Year 9 Trip to Germany
The Easter holidays saw two coach loads of Year 9 students set off on a five day trip to the beautiful Rhine valley in Germany. Once over the shock of a 3.30am start, the students and staff settled down for the 500 mile journey. Last year’s border issues did not thankfully arise (until the following day as the Y10 ski trip found out!) and the crossing to Calais took no time at all and the rest of the journey through France, Belgium, the Netherlands and finally into Germany was largely uneventful. We arrived at the hotel in time for dinner and our first taste of German cuisine – Chicken and chips!
Our first full day began with a long and steep walk of about 350 metres – or 1000 feet in old money – up the side of the valley for what should have been a lovely view of the Rhine. Alas the rain which had been threatening all morning decided to pour down in bucket loads just as we arrived at the top. Needless to say, we had the obligatory group photo and pressed on along the walk down into the town of Rüdesheim through a vineyard which proved to be equally as steep. After a spot of lunch and a chance to order an ice cream in German, it was only a short coach ride to the passenger ferry across to Boppard. It was here that the much anticipated chairlift ride awaited. However, the weather intervened again and to our dismay – well, for most of us anyway – the chair lift was not running due to the wind and rain. Dinner at the hotel was early as we needed to travel for a half an hour or so to Koblenz for an evening of Bowling.
Day three involved an excursion to Cochem on the Mosel river where we enjoyed a guided tour of the town’s castle followed by a couple of hours wandering around the quaint little town. This also gave many of the students their first chance to sample the famous German delicacy of Currywurst mit Pommes (sausage in curry sauce with chips!). The afternoon brought a brief visit to Deutsches Eck, the famous confluence of the Rhine and the Mosel rivers in the city of Koblenz – good for the geographers amongst us. The evening was spent completing diaries and playing games.
The fourth day brought Phantasialand theme park, which was perhaps the highlight of the trip for many. The rain finally abated and though not the warmest of days, the students and staff alike had a great time. The last evening involved a little more diary writing and a bumper quiz on the trip’s activities.
A quick stop at a supermarket after breakfast to stock up on snacks preceded the long journey home and it was a tired but happy group of staff and students who arrived back at Vandyke.
I would like to express my thanks to Ms Rhoden, Mrs Elding, Miss Briand, Mrs Hirst, Mrs Hadley, Mrs Samet, Mr Gilmour and Mr Skelton for all their support on the trip and especially to the 81 impeccably behaved students who were wonderful ambassadors for Vandyke.
Mr Phillips, Deputy Headteacher