Languages Trip to Normandy

This year I went on an educational visit towards the north of France. Although I was nervous about the amount of French I would be using, this trip helped me to make memories for a life time as well as to form friendships with students from other years and the staff of PGL, the company who helped to run the trip.

Day 1

We were set to leave at 4.30 - however, one person was late… Yes, that was me, and we almost missed the first ferry!

When we had finally crossed the English Channel, we had a tiring journey of a few hours to the PGL centre. However, we stopped at some port towns, and they had anchors! They reminded us of the one on Deptford High Street and made us feel at home. Once we reached the PGL centre, we were introduced to our tour guide/teacher, Nathan. We had a tour around the centre and had dinner before setting into our dorm rooms for a good night’s sleep…

 Day 2

This was by far the most tiring, packed day. To start off, we had an early wakeup call at 6.30am in order to be ready for breakfast at 7.20am. After breakfast we went to the converted castle, and inside was a classroom where we learnt phrases such as “C'est combien?” (How much is it?) We needed to be able to do this as our task later that day was to shop for, and make, an amazing lunch from a French market.

After reaching the market town and before we started the lunch competition, we took a group photo and were sent off to do a finding game and a question and answer game about where we were. Buying ingredients from the market was really fun - most groups decided to make a sandwich, although everyone's fillings were different. In the end, my team won!

After we had our lunch, we had a short rest before some people changed into warm, waterproof coats to go canoeing. I decided to stay behind, and played some games such as "3 piece chair and handcuffs" before going inside as it started to pour with rain. Those who went canoeing played games such as “Titanic,” before coming back utterly drenched - both from the rain and from falling into the river!

Day 3

The last day was also tiring. Most people were up at 6.30 as we were used to being woken up so early. The skies where cloudy but with no signs of rain, and, after a quick breakfast (we were on a tight schedule), our first stop was St Malo, a port town surrounded by a huge wall. We split into groups again and played another finding game, this time buying newspapers, postcards and crepes.

After we left we still had to visit Mont Saint Michel, a religious place built on a steep mountain. There were many tourists and a lot of shops, but walking up the hundreds of steps was hard work! The view was amazing, showing us the clear sea and bright sky. (I won't admit that we cheated our way to the top by climbing a very narrow stairway, enough for only one person or child to cross through and adults to walk in sideways.) It was great seeing the view and on our way home we sang songs throughout the journey back to the centre.

That evening, we all got dressed ready for disco time! We danced and had fun but it didn’t last. We held a farewell assembly and we sang a goodbye song to Nathan, giving him a gift and card. A sad night.

Day 4

We had packed the night before, so were all ready to go. We ate our breakfast and got on the coach as we waved goodbye for the last time, stopping off at a big shopping mall to get some last minute gifts before carrying on our journey. On the boat we kept thinking that we saw Nathan, although we knew it wasn’t and couldn’t have been. We still miss Nathan as he was a funny, cheerful tutor, and we would like to thank him for all his hard work.

If I were offered the chance to go on another PGL trip, I definitely would. Hopefully we could have Nathan as a guide again. My experience of France was great - it wasn't a trip to tourist attractions and there was no Disneyland or Eiffel Tower - because it was an experience of France's real towns, people and language.