15 November

Paris trip

Excitement was in the air while 28 students from years 10 and 11 waited to board an early flight from Eleftherios Venizelos airport to Paris along with their three teachers: Mrs Christopoulou, Mrs Andrianaki and Mr Hadjigeorgiou. We arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport and immediately hopped on a bus and took a wonderful tour around Paris with our guide, Miss Karin! Despite our sleepiness, everyone attentively admired the tall, magnificent Parisian buildings and their history, which was recited to us by Karin. We stopped at Place du Trocadéro where we took photos in front of the Eiffel tower and grab a much-needed snack. After a long relaxing rest at the hotel and a delicious dinner, we headed off to on a walk through Montmartre where we passed the red, illuminated Moulin Rouge and entered the impressive Sacré-Coeur which offered us a breath-taking view of Paris.
The next day our programme included a visit to the Conciergerie, a former palace and a prison, where we were entertained by a wonderful exhibition of modern art and visual representations of the cells where Marie Antoinette was incarcerated. Afterwards, we visited the majestic Sainte-Chapelle which is described by many as a ‘gem of gothic style’. Inside, one can find stunning stained glass panes which depict 1,113 scenes from the Old and New Testaments which recount the history of the world. We were all mesmerized by the beauty of this building. Up next was the long-awaited visit to the Eiffel Tower, a monument which symbolises the city of Paris. There, we took the elevator to the freezing second floor where we all took pictures in front of the spectacular view. We then had free time to enjoy some Parisian croissants while waiting to go on a cruise of the Seine in a bateaux Parisiens. From a distance we could see the brightly lit Eiffel tower and Notre Dame which stood out with its gothic structure.
Monday was Parc Astérix day. We swiftly ate our breakfast, hopped on the bus and off we went! Once we were through the security check and in the park, a sense of excitement rushed through us as we saw the roller coasters and the attractions waiting for us. It was a day filled with endless walking, rides, laughs and entertainment. In the evening, after our dinner, we went on a walking tour around Paris. We walked past very important monuments such as Hôtel de Ville, Pont Neuf, le quai de la rive droit, le Louvre etc. Walking around Paris at night was a very romantic and unforgettable experience that everyone thoroughly enjoyed before going back to the hotel for a good night`s rest.
The Musée d’Orsay was first in our programme on the following day. There, we got to admire paintings from famous artists such as Van Gogh, Cézanne, etc. It was a very interesting museum that expanded our knowledge of French art and culture. Afterwards, we walked around the lovely Jardin des Tuilerie, a garden that is ideal for a Sunday picnic with friends and family. The shopping at the Champs Elysees district was up next. Smiles were on all the pupil’s faces as they strolled down the street, looking at the stores they were about to invade. We spent a few hours shopping at Champs Elysees before going for a hot chocolate and a treat at the famous cafes Les Deux Magots and Flore where Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre frequently dined many moons ago.
On Wednesday a feeling of sorrow dominated the group knowing that it was our last day in the ‘city of lights’. We didn’t allow this feeling to destroy our walk in the resplendent Luxembourg gardens, however, where we enjoyed a splendid meal before heading to the airport on our way back to reality.
It was a wonderful and well-organised trip that everyone in our group enjoyed. We were also very thankful that the weather didn`t ruin any of our plans. A huge thanks goes to our teachers for organising and joining us on this trip and ensuring that we had a good time.
Merci beaucoup et à l'année prochaine Paris!

Nikitas Patakos
Year 11

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