English Enchantment: the 4ème and 5ème Trip

After the crown jewels, what is England’s most valuable possession? Several 4ème and 5ème Collège Pasteur and Collège de la Quintinye students learned the answer while on the England trip from Tuesday 18 to Friday 21 April 2017. After leaving the Paris suburbs early in the morning, 51 students and 5 adults made their way by coach to the Eurotunnel and then Canterbury Cathedral. Three guides divulged the secrets of the Cathedral, including the gory details of Thomas Becket’s assassination. Any revulsion was quickly overcome by a stop at Hardy’s Original Sweetshop before continuing on our way to meet the host families at Guildford, southwest of London.

London was Wednesday’s destination. After enduring morning traffic, the students enjoyed the entertaining tour of the Shakespeare Globe and the extra treat of seeing part of a rehearsal of Romeo and Juliet. This was followed by lunch in the Tate Modern, a brisk walk across the Millenium Bridge and a stroll along the South Bank, complete with a stop for ice cream. At the Lyceum Theatre, everyone was enthralled by The Lion King, still spectacular after 17 years. After another evening with the warm and welcoming host families, on Thursday the group went to Hampton Court, best known as Henry VIII’s palace. The 2.5 hour guided visit tried everyone’s patience, but the students concentrated well and learned a great deal. Then we picnicked outside, discovered the maze, told Elizabethan character stories and once again savoured ice cream before returning to Guildford. A brief walk around the historic Guildford center was followed by the highly anticipated visit to Tesco and marked depletion of the candy aisle.

After three days, it was already time to return to France but not before stopping for a tour of Leeds Castle near Maidstone. The mix of medieval and modern history surrounding this castle added to its charm. Once again the weather was lovely, and the maze, playground and picnic were a perfect way to finish our time in England. All too soon for many, we returned to France and our destination. Great memories remain and surely some learning. One never knows when it could be useful to know that the Abraham tapestries at Hampton Court are the answer to the question. Some student memories:

“At Tesco we were able to buy yummy food at lower prices than it is sold in France. Rows and rows of sweets and crisps filled our view.” – William

“I liked the visits of Canterbury Cathedral and the Globe Theatre and lunch because we could get together, have fun and do the mazes.” – Cillian

“Leeds Castle was really interesting since many people from different time periods lived there.” – Cecelia

“ I really liked The Lion King because I found the costumes and play very beautiful.” – Candice

“My host family was very welcoming and lovely.” – Liana

“My host family was very welcoming and lovely.” – Liana

“It wasn’t cool or fun; it was AWESOME!” – Julia