DAY -10: One of the kids cut her finger off and we had to find someone else very quickly.
At that time, we didn't know she would be luckier than all of us...
DAY 1: We gathered at the station at 5.45: too early for everyone but no one was late.
Everything went OK (train & bus) but once in Paris, some of the boys wanted to
go to the toilets: they had to pay 2.30¤!!!! Expensive, isn't it? Anyway, we were
on time in Paris and yet we arrived in Rostcoff only 1 hour before the boat
leaves (instead of 2). We should have seen here the signs of an eventful trip to
DAY 2: We had a good crossing even though some changes in the dividing up of the
cabins had to be made...We landed in Rosslare on time. But when we arrived
at the meeting point in Foxrock, our "purple-shoe girl" said that there were some
changes in the families. Everyone got a roof, a family, and left...
DAY 3: First day in Dublin: we visited a medieval castle (or someting like that), a church I
think, and then the Book of Kells (wonderfully big library) in Trinity College. Of
course, as it was sunday, the College was closed! So we got back down town and
we went shopping (or eating! Thank you McDonald's!).
DAY 4: We left Foxrock for Brù na Boine, near New Grange! Everything was OK, except
the rain which forced us to eat our sandwhiches in the bus...We also visited
Millifont Abbey and Monasterboice...still under the rain!
DAY 5: St Patrick's Cathedral! Oh, no, no, "there are afghan hunger strikers inside, the
Cathedral is closed for the day" said a policeman! Ok! So, what did we do?
Shopping of course! We were walking and guess what? Yes, it started raining! And
somehow we got "lost" and made a little detour (special thanks to Mathew, our
wonderful guide! lol). Then the moment we've all been waiting for: the Guinness
Brewery!!! Such a pity kids were not allowed to taste it!
DAY 6: We said goodbye and thank you to the families who hosted each one of us, and
at 8.30, we left Foxrock for a last visit in Waterford Crystal, knowing that we
couldn't stay long. It was amazing to see how crytal stuff was made, like tennis or
golf trophees...We were then on time in Rosslare to go on board the Irish Ferry.
Though it was raining (as usual!), we didn't notice before we were inside...Did you
see the movie The Tempest? It was like that, but without Georges Clooney...Only
Mathew instead! Many kids got sick, some tried to watch the UEFA Final, and
others met their friends from Bordeaux and Poitiers...I won't give any further
information about that!
DAY 7: Because of the bad bad bad weather, the boat was a little less than 2 hours late
in Cherbourg! We knew there was little chance for us to get in the train (leaving
at 18h46), and just to be sure we won't catch it, french policemen checked all
the identity cards that we had just given back to the kids!!! We only lost a
few minutes, but we were pressed for time...
Anyway, we missed that train. So we called our parents to say we would take a
train to Lyon at 20h43 and then a bus to Jacques Monod (supposed to arrive
around 4.00 in the morning!). About 10km near the station, we got stuck on the
freeway! We learnt that there was a fire under the bridge right before us (we
could see the smoke) and that we had to wait for it to be practicable again! The
policeman nicely told us: "20h43?! No, you won't get your train!" Ok...But trucks
and cars coming from our left started moving and hope could be read again in the
teachers' eyes...Hope didn't last long, our side of the bridge was still closed. And
when our Star Ac' bus finally moved, it was exactly 20h43! Coincidence? Hazard?
We don't really know, but I say to myself that it was GOOD LUCK! Imagine where
we would have been if we were on time: blocked under the bridge, maybe burning!
So, what did we do then? Did we take a double-deck bus from Paris to
Marseille as Marianne planned? No, impossible! We went to the station where a
woman, ANGELique (another sign that it was good luck?), took care of us and
spent more than one hour trying to find a hotel for 54 persons! She finally did, but
as it was quite late (around 22h30), the restaurant was closed and there were no
McDonald's around! No dinner? Fortunately, there were still some sandwhiches in
the hotel vending-machine and the lady there opened it up for us!
and the breakfast at 5.30 was appreciated! We left the hotel at 6.00, caught the
6.54 train to Marseille, and were all releaved, though a little anxious about what
would happen to us then...And it did! Between Valence and Avignon, the train
slowed until it stopped completely for a few minutes: the driver said there was
a "little problem" on the railroad track! It was no surprise...
We finally arrived in Marseille at 11.00, after 51 hours of an unbelievable and
I just wanted to congratulate Mrs Anselmo for never loosing her composure and her good mood, and for the way she managed to always find a new solution! And I also wanted to congratulate the 48 kids who were (almost) perfect! It wasn't easy for all of you to remain calm during what I call "the Irish eventful moments", but you all did and you made it easier for us!
I hope you'll all keep that travel in your memory and don't forget that for most of you, it was the last time you've all been together...So share that moments with everyone on the blog...Take care.