Girls from Year 8 assembled at School in the early hours of a Sunday morning to begin their week-long visit to Merville, France. The girls travelled by coach and then ferry and arrived at their destination by late afternoon local time. Their first task was to watch the local TV weather forecast.
The first full day in France challenged the girls to use their language skills at the local shops in Cabourg. The girls felt nervous at first but soon gained confidence once they had succeeded in buying stamps and postcards. They also visited a supermarket, bakery, tourist information centre and gift shop.
Later that day the girls visited the Bayeux Tapestry and Ranville WWII Cemetery. Commenting on the Bayeux Tapestry Maddie reflected that it was “… astounding to see the intricate detail up close. It is hard to think of the painstaking hours put into getting each part just right and that it was made nearly 1000 years ago.”
At Ranville Isabella said “It was touching to see the individual grave stones. The ages ranged from 17 years onwards – that was the most heartfelt part, the fact that some of the men were not much older that some of our siblings or family members.”
On Monday evening the girls and staff took part in a quiz which proved to be very competitive and the girls were thrilled to win by one point!
Saint Malo was the destination for Tuesday, where the girls walked around the ramparts of this historic walled town. A picnic lunch was followed by a visit to Le Mont Saint Michel and the girls tested their language skills again in the local shops, now feeling even more confident. On Wednesday the group visited the 360˚ Cinema and Normandy landing beaches before ordering their lunch in McDonalds. In the afternoon they visited the German military cemetery and then the Omaha American cemetery.
Ana said “(The German cemetery) was a real contrast from Ranville and Omaha. Not everyone had a cross and if they did they were in groups of five. Some just had a very simple stone.”
On Thursday the girls visited Merville town centre and visited the local shops and market to buy provisions for their lunch. Once again their language skills were put to the test as they purchased various items. Back at the centre lunch preparation began and the girls worked in teams to prepare their meals. After lunch they spent time on the beach where they jumped across the shallow tide and played rounders. On their last evening in France the girls had a prize giving where awards were given for the various competitions over the week.
The girls and staff spent a thoroughly enjoyable week in France and have brought home many fond memories of their trip, as well as confidence in speaking and communicating in French.