From the 10th to the 11th December last year, myself and thirteen other F Block students went on a day trip to France with Mr Brown and Miss Piquard. The purpose of the day was to understand more about aspects of the French way of life and, of course, to speak some French. In practice, the day involved learning how to make French croissants and baguettes as well as a trip to the Nausicaa aquarium.
We all met in Tudor at about 10pm on 10th December 2018. Approximately 45 minutes later the coach arrived which would take us to Dover, from where we would take a ferry to Calais. There was plenty of time for rest on the coach and a short break mid-way through the journey.
The coach arrived at Dover at around 3:30am on 11th December. We waited a further 30 or so minutes before we were allowed to board the ferry, which departed Dover at 4:20am.
The ferry arrived at Calais at 6:50am. This had given us another three or so hours’ sleep combined with the rest we got on the coach., which was enough to keep us going. We had breakfast at a small café in the town of Calais where there was plenty of food and drink.
We then got back onto the coach which took us to the Fournil Bakery, where we had a lesson on how to make croissants delivered by a male baker who worked there. He taught us how to make the shape of a croissant with dough and how to make the shape of a baguette. He also spoke a lot of French with us, which was great as it allowed us to practise our French with an actual French baker. We were then allowed to try some of the croissants from the bakery itself which I thought were great.
We then returned to the coach and went to the town of Boulogne, where we all had lunch at a restaurant around midday. The meal, spaghettis Bolognaise, was popular amongst us and I think most of us, if not all of us, enjoyed it a lot. This was followed by a rather more traditional Tarte Tatin – a French apple pie.
After lunch we went to the Nausicaa aquarium close to the restaurant where we were allowed to split up and look around in groups of three or four. At the aquarium we saw many things like sharks, penguins and obviously a wide variety of fish. Towards the end of the aquarium visit was a gift shop where many us bought souvenirs giving us the chance to spend our money.
Finally we returned to the coach and set off once more in the direction of Calais where we boarded a ferry to Dover which left at 4:05 in the afternoon.
Once we had arrived at Dover, we immediately began the journey back to Rugby. There was more time for rest on the coach. We arrived back at Tudor around 10pm where the day pupils were picked up by their parents and the boarders were allowed to return to their houses.
All in all, I think this trip was both very tiring and hard work but still a success as it gave all of us the chance to speak and improve our French, and to live and eat in the way that a French person would. I am still amazed at how we got through so much in so little time. I enjoyed it and I believe the others with me did as well and I’d be more than happy to do it again some time.