French Alps Trip
“On 1st June 2012, 35 Year 10 students and 4 members of staff set out on a Geographical adventure to The Alps and Paris. We covered many miles in 7 days, but took in some wonderful sites of France and Switzerland.
We arrived in France on the Saturday morning, the sun was shining and the mountains were stunning. After settling into our rooms we went for a walk to a goats’ cheese farm and spent some time relaxing in the sun getting over the long journey.
Sunday 3rd June We set off for Emosson Dam in Switzerland, the views were amazing and the size of the dam was incredible. We then headed into Chamonix where students carried out some fieldwork on settlement and vegetation in the resort. Due to the weather conditions our cable car trip up the glacier was cancelled (as we may have been caught in a blizzard). We took the Mer de Glace mountain train up to the foot of the glacier, and some of us braved the rain to get as close as we could, venturing up and down the mountain. In the evening we did a session on ‘conducting fieldwork in geography, coming up with hypotheses.’
Monday 4th June We drove down the mountains and back up to the resort of Morzine. Students conducted some data collection in the town, gathering information from the Tourist Information Centre, carrying out questionnaires, environmental quality surveys, and building and land use surveys. The students particularly enjoyed speaking to people and gathering data for the questionnaires. We moved away from the rain in Morzine and travelled to Evian (where the water comes from) on Lake Geneva. We spent the afternoon in Evian exploring the town. After dinner that evening we went bowling in Chatel. We had a great time.
Tuesday 5th June We headed for Switzerland. Our first stop was in the University town of Laussane. Students spent time at the shops, but quickly realised how expensive Switzerland is! From the pleasant town of Laussane we then took a 40 minute journey with amazing views around Lake Geneva to the town of Montreux. Freddie Mercury used to own a property there, and I know why! What a stunning place. Snow topped mountains, palm trees and a beautiful lake all in one eye shot. The weather was fantastic and we had a lovely couple of hours picnicking by the lake. Of course, the students managed to find those Golden Arches! From there we headed to Broc, and the Nestle Chocolate factory. The tour was exceptional, as was all the free chocolate. We spent quite a lot of time in the shop spending the last of our Swiss Francs. Back at the hotel we had a quiz in the evening.
Wednesday 6th June It was time to pack up and head to Paris. We spent the whole day travelling, stopping off just once before reaching Paris late afternoon. We caught a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, before being dropped off in the city for our evening meal. We had a lovely meal and then walked to meet the coach. At this point I was overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of Kingswood students as about half a dozen of them supported a homeless man with no limbs by parting with some Euros…he was one smiley man! We arrived at our hotel outside Paris at about 9pm.
Thursday 7th June We were up fairly promptly with suitcases packed ready to hit Disneyland Paris. Despite 39 pairs of very soggy feet, a great day was had by all at Disney. I’m sure that Disney made a small fortune from our group as there were Buzz Lightyear hats, Ratatouille, key rings, stationery, balloons, headbands and a huge Simba cuddly toy to add to the bus on our way home! We made good time on the way home, and arrived safely back at Kingswood at 2am.” Faye Austin - Trip Organiser