It's all about Boulogne!!!
The penultimate day in activities week (Thursday 16th July) saw 19 students and 4 members of staff head across the channel to spend an exciting day in Boulogne. An early start of 2.30 did little to dampen people’s spirits, and we set off in buoyant mood for the 1st part of our journey. A quick pit stop at Thurrock services for comfort (and coffee) also offer the chance to enjoy the daybreak.
Re-fuelled and refreshed, we set off for Dover where our punctual arrival allowed the trend setters in the group to lead the way for the day by snapping up some selfie sticks from the shop (these would become the order of the day and the absolute must have accessory). Embarking compete, it was smooth sailing through calm waters all the way to Calais. We arrived in France excited and on schedule and set off for Boulogne where our lunch awaited at the renowned crêperie St Michel. A warm welcome and warmer crêpes/galettes greeted us, and we all sat down to enjoy great company and a fantastic repas (thankfully warm weather was soon to follow too)!
Basking in sunshine, our group were able to put their newly acquired selfie sticks to good use, as they tackled the town trail – hunting down patisserie, pancakes, post cards, phones and post boxes. Hopefully their specially selected teachers will appreciate the post cards sent back for them (to arrive before the new academic year). Students were also able to learn a few new words whilst exploring the town’s new ‘7 deadly sins’ themed garden, before the serious business of shopping began. Fans became the order of the day to combat the heat, and it became increasingly obvious that the confectionary sponsors for the day were tictacs and candy floss, with a side order of (melted) Milka chocolate.
It was then time to say goodbye to Boulogne – and hello to the Hypermarché, where attention began to turn to the drive home. Time for the 2nd, 3rd or 4th (Ted Caunt) change of outfit for the day, and for many more forward thinking members of the group, it was time to buy whatever they could find to make the return journey more comfortable – for some (Grace, Megan, Demi, Cery and Mia) that meant food, and a brilliantly French picnic (baguette et fromage galore!); for others sleep was the priority (Auchan may need to restock their supply of travel blankets…).
Our arrival at Calais port saw hearts sink, as the coach came to a standstill with the security checks in sight. The clock ticked on and on, and it quickly became clear that our travels would be delayed. 20, 30, 40 minutes passed – one hour, two hours before, finally, almost three hours after our intended departure we set out for home, with the wind doing its best to test the balance of even the most shore-footed amongst us. We returned to our temporary home to head for school – with Maddy, Charlotte, Libby and Grace doing their best to deafen Mr Adams and Mrs Rahman (quote <Libby Nightingale> ‘I’ve laughed so hard, I’ve ripped my mouth up’.) Truly a triumph of spirit over circumstance and testament to the good old stiff upper lip!
Lightening, driver changes, DVDs and dress up (feat. Maddy as E.T) saw us home for 1.30am – a 23 hour day completed! Congratulations to staff and students alike for surviving, and maintaining the highest of standards and spirits!
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