After an early start, the bus was laden with cases, drinks and 75 people; we said our goodbyes and set off for the sunnier side of the Channel. After lovely weather the whole journey down, the famous white cliffs of Dover were hidden by fog!
France, on the other hand, greeted us with sunshine as we continued our journey to Paris. After some tricky parking manoeuvres from driver Andy, we collected our cases, keys and headed to bed.
Our first full day in France could only mean one thing – Disney!
The group spent a fun filled day; touring the studio lot, watching the Cars stunt show and being ‘cast members’ on the set of Armageddon. Then of course there were the rides…Rockin’ Rollercoaster was a hot favourite with the thrill seekers, while the adrenaline junkies headed to The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
“I enjoyed the Rockin’ Roller Coaster when it went really fast and upside down.”
“My favourite thing was watching the group of Year 11s and Year 9s nearly pass out on the Tower of Terror.”
As the evening drew closer, our band of adventurers headed to the Wild West with our old friend Buffalo Bill. A fantastic show, accompanied with great cowboy food, saw four teams of cowboys and outriders compete in a range of skills to win the chest of gold for their team. With the encouragement of some VERY loud yeehawing supporters, our amazing green team were victorious. Buffalo Bill asked for volunteers to collect our prize, and Miss B was raucously volunteered by the group. As she went to collect our coins disaster struck…bandits stole not only our gold, but also Miss B!
“One of the best parts about Buffalo Bill’s was when Miss B got tied up to protect the gold coins.”
Luckily the cavalry arrived – quite literally – just in time and saved the day. With enough time for evening shopping in the Disney Village, day two ended with an extra passenger – Francoise (aka the giant Stitch Kieran bought for Sasha!)
The sun continued to shine as we headed for Disney Round Two – this time in DisneyLand. With a park filled with rides, shows and Disney characters to meet at every turn, there really was something for everyone. Although, it is important to note that not all Disney characters are sweetness and light. While the Year 10 group watched Jafar being kind and welcoming, his true personality rose to the surface as he chased them away, not once but twice! Pluto would be a safer choice – or so we thought. He was so taken by our very own Mrs Lill he grabbed her by the hand and after a speedy wave goodbye, he ran away with her. No-one told us Disney could be so dangerous!
“When Jafar chased us it was scary but so funny at the same time!”
After a late lunch at Planet Hollywood, and a quick pit stop via the coach to drop off gifts and top up on drinks, we were ready to go again just in time for the 25th Anniversary parade!
“I loved my friends saying the ratatouille we had for lunch had actual rat in it!”
“The parade was amazing! Peter Pan had his own float with Captain Hook.”
With the remainder of the day filled with amazing Disney memories, from characters signing autograph books, people experiencing their very first roller coasters, pretending to be pirates in Adventureland and of course the famous Disney castle the summary from everyone on the trip was that Disney is quite simply amazingly magical!
Our final day in France was spent visiting the sights. The morning was spent climbing the stairs to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower…all 674 of them, which of course Miss B did in heels! Staff then turned their hand to tour guide duties as they pointed out sights and interesting facts about Paris. After a quick bite to eat we spent a relaxing afternoon on the riverboat cruise of the River Seine taking in the sights of Paris.
“I loved it when Miss B became our tour guide telling us historical facts on the microphone during the bus trip around Paris and our journey to Vimy Ridge.”
Miss B took over tour guide duties on the afternoon drive to our evening meal, which included an adventurous journey around the crazy Arc de Triomphe roundabout – where once you cross the line onto the roundabout your vehicle is no longer insured! Hard Rock Café was our pit stop for our evening meal…and another chance to shop!
“The food was delicious, friendly staff and the music was fantastic – my new favourite restaurant!”
Our final sight for the day was Tour Montparnasse, which offers the best view of the Eiffel Tower in all of Paris. We certainly weren’t disappointed. The opportunity to be tour guides was once again taken up by many staff as students were keen to learn more about Paris. Then the moment we had all waited for arrived, the clocks hit 9pm and the Eiffel Tower was lit in all its splendour against the backdrop of France’s capital. A perfect end to a perfect day experiencing the sights and sounds of Paris.
“I loved the whole Paris day, but mainly I enjoyed seeing all of Paris from the top of Tour Montparnesse, especially when the Eiffel Tower lit up.”
It was finally time to return to the hotel, make sure we were all packed before heading home the next day.
Although we didn’t get to visit Vimy Ridge, as it was closed in preparation for the centenary celebrations, Miss B shared her knowledge of the battle for Vimy Ridge and we paid our respects from the coach. The rest of the journey home was filled with final gift buying on the ferry – after a visit from LCA resident gull ‘Geoff’ - and lots of traffic, although spirits were kept high by music intro quizzes and mime dances by Miss B!
“The trip was filled with amazing memories to last me a lifetime!”
The trip is summed up beautifully by Cameron, Y9, who said:
“My highlight was the gorgeous view from Tour Montparnesse – it was great. I loved walking up the Eiffel tower too. I’m sad to be leaving Paris.”