Thrilling Trip to France

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The Journey There by Lance & Toby
We arrived at school at 8:30am outside Langlands Hall and left school at 9am.  On the way there we stopped at the services because Victor, our coach driver, could only drive a limited amount of time. Once we were at the ferry we had about an hour’s trip across the Channel and arrived at Calais around 2:30pm. On the way to the hotel we stopped at the aquarium and finally arrived at the hotel, called Les Embruns, in Le Touquet.

The journey started off great with our coach driver, Victor. Victor was really kind to us. It took about two hours to get to the P&O Ferry. Once on the ferry, time went past in a zoom. Once in France, we sang to a karaoke DVD on the coach. My favourite song was Agadoo – Black Lace. Victor made some funny jokes… and some Dad-type jokes! On the rest of the journey, every day, Victor made us watch ‘Only Fools and Horses’. It started off funny and, well… it got a little boring after a while. Victor took us on every journey. So without Victor, we would still be in England!

The food at the Hotel by Max
The food on the first evening was ok.  The sausages were lovely but the mash was too buttery.  It improved on the second evening.  For breakfast we had a choice of cereals with hot chocolate. The picnic was nicely prepared and included crisps and a sandwich.  Dinner was spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread.  Breakfast was the same every day but the picnic lunches and dinners changed.  One dinner that comes to mind was chicken and chips, which was the best meal.  To my great surprise there was no French food except baguettes with every meal.  The waiters and waitresses were helpful and appreciated it when we spoke French to them.  Overall, the food was well prepared, tasty and appreciated by everyone.

The Beach by Xavier & Rory
Every evening in France, we went to the beach. The first experience of the beach was more than we expected. As you looked straight ahead you could see the sea, although the tide was out. To the left of us, were a volleyball club and a few restaurants, from then on you could see forever. To the right of us was a large sand dune which we were not allowed on. The beach was a calming, relaxing, yet noisy and loud place where we could go to play football, rugby, or even build a castle. It was only a five minute walk away. On the average night we went down at about eight in the evening, after having dinner. We all got very excited as we walked down to the beach. Most evenings it was cold, which was unfortunate but, on the bright side, there were also days when it was quite hot, which upped everyone’s day. On one of the days we were lucky enough to go to the beach at lunch time and eat there. Overall the experience was fabulous and exciting and I would definitely go back again.

I loved the French trip but I had my favourite bits. The best part of the trip in my opinion happened almost every day! It was the beach of course, not only because the beach is a nice place to go, but because most of the weird and wonderful things happened there. Quite large holes would be dug as traps (but no one knew they were traps and consequently they fell into them).   People ran aimlessly in the sand.  The beach was my favourite part as it provided me with the best memories of the trip to France.

The Caves by Harry
On Tuesday we had breakfast and headed to the underground city (la Cité Souterraine de Naours.)  Each boy was given a listening device.  When you pressed the number of the area, you were told about it. It told us that Picardy was taken by the Germans in World War One but it was also used in World War Two. We then went down into the caves to be greeted by a temperature of nine degrees Celsius!  In the underground city there is a total of two kilometres of road, three hundred rooms, three churches, six chimneys linking back to the surface and it could shelter up to three thousand people. Pure air was brought into the city from considerable distances.  Of course enemies would sometimes find out about the city and try to invade, at which point the children would put out the torches and run the enemy into a dangerous trap.  The caves would have had to have a lot of thought behind them so they could house three thousand people and livestock without a trace.  The underground fires were underneath the Miller’s house to hide the smoke and others were coming out in the forest.  The caves were made out of limestone and flint, which contains calcium carbonate.  If calcium carbonate reacts with acid it creates carbon dioxide. When we finished the caves we gave back the listening devices, walked up a hill and played a game of Predator down a path, then went to a small park with hamster wheels!

Agincourt by Alfred & Albert
In the afternoon we went to a war museum in France and were given a tour by a French expert who found it hard to speak English.  This meant lots of translating. We saw many weapons of all sizes and calibre, and suits of armour. Then we came to the main event, a slide show movie which explained the battle on 25th October 1415.  The battle took place between the English, lead by Henry V, and the enormous French army which almost doubled the English army.  But the English managed to outwit the French, pinning them in with their archers who used long bows which could fire 12 arrows a minute. This tore the French army apart.

At Agincourt we saw the first and last arrows shot by the English long bow archers, the French soldiers didn’t stand a chance and were killed in battle like cattle.  The arrows went straight through the French armour.  It took the French people a long time to recover as so many men were killed.

We saw a massive model of the fields with the two armies either side, the French Army were way bigger than the English and had more advanced weaponry.  It was an amazing victory for the English and must have been a real insult for the French soldiers.  There was a life size sketch of two soldiers fighting on the battle field.

