French Trip June 2014


What better way to end a busy year in school for both teachers and pupils alike than a fun-packed week in Paris.  Forty three places on the much sought after trip were very quickly booked by very excited pupils from Years 8 to 12.

Pupils’ enthusiasm did not wane as they stepped out on to French soil even after a late night coach journey to Dublin and early flight to Charles de Gaulle airport.

After taking in the spectacular views from the top of the Arc de Triomphe, we headed down to the Champs Elysées for a spot of retail therapy.   It wasn’t long before the boys spotted their favourite shop and despite protestations from Ms Darby who wanted to relax in the stunning Jardins Tuileries, Mr McCabe, forever the PE teacher, “reluctantly” marshalled the boys across the road to take in the beautiful sights of the Paris Saint Germaine official sports superstore. We eventually managed to drag the boys and Mr McCabe out of the store for a visit to the Louvre where everyone saw Da Vinci’s beautiful “La Joconde” also known as the “Mona Lisa” and other awe-inspiring paintings such as the “The Wedding at Cana” by Paolo Veronese.

Pupils were able to sit back and relax during the bateau-mouche cruise on the River Seine as they took in some of the most iconic sights of Paris.  We just had enough time in the afternoon to squeeze in a quick visit to the Notre Dame cathedral. After lighting a few candles and some quiet contemplation in the pews of the church, we headed off to the Stade de France where we were given a gripping and fact-filled tour of the stadium.  A behind the scenes look in the changing rooms of the stadium saw boys making a bee-line for the shirts of their favourite footballers still hanging in the lockers, Despite the millions of pounds spent on building the stadium however,  it just didn’t have enough vending machines for our pupils!

An already busy day ended with a visit to Aquaboulevard, an indoor water park, where the boys were able to let off steam on the water slides.  For some, it was the highlight of the trip!

The excitement of ascending to the second level of the Eiffel Tower was to follow the next day when the boys witnessed truly breath-taking views.   However one of our more entreprenurial pupils did enquire from his teacher, “How much would you get for scrap metal for this sir?”

A trip to Paris wouldn’t be complete of course without a visit to Disneyland. Regardless of age there was fun to be had by everyone.  Everyone gave the Thunder Mountain roller-coaster their seal of approval despite a few aching necks afterwards.  Definitely not recommended just after lunch!  The Disney parades and fairground attractions in Fantasyland were no less enchanting.

After stopping off for baguettes and chocolate-filled crêpes the boys were fortified enough to tackle the seemingly endless steps leading up to the Sacré Coeur Basilica.  The pupils’ efforts were rewarded with spectacular views of the city of Paris.   A visit to the “Place du Tertre” in the Montmartre district to watch the artists at work was a must.

The final day and by far the most “hair-raising” part of the trip was the visit to Parc Asterix where the rides are certainly not for the faint-hearted. Only the bravest among the boys headed for the 6 loop the loop roller-coaster, others preferring to build up to it slowly.  The general consensus at the end of the trip was, “on s’est bien amusé à Paris!”

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