Jour 6 – Le Puys du Fou

On our last full day, we went to the Puys du Fou. If you’ve never been before, it’s well worth a visit should you even find yourself in the area, but it’s hard to explain in words what it’s like. Think theme park, but instead of rides, there are shows with stuntmen, all representing different periods of French history.

Despite the huge amounts of walking involved, the kids seemed to really enjoy it. They wandered around in groups, so you’ll have to see their photos to see where they went and what they each saw, but to give you an idea, this is what it looked like from the teachers’ perspective!

First there was the birds show, where birds came swooping down mere centimetres from our heads!

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Then the Vikings attached a village where a wedding was being held!

 

We then saw a show about the four musketeers and another about the war of Vendée (the area of France where the park is located), before travelling back to the time of the Romans…

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Then we sprung forward to the 15th century and the story of Jeanne d’Arc, complete with stunts on horses and the sacking of a castle by the English (thwarted, of course, by the strong and agile Frenchmen – and women!)

 

It was a great day and a great way to end our time in France. Until next time!

 

Jour 5- Collège Jean Bosco

So after what seems to have been a great weekend spent with families, lundi morning came round très vite indeed and we all found ourselves back at the collège for the day.

The students observed the first trois cours of the journée, then had a bit of time after lunch to fill out their booklets.

Most students had leur déjeuner in the school cantine, though a few went home to eat with their correspondant. Interesting to see how very different school dinners are over here- take a look!

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In the afternoon, there was a session of EPS during which the children all played ultimate frisbee, a sport which the French students seemed more used to than our guys. The heat (27 degrees, we later found out!) didn’t help, but they all had a go!

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The French students had organised a picnic for the English students after school, so the majority of them did that in the evening and the feedback was very positive!

Jour 2 – Nantes et ses machines

After a very smooth first evening, with only a few issues surrounding wifi, vendredi’s 8.30 bell rings and there they are back safe, sound and smiling. Straight away we were herded on to le car, where there was plenty of talk about what was eaten for le dîner et le petit-déjeuner, and the difference between French and British houses. There was also a general sense of amazement over the consumption of Nutella over here- in some families each person has their very own, labelled pot of Nutella!

A short hour later we arrived in Nantes. A bit of background for those who might not be familiar with Nantes. It’s the 6th largest city in France, and used to be the capitol of Brittany until Napoleon restructured France, separating Nantes from the Bretons. After a short tour of le château and the cobbled rues of old Nantes, the students had an hour of free-time to do a bit of shopping and explore.

We then met up to go to the Machine de L’île, a mixture of fantastic mechanical oversized models of animals. Giant araignée, ants, oiseaux, caterpillars, et bien sûr l’éléphant! The children got to have a go on le carousel and some even got to operate some of the models.

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We then found a park in Nantes  and spent an hour enjoying un pique-nique relaxing and having fun in the sun. All in all a great day was had by all!

Le weekend is being spent avec la famille so we will post updates on what they did on lundi! Bon weekend! 

Jour 1 – L’arrivée à St Macaire

Hello all,

What a great start to our trip so far. We’ve got a few days to catch you up on, so let’s start with the (pleasingly) uneventful crossing…

Well, that’s exactly what it was- uneventful. No sea-sickness (thank you parents for those all-important Kwells!), and 20 well-behaved students, who after about an hour of free time spent exploring le bâteau, were in their cabines at curfew and settled in for a good, if somewhat short, night’s sleep. To our great surprise, the 6am wake-up call came too late for our more organised students who were up in time to catch the sunrise on deck! Others however needed a few more knocks on the door to rouse them from their bunks!

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One group photo and one forgotten and thankfully retrieved iPad later, we were on our way: destination St-Macaire-en-Mauges! Those sat towards the back of the bus got a commentary from Charlotte as we passed the big red bus, the old army tank, the fields of artichauts, and the other landmarks familiar to those who have travelled to Roscoff before. We admired the lace-like spires of the nearby églises and compared the landscape and maisons to what we have in Devon. Before long the chorus of “Miss, when are we stopping?” started and continued until we reached Rennes, where we had a 45 minute break, though perhaps a more appropriate name might be a McDonalds break! Two more hours and several ear-shattering renditions of ABBA classics later (thanks to David and Madi, our onboard entertainers!), we finally reached le Collège Jean Bosco, where we were reunited with our correapondants français. How lovely that was to see! Hugs, bises, bonjours and ‘ellos galore, you could plainly see how pleased they were to see each other again.

What remained of the afternoon was spent on une visite guidée around le collège, a few games of Mölkky in the sunshine, which incidentally has been with us every day so far. We finished off the school day with a crêpe party. As you can see we had enough crêpes to feed an army, around 230 to give you an idea, which had all been prepared by our correspondants.

When the school bell finally rang at 5pm, there was time for a few final word of encouragements before they grabbed their valises and headed home with their correspondants to meet their families and see where they would be spending the week…