Bagatelle Theme Park by Olly & Jonah
On Wednesday we went to a theme park called Bagatelle. We were split into groups and went around the park. There were 3 main roller coasters: A runaway train, a big rollercoaster with 2 loop-the-loops and a very jerky, more compact rollercoaster. The park was quite busy but the average waiting time was around 5-10 minutes. There were pedalos on a big lake, a big swinging pirate ship, bumper cars and water rides. There was a log flume, rafts that shot water and a big water slide. We ate a picnic in the middle of the day and then were let off again in our groups. The park was quite small so it was not easy to get lost. It was also okay for people that didn’t like scary rides as there were calmer rides e.g. the pedalos. Most people there were French but the ride operators spoke good enough English to be able to tell them if there was a problem. There were food and drink stalls dotted around the park in case you got hungry and a park shop near the entrance. There were also pedal powered go-karts which you did not have to queue for, plus a circus and a cinema where there was a 4D film playing.

The sun was shining as we looked around the park. Unlike English theme parks we didn’t have to queue for ages to get onto the rides. My favourite ride was a rollercoaster ride called Triops because it took you high up in a seat and dropped you backwards. It was jaw dropping!  We also went on the Cap n’ bag, the Ragondingue, and the Raft, which were all fun.  We went on the bumper cars and the log flumes. There were quite a few water rides but I managed to stay quite dry! I enjoyed the popcorn too.  We were at the theme park all day and went back to our hotel at about 4:00. We all had great fun!

The Market by Bradley & Umair
Thursday was the last full day of the French trip.  Most of us had saved most our Euros for this.  It was about a 5 minute walk. Once we got there we split up into groups. At the start we searched the market stalls to find what we wanted and what we liked to look at such as BB guns and fireworks.  Most of us finally found the sweets and sunglasses and caps which the majority of us bought.

We went in groups of two or three.  I was with Joe and Toby. In the market there were lots of English people and some French people. I bought a t-shirt and a beret – a French hat.  At the end of the day we met under the clock tower in a coffee shop and went back to the hotel.

The Goat Farm by Joe
In the afternoon we went to a goat farm and met a nice French lady whose name I can’t remember. She was very nice and friendly, and she spoke French to us and we had to work out what she was saying. She gave us a tour around the farm. First we went to the goats and she told us about when they mate and how many babies they have and loads of interesting facts. We were allowed to stroke the goats on the head if we wanted to but they liked eating our clothes!  After that we saw ducklings and chicks and we were allowed to pick them up and they were very cute. We all wanted to take one home. Then we went to the cows and she spoke again about other interesting facts. We went to try some delicious cheese and most of us enjoyed it. There were three different types. There was a fresh one, one was medium and one was older. The most popular were the first and second ones we tried. I especially enjoyed the cheese and so did the teachers who got stuck in!  We tried some waffles as well which were very tasty. The lady had made them herself. Then we were allowed to buy some cheese and waffles to take home. I found it hard to choose which cheese to buy, but I decided on the first one because it was easier to say in French. The French lady told us that she has a husband and lots of people who work for her. At the end of the French trip they gave awards. I got an award for being the best farmer which means I was careful and caring with the animals and listened well and tried to speak French.

The Boulangerie by George
On Friday we all went to the bakery or Boulangerie.  We witnessed the making of bread both in an old wood oven and in a more modern style oven, and how they are different.  As well as being shown how to make a loaf of bread we were also shown how to make a baguette-style loaf.  We saw how croissants and pains au chocolat are made and we were told how to tell whether a croissant was made with margarine or butter. All of us were lucky enough to try making a croissant or pain au chocolat, which I think everybody enjoyed. On top of that, after we had had a go at making something, we were all given both a croissant and a pain au chocolat.  It was a fantastic end to an exciting week in France.

The Sweet Factory by Richard & Jack
Finally we visited a sweet factory where we were shown how hard sweets were made, first by mixing water and gluten together and boiling it at 100 degrees Celsius.  Then it is poured out onto a table and dyed with food colouring.  Lastly it is moulded into different shapes or put inside a machine where the sweets are decorated, separated and packaged, then sold to the stores.  At first the man forgot to put the bucket under where the sweets came from so they went everywhere! The sweets that went in the bucket tasted very nice. I bought some sweets and they tasted lovely.

The Journey Home by Alex & Toby
On the coach trip home many boys got awards from the staff, but the Tourer of the Week was Albert Trant. Other awards included: Best dresser (Richard Nosike), most interested in the language (Jack Roberts), best French speaker (Dani Barlas), and best entertainer (Umair Anis). At half past one we left for Calais where we caught a ferry to Dover. We arrived early at the ferry and managed to get back to school by quarter to four, where we were greeted by our mums and dads. In total our trip was epic, and I can’t wait till Wales!

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