Vive le Paris!

In the early hours of Saturday 24th June, twenty of Grosvenor’s most enthusiastic linguists, accompanied by teachers Mr Newell and Miss Knox, set off on the School’s much-anticipated, end-of-term trip to Paris: with the four day/ three night long itinerary packed full of activities, the contingent departed Lidl car park at 1am with high hopes for what would soon prove to be a trip to remember.

The contingent took a coach to Dublin Airport for a 6.30am flight and arrived in Paris at 8am that morning. Upon arrival, they checked into their hotel and the excited squeals which bellowed up the corridors indicated that they couldn’t wait to get out into the big city. On the first day, the first stop was the Musée d’Orsay: the museum houses some of the most famous pieces of artwork in the world, which provided a perfect way to set the scene for the Bohemian city by which all present would soon be captivated. Next up was a boat trip along the River Seine: as the sun blazed down (and the boys were exceedingly excited at the prospect of a tan!), the group sat back, relaxed and absorbed the architecture of the city in all its glory! The final treat of the day was a march up La Tour Eiffel. One of the most special moments of this experience was seeing the eyes of the pupils light up as they saw this iconic monument for the first time. Needless to say that upon return to the hotel, it wasn’t long before all lights were switched off and each and every pupil fell into a deep sleep which would prepare them for the following day.   

The second day began with a visit to Notre Dame Cathedral. What was perhaps most enjoyable about this experience was the ambience of the area: painters lined the streets, selling their collections, and buskers busked, their voices travelling through the air. The creativity was palpable as the contingent made its way to Le Louvre. If you’ve ever been to Paris, you will know that a tourist could spend a whole holiday in the museum alone and it was very difficult to decide what route to take through the building. As expected, most wanted to see the Mona Lisa and this was the first destination. Whilst there is no doubt that one must admire such a work of art, and most took good snaps of the Italian dame, set next so some of the other extravagant pieces, the general response was one of underwhelm. What dazzled most in the museum, however, was the trip to Napoleon’s apartment where the vast majority of the interior is original. One must admire the French for their efforts to preserve. Despite the fact that the pupils probably walked a half-marathon around Le Louvre, Mr Newell and Miss Knox tried their very best to squeeze every last ounce of energy from their charges as they marched them to the Sacré Coeur Cathedral, at the top of Montmartre!

On Monday 26th, the tourists were treated to a day at Eurodisney. The pupils could hardly contain their excitement as they walked up to the iconic pink castle. Mr. Newell and and Miss Knox decided to revisit their youth and began queuing up for a train ride…15 minutes later they were no further along the queue and enquired how long the wait would be. “95 minutes” said the man in the Goofy hat. 95 minutes! 95 MINUTES! They settled for a coffee and a crêpe instead.

The trip was nearly over, however there were just two experiences left to be had. The first was a tour of the Stade de France and the last was a shopping trip on the Champs Elysées, both of which proved as popular with the pupils as the plethora of activities which had kept them so engaged, and left them so exhausted, during the first three days of the trip.

Many thanks to Mr Newell for his diligent organisation of the entire trip, as well as Miss Knox for accompanying him throughout; without their efforts the pupil would not have benefited from the huge range of cultural and linguistic opportunities afforded to them throughout the four day excursion: with the trip having proven such a success we now look forward to reporting on many more Modern Language-related trips over the coming academic year.

Grosvenor's pupils photographed outside Notre Dame Catherdral during their visit to Paris at the end of June.