Year 9 visit to Germany
The Easter holidays saw a coach load of Year 9 students set off on a five day trip to the beautiful Rhine valley in Germany. Once over the shock of a 4am start, the students and staff settled down for the 500 mile journey. With any Brexit border issues having been conveniently delayed until after our return, 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 up the side of the valley for a lovely view of the Rhine – 1000 feet or in fitbit terms, 88 flights of stairs! Following the first of many photo opportunities, the walk down into the town of Rüdesheim through a vineyard 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. The ride is 1km long and takes 20 minutes to the top of the valley side. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to visit the café at the top but everyone was enthralled watching a couple of paragliders launching themselves off the hilltop just in front of us.
Day three involved an excursion to Cochem on the Mosel river where we enjoyed a guided tour of the town’s castle followed by an hour or so wandering around an Easter craft market. 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 visit to the indoor water park where students enjoyed the slides, impromptu diving competition or retired to the café for more food. There was a brief visit to the confluence of the Rhine and the Mosel rivers in the city of Koblenz – good for the geographers amongst us – and after a quick dinner it was back to Koblenz for an evening of Bowling.
The fourth day brought Phantasialand theme park, which was perhaps the highlight of the trip for many. The gorgeous weather meant the water rides proved very popular amongst staff and students alike. The last evening involved diary writing and a bumper quiz on the trip’s activities.
A quick stop at a Lidl 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, Mrs Kelby and Mr Cain for all their support on the trip and especially to the impeccably behaved students who were wonderful ambassadors for Vandyke.