26 April 2016

Upper Sixth Trip to Normandy

On Wednesday 13th April the Upper Sixth came back from the holidays. We caught up with each other and then went to bed ready for an early start the next morning.

The next morning we jumped out of bed full of excitement and rushed to get on the bus. We went from Poole to Cherbourg on a Brittany Ferry called Barfleur. We were given a little pocket money to spend on the ferry but most of us opted against this option.

We arrived in Cherbourg at 2:00pm and headed straight for the hotel. We ate cereal bars and played music for the couple of hours it took to get us there. The announcement of the dorms filled us with joy when we discovered we were all in good dorms. When we arrived at the Hôtel le Canada in Hermanville-sur-mer near Caen, we were greeted by our hosts and shown to our rooms. We quickly unpacked before rushing down to the beach where we ordered a drink in French from a café. We then had a game of ‘it’ to warm us up before going back to the hotel to have a shower before supper.

At first we found it a bit strange having four courses but we all managed to finish the different, delicious foods. Exhausted after our long day we all trooped upstairs to bed where we all fell asleep promptly.

On Friday we had a quick start and scrumptious breakfast including croissants and ‘chocolat chaud’ and then made our way to Bavent-la-poterie where we made some clay pots on the potter’s wheel and some stunning figures using special moulds some of which dated back to 100 years ago. We were also given a tour around the kilns and special art pieces - all in French. We ate lunch over looking the peacocks and goats.

After lunch we left for Rouen where we looked at so many things, including the beautiful cathedral, which had inspired Monet so much, and where Joan of Arc had been burned at the stake. We were given some more of our pocket money to spend in the nearby shops. We left Rouen at 5:00pm and made our way back to the hotel in time for supper. After supper some of us went to the beach where we played Cricket and Frisbee. We then had an early night ready for the next busy day.

On Saturday we had our usual delicious breakfast before heading off to Bayeux for their Saturday market. Everyone was given 2€ to find the most interesting thing they could which would later be judged. We also had our own money to spend, this was the perfect shopping opportunity to buy gifts for family. After that we went to the National Normandy Horse Stud at St Lô. We had a guided tour of all the stables and we got to meet some of the top breeding stallions in the world. It was another great opportunity to listen and speak French. We then went to Ferme de Billy, a family run apple farm. We were given a guided tour, in French of course, and got to taste their two different apple juices and Caramel spread. We were each given an apple juice to bring home - apparently one type is the one served at The Ritz. Some of us also used a little pocket money to buy other things including cider. We arrived back at the hotel in time for supper where we sat down and discussed our purchases.
After supper our 2€ challenge was judged by al our teachers and Gildas. After this we were told that the next night we would be having a fashion show so we all hurried upstairs and started preparing our ideas in groups. We were all tired so we didn't spend too much time on it and were soon all asleep in our beds.

We had a much more relaxed start on Sunday before getting on the coach and going to visit Arromanches, where the Allied Forces landed on D-Day. On the way we had spectacular views of the Mulberry Harbour, the artificial harbour brought across the channel to help the British and American forces land. We then went to a circular cinema where we watched a film on 9 screens and in many different languages. It was very interesting and many people then bought souvenirs in the gift shop afterwards to remember all of those that died for us. We then ate lunch on the sea wall overlooking the monumental harbour. After lunch we wrote haikus on what we had experienced. We then went to Honfleur where we had an ice cream and look at Eglise Ste Catherine. We had a mini language task where we went round and found names of boats and restaurants. As a treat, we go to have a go on the carousel!
On the way back we weren’t so happy to have to do a listening comprehension on the way to Cabourg, but when we realised the ‘grande surprise’ in question 13 referred to the ‘grande roue’ (ferris wheel) we all gave a squeal of joy / terror! A lot of us ended up hoarse but it was a very fun experience.
We then went to the beach again in the evening where we paddled and laughed at a tractor that had got stuck in the sea!
We had another delicious supper and then all rushed upstairs to prepare for the fashion show. We all dressed up in a variety of different outfits from scarfs as skirts to hundreds of coats.
Beatrice and Sophia won, having one of them as a French person in winter and another as a British person in winter. Once again it was judged by Gildas and his helpers. The day was very enjoyable but we all went to sleep quickly so we could make the most of our final day.

We had to have a quick breakfast on Monday so we had time to pack before leaving to visit ‘Collège Lechanteur’ where we got to meet our pen pals. We played an assortment of language games with them to get to know each other. We spoke in French and English and at the end of the day we even played a game of football with them! Hanford won 2-0 and after exchanging phone numbers and taking pictures of each other it was time to leave.
On the way to the ferry we stopped off at a supermarket where we all bought lots of carambars and some cheeses for our parents. We then hopped back on the coach and drove to the ferry.
We had a delicious meal on the ferry and many of us had a sleep. After a good journey and no one being sea-sick we got off the ferry and rushed through passport control before getting back on the coach. Once back on home ground we watched the film ‘Dear John’ which many of us rated as ‘the best film ever’.
After a nice journey we arrived back at school and went to sleep almost immediately!
Thank you so much Mme Rowland for organising the trip and Lucy and Mrs Morgan for coming with us, it was truly amazing and we learned loads of French.

By Betsy Board and Alice McCormick.