The last week of the summer term saw 37 All Saints pupils from years 7-10 set off for their “Alternative Learning Experience” in the Rhineland in Germany. Everyone enjoyed the variety of activities we did during the week, and as could only be expected, the staff – Mrs Thornhill, Mr Razzell, Mr Anderson, Mrs Dymott and Mr Thornhill – were extremely impressed by the pupils’ excellent behaviour. They were model representatives of the school at all times and reminded us why All Saints pupils are so awesome!
Take a look below to find out what we did, along with some of the pictures from our visit
Despite the early (!) start, everyone was excited and raring to go. Having slept (at least a little!) and arrived in Dover close to 4:30am, we boarded the ferry to cross the Channel, which for some was their first experience on board a big boat! Re-energized after breakfast and back on the coach, we then passed through France and Belgium, making our way towards Germany. It was perfect travelling weather, not too hot nor too cold, and after several moments of patience in and around Belgium, we arrived in Cologne in front of the impressive cathedral, the “Kölner Dom”. We had a look around and climbed one of its towers – only a mere 533 steps to the top! Particular credit must go to Michael Young 8Z for persevering and conquering his fear of heights. Gut gemacht! To round off the day, we completed the journey to our hotel in Boppard, where we were able to settle into our rooms before having our first taste of some German and European food. All week there was a fine selection of meats, vegetables and salad items for us to choose from, including the typically German Schnitzel, Frikadellen and Bratkartoffeln. Lecker!
Tuesday saw us travel to Cochem, a picturesque town on the River Moselle. We started off by using our German to order an ice cream each from an Eiscafé, where the typically German “Waldmeister” flavour – “woodruff” in English – proved very popular! After time for shopping, we climbed our way up to the Reichsburg castle for a tour, including some secret rooms and an insight into its medieval history. We picknicked outside in the sun before returning to Boppard, where we rode the chairlift up the steep hill to a stunning viewpoint. If that wasn’t enough, we strolled back to the hotel for our dinner, before challenging each other to game of bowling in Koblenz. Fantastisch!
Staying right next to the River Rhine, it was only right Wednesday should begin with a relaxing cruise down the river to St Goarshausen. From here, we ventured to Rüdesheim, where we boarded the Gondola taking us over vineyards up to the stunning views of the Rhine valley. After a group photo near the famous Niederwald Monument, we had time to enjoy shopping in the town, before having a guided tour around the Mechanical Music Museum. Megan Coutanche 8Z and Reece Dade 7G even wound up one of the machines to play us some orchestral music! Our coach ride back to the hotel included an informative commentary from Mrs Thornhill and Mr Razzell, with views of the Rhine from the Rhine Gorge, the famous Lorelei maiden and a stop outside the largest free-hanging Cuckoo clock in the world! After dinner, we attempted a town trail in Boppard town centre and finished the day off with some diary writing. Sehr schön!
“It was a great chance to practise your German, have fun and be scared all at the same time”. This was one pupil’s review of our trip to “Phantasialand”, a beautifully laid out theme park situated in Brühl near Cologne. We spent several hours in the park on Thursday, where everyone got the chance to ride all the rides, the “Black Mamba” proving to be particularly popular! Many ordered some food in German and great fun was had by all. On returning to Boppard, we had one last chance for shopping, before having dinner back at the hotel and doing some more diary writing. We also did a little local wine tasting, however the consensus from the pupils was that grape juice is better… Maybe that will change in several years’ time – mal schauen!
Friday was a day of travelling and a time to reflect on the week as a whole. There was so much to learn about living with friends, making new friends, being away from home, personal organization, visiting the area and using the German language. We left the hotel early and used some of our journey to do a quiz about our week. Well done to the winners of rounds 1 and 2 – we will be announcing the winners of round 3 in September! Despite a very long wait in Calais waiting to board the ferry, everyone was very well-behaved and patient, and after a services stop, we arrived back at All Saints in the early hours of Saturday morning. Es hat sich gelohnt!
Thanks again to all who took part and particular thanks to Mrs Dymott, Mr Anderson, Mr Thornhill and Wayne, our coach driver, for helping us make the trip a week to remember. And for anyone wanting to join us on a future trip? Listen out for information about next year… Mach’s gut!