||[Apr. 28th, 2010|03:29 pm]
Listen in, listen Ian!
I was thinking last night about school holidays. I went on four in my time, three in France and one in Austria/Germany. I can remember pretty much nothing about what I did on them.|
The first one I went on was in the Dordogne. I remember two places we went - the Lascaux cave paintings which I remember being disappointing (probably because they weren't the actual paintings) and, obviously, a foie gras farm. Because where else would you take a group of schoolchildren? I remember seeing the forcefeeding tubes - nice! I also remember that we were most outraged by the rough handling being inflicted on some tiny chicks.
Then I went on a trip to Alsace. This must have been in 1985, because Liverpool played Juventus in the European Cup Final in Brussels while we were there, and shortly after it we encountered a group of Juventus fans at a motorway service station and some of the kids on the trip started singing Liverpool songs to them. Clever. I seem to remember the whole coach being shouted at by Bendy Kendall1 after that. Anyway, the only actual organised thing I remember happening on the holiday was a trip to Strasbourg. Not even the European Parliament either, the teachers just left us to wander the streets for a few hours while they went and drank wine in bars I imagine.
The other French trip was to Normandy. I remember the Bayeux tapestry and the beaches where the landings were and we all looked for shrapnel.
The German/Austrian trip was to a small town in the Tyrol. I remember visiting Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Innsbruck and Munich but again, nothing else. This one was a 10 day trip too. We must have done something, I'm sure.
1Teacher nicknames! We also had Froggy Newton, Wiggy Maxwell, Nobby Wilkes, and, erm, there must have been others.
Everytime I was scheduled to go on a school trip abroad something conspired to get it canceled. The best one I remember was the history trip to France being canceled because the Berlin Wall came down and people were worried what might happen as a result. In France! How pitiful was that for an excuse?
I went to Anglesey for an A'Level revision weekend. That was it.
We had a teacher called Bendy! His proper name was Mr Overend!
On the German exchange we went to Freiburg and they'd paired most of us aged 13 up with 17 year old Germans and so we spent the entire holiday absolutely muntered on schnapps and beer to amuse them. I spoke about 2 words of German the whole time and learned to like Depeche Mode.
I went on three: overnight stay in Portsmouth age 10 (saw the Mary Rose and HMS Victory), week's stay in Isle Of Wight age 11 (saw the usual stuff), 2 nights in the Wye Valley at a PGL place doing abseiling age 12. We didn't do language exchanges at my secondary school for some reason, but there were plenty of trips organised for anyone who fancied it and had the cash (Russia, Brittany, annual skiing trips) but I couldn't really go on any of them ftb swimming commitments. Boo!
At the beginning of middle school, we went for a overnight school trip to York. The following week, York Minster burnt down.
At the end of middle school, we went to Étretat; it didn't burn down. I was the first person to actually speak french in France - I asked for a glass of water. I remember going for a walk over the cliffs, and seeing pill-boxes from WWII.
In my last year at high school - just before GCSE's - we went to Russia for a week, "doing" Moscow and St Petersburg before Perestroika. I remember going to the Hermitage, the overnight train for Moscow-St Petersburg (they lost our suitcases), the queues outside shops that were empty apart from jars with unidentfiable things floating in them, and slipping the Mandatory State Provided Tourist Guide through providing a pair of jeans, and going to Red Square on our own at midnight. The underground was amazing. Oh, and lots of other stuff - I remember loads about it!
High school trip to Rimini, Italy, 1994, I think. Coach broke down on the way there. Clutch burnt out in the middle of the Swiss Alps. So the coach stank, and we had to wait 9 hours for a replacement coach to come from Germany, with nowhere to go as we were basically stuck in the middle of nowhere. Various sightseeing trips to Florence and Venice, although the coach got stopped on the way to Venice by the police who tried to demand passports but eventually got persuaded to bugger off. Then on the second to last day, the coach kinda crashed - the driver took it under a bridge which had power lines for a tramline running under it, and the combination of the two were too low for the coach. So the sunroof at the front basically burst open and started sparking everyone. Cue lots of mewling teenagers, and lads trying to "comfort" the attractive girls while leaving the ugly ones alone in a corner. Mind, so much whining over nothing - double decker coach and some people off the lower deck were practically catatonic.
So that was fun, anyway.