synagogue and Monastery. With a final visit to the Reina Sofia Art Gallery in Madrid the students bade “adios” to Spain and their partners and look forward the welcoming them to Ilkley in March 20.