• Believe, Achieve, Succeed
  • Believe, Achieve, Succeed
  • Believe, Achieve, Succeed

Sixth Form Paris Residential 2018

 

Click on the link to see the photographs in the gallery.

 

Monday 2nd July

Our train left Newton Abbot on time with all staff and students present and correct. By the time we reached London Paddington we were 20 minutes late and had to take an underground train on the Hammersmith and City line to King’s Cross St. Pancras to make sure we got to the Eurostar check-in desk on time. Our Eurostar train was on time and we enjoyed a fast journey to Paris with everyone in good spirits, arriving at the Gare du Nord at about a quarter to five local time. From here we walked to Sacre Couer with our suitcases, getting up quite a sweat in the late afternoon sun which was still very hot, up many long flights of steps as the old cathedral is on a hill overlooking the city. We managed to have a quick look inside Sacre Couer before continuing to the tourist shopping area where we ordered a sandwich from Subway and ate it in a small park where some of the local children were enjoying an enthusiastic game of football! From here we headed north, still dragging suitcases behind us, through the picturesque market area of Montmartre until finally we reached our hotel, checked in and had a welcome shower. Some tired legs then crawled into bed!

Tuesday 3rd July

Everyone was up nice and early in the morning and we enjoyed our continental breakfast in the hotel before heading off for the day. Our first ride on the Paris metro was in the morning rush hour, and as we changed at Place de Clichy and headed for the Arc de Triomphe we felt like sardines, but the students coped well with this unpleasant aspect of city travel. Photos at the Arc de Triomphe were followed by a stroll down the Champs Elysees, and down King George V avenue to the River Seine which we crossed before walking in welcome shade provided by a line of trees to the Musee d’Orsay, housed in an old railway station. After queueing up to get in, we split into our groups and enjoyed admiring the art and sculptures for an hour and a half. We were particularly impressed by the Van Gogh exhibition with many famous Van Gogh originals, the Impressionist exhibition featuring the work of Monet, Renoir and others, and also the Art Nouveau exhibition. We then found a restaurant to eat lunch in and rest our feet before walking the relatively short distance to the military museum, where we went in the World Wars 1 and 2 exhibition and visited the very impressive tomb of Napoleon. The group then made its way to the Eiffel Tower for photos before re-crossing the Seine back to the north bank to catch a metro train back to the hotel. Everyone by this point was desperate for another shower after being in the unpleasant heat all day, and pizzas followed from a local takeaway. A few of us watched the England v Columbia World Cup football match in a bar a short distance from the hotel whilst some watched in their hotel rooms – All were relieved to see England win on penalties, something of a historic occasion in itself!

WEDNESDAY 4TH JULY

We always knew that Wednesday would turn out to be our busiest day, and so it proved! A prompt start began with the group walking through the Jardin de Tuileries towards the Louvre whilst Mr Thompson went South of the river in search of the river cruise tickets which needed to be picked up from a small souvenir shop. Tickets duly collected, and instructions sent to James regarding where the cruise began from, the group met Mr Thompson on a bridge very close to the Eiffel Tower. We then enjoyed a relaxing cruise all the way to the Ile de la Cite and back for the next hour, which after all the walking the previous day, was very welcome! The weather was extremely hot (around 30 degrees Celsius) and we had to be careful with shade, sun cream and water never far from our minds. After lunch (another Subway meal eaten in a delightful little park close to the river) we headed to Notre Dame Cathedral for our tour. The cathedral is always impressive, but it is sometimes difficult to take it all in. Finally, the Louvre – and the students enjoyed seeing a vast array of masterpieces, both paintings and sculptures, including the must-see Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. There are five separate levels at the Louvre, all of them huge, so it is an amazing experience. We returned to the hotel in the knowledge that we had had a very full but rewarding day!

THURSDAY 5TH JULY

Thursday brought an earlier than normal start as we aimed to get to Disneyland Paris in time for opening at 10.00 a.m.. We got the Metro to Auber station, doing a long transfer by walkway and escalator before catching an RER train to the Eurodisney park which is 20 miles or so East of Paris. If you can get a seat, these trains are very pleasant to ride in as they have air-conditioning! Much nicer than the stifling heat of the Metro trains! We arrived at Disneyland Paris, split into small groups, and proceeded to enjoy the next 8 or so hours partaking in the rides and other attractions. Rollercoasters were top of the list for most students, and they did not disappoint – from the Indiana Jones one to the Star Wars Voyager and more, the students queued patiently to have their turn. Mikey was delighted to meet no fewer than five larger-than-life Disney characters, including Goofy and Donald Duck, although the highlight for him was meeting Minnie Mouse and getting her autograph! A highlight for many were the cinematic special effects in the neighbouring Disney film village involving oil tankers bursting into flame and tons of water cascading over a cliff! We had a super day, ending with time in one of the souvenir shops before heading back to Paris on the train. We then found a modest but pleasant restaurant to eat in close to our hotel before turning in for the night. It had been a full but very enjoyable day.

FRIDAY 6TH JULY

On the last day of any trip, it is difficult to know what to fit in because you always have one eye on the time. We had booked to go up the Montparnasse Tower, a 59-storey high-rise tower on the South side of the river so we made our way there in good time on the Metro with our suitcases in tow. Splitting into two groups and taking it in turns (so one group could watch the bags), we proceeded to visit the tower and what an experience it turned out to be! No queues, and we glided effortlessly up 56 floors to the main viewing level in just 38 seconds! To say the views were magnificent is an understatement – they were simply breathtaking! In front of us, and clearly visible if you took the time to pick them out, were all the sights we had spent the week visiting - Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Military Museum etc.. Some ventured further on foot to the 59th floor which was literally the open-air rooftop. It was a fitting end to a jam-packed week. Following this treat, we headed on foot to the very beautiful Jardin de Luxembourg where we ate our baguettes, and then to the Latin Quarter before catching a Metro back to the Gare du Nord to catch the Eurostar train back to London. Unfortunately our train was delayed by over two hours, and by the time we got to London we had missed our connecting train to Newton Abbot – hence our later than expected arrival back! Overall though, a fantastic week was had by all, and the behaviour of the students was exemplary.

 

Mr Thompson (Trip leader)