Wednesday, 28 July 2010

School Trip To Poitiers: 6. Thinking About Going Home

"Am I speaking Mandarin, or what?" said the teacher in a tired voice, trying to address the children who were scrabbling onto the bus and haphazardly trying to re-arrange the bus seating plan and had only succeeded in forming an ugly queue down the aisle. "SIT DOWN in your normal seats." It was a lost cause as they continued regardlessly. We were an hour late when we finally set off.

It felt that we had been in France for weeks. It was only 48 hours since we landed at Calais. And now it was time to head for home. Following the time spent at the theme park, this was to be the cultural day of the trip.

See France in a day and die, to misquote the Bourbons description of Naples. It was going to be a hectic day. One hour in Amboise, two hours in Paris then a rush to Calais to catch the ferry home, a drive up the A1 and back home in time for breakfast the next morning.

Amboise was memorable, not for the beautiful chateau, overlooking the baanks of the Loire, but for the little girl who was sick down the back of the bus shortly after leaving.

"That'll be all the ice cream and sweets coming back up," one of the teachers graphically explained. The bus was steaming, it was 33degrees outside. The children curled up, drew all the curtains and watched a dvd.

Just as we were about to enter Paris - they put on another dvd.

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