On Wednesday 25th June thirty-nine Year 8 students and four members of staff set off for CCA’s annual trip to Paris. In spite of horrendous traffic jams on the A12 we managed to catch our scheduled shuttle thanks to Mr Percival’s local knowledge and map reading skills.
After a smooth run down to Paris our first activity was a boat trip along the River Seine. The weather was beautiful and our students really enjoyed the experience, glimpsing their first sights of many of Paris’s most famous buildings as we cruised along the river. Our hotel was on the outskirts of Paris very close to Charles de Gaulle airport so some of our party did not sleep as well as they might because of the planes landing and taking off at all hours.
Thursday was our big day. After a hearty breakfast we set off for Notre Dame where Colin, our very knowledgeable courier, started off by explaining the “Last Judgement” carved in stone above the main door. Students were amazed by the grandeur of the cathedral and in particular the stained glass windows. From Notre Dame we walked along the river and across the Pont Neuf to the Louvre and Tuilierie Gardens where we stopped for a picnic lunch. We then continued on up the Champs Elysées for a spot of shopping and a visit to the Arc de Triomphe. Our coach picked us up at four o’clock for a quick transfer up to Montmartre, where we visited the basilica of Sacré Coeur before sampling the delights of French cooking in a restaurant overlooking the Place du Tertre which was full of artists wanting to paint portraits of anyone willing to pose for them.
In the evening we were due to visit the Tour Montparnasse for fabulous views over the city but unfortunately our coach broke down and when the driver eventually got it going again with the help of a Bulgarian coach driver, his coach and some jump leads, we had to return to our hotel. The students were obviously disappointed but they were very mature and accepted the enforced change of plan without complaint.
Friday was spent at Parc Astérix, the original French theme park, where students had a fantastic time and were able to get on all the big rides without too much queuing. We then had an excellent journey home, actually arriving back one hour before our scheduled time.
I have run this trip for many years and this was one of the very best. The students were well behaved and showed great interest in what they saw. They were certainly the best group for trying out their skills in speaking French. Kieron Lamb was our star because he was actually commended by a French lady for his speaking. I am certain that my colleagues Mr Percival, Mrs Rubio- Weston and Miss Mc McCluskey would like to thank them for making the trip so enjoyable and memorable for us.