Just before midnight on Sunday the 28th June a group of forty two Year 8, 9 and 10 pupils set off on a trip to Boppard in the Rhine valley. They travelled by coach and ferry from Dover to Dunkirk and then down through Belgium. The hotel was next to the river and the pretty town of Boppard. The town afforded ample opportunity for pupils to practise their German language skills, buying souvenirs and ice creams in the local shops.
Briefing every day was in German and the pupils took part in a translation competition which was won by Lucy Walker and Celina Hart. They all kept a diary of what they had done each day that included recording how much German they had spoken. The competition to speak the most German was fierce but pupils were struck by how friendly the local people were.
On the second day they went up the chairlift at Boppard to see the marvellous view of the river Rhine, castles and vineyards nearby. They then went down the river, across the ferry to Rüdesheim where they spent the afternoon in the open air swimming pool in glorious sunshine.
The third day was spent visiting Marksburg , a fairytale castle on a hill. Here they had a tour of the castle and learnt about mediaeval times and customs. They saw a mediaeval kitchen and bedroom, examples of armour throughout the ages and a display of unnerving torture instruments. They also learned why people of that time slept in a seated position so as not to resemble the dead!
After that they headed for Koblenz which is a busy town situated on the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers. Shopping in the ultra- modern shopping centre and sight- seeing filled the afternoon before returning through the beautiful landscape to their hotel.
The fourth day was spent in Phantasialand, a theme park in Brühl, again in hot and sunny weather Pupils were struck at how clean the park was and enjoyed the many areas representing different cultures and themes. The fast rides made adrenaline rush and the different types of shows and shops made the time go all too quickly.
The journey back was affected by the strikes at Calais and Dunkirk so we were delayed arriving back at 4:45 am as a tired but happy group. Pupils are already asking about the next trip. Watch this space!