French trip to Geneva - pupil diary

French trip to Geneva - pupil diary

Written by BGS girls Lauren and Harriet

On May 31st, 30 pupils from Year 9 and 10 boarded a plane at Manchester airport headed for Geneva.

All of us were excited but also in disbelief. What on earth do you mean? We are only allowed one small suitcase as hand luggage? How on earth would our things fit? It seemed impossible.

Upon landing,we took the bus to our hotel, left our luggage in the hotel and then we were whisked to the centre of Geneva. It was a gloriously sunny day and we had a guided tour around the streets of the city. We discovered beautiful ‘Vieille Ville’ and amongst the maze of cobbled streets and beautiful old buildings dating back to Roman times, were people in medieval costumes and military uniforms. It felt as though we had stepped back in time! We had arrived in the middle of a celebration for the Swiss president. Having enjoyed weeks of sunshine at home it was a bit of a shock when the heavens suddenly opened, and we dived for cover at a tram stop! Sadly, it didn’t let up, so we got another soaking whilst walking to the Italian restaurant for dinner. In fact, we were still drenched when we got back to the hotel later that evening despite the rain having stopped.

The next day, we awoke to glorious sunshine and headed out to the United Nations, a centre for international peace and security, and the protection of human rights. The UK is one of the founding members. The buildings were vast, modern and impressive. My favourite part of the tour was being given the opportunity to enter the Human Rights chamber, where the council debates important issues such as women’s rights. Next stop … and literally next door… was the Red Cross Museum, another organisation determined to protect human life and health. The highlight was the ‘Hurricane Game’, an interactive simulation which allowed ‘Team BGSG’ to work together to build flood defences to save people from a hurricane! We planted lots of trees, installed barriers, flew in grain supplies and placed experts on hand to evacuate everyone. After several failed attempts (oops) we finally saved all 120 people from the flood. Later, we went shopping in groups. Imagine our horror to discover that there was only H&M (!).

Saturday heralded a trip to CERN, one of the biggest and most respected scientific laboratories in the world, and home to the Large Hadron Collider. The LHC is the world’s largest and most powerful machine and is used to collide particles at close to the speed of light, in a bid to discover more about physics and the possibility of parallel universes. There were earlier particle accelerator machines - we were able to see the Synchrocyclotron which was fascinating, and we saw people working in the control room of the very latest project - ATLAS. The morning was over all too soon, but we had all afternoon to chat and chill by the beautiful Lake Geneva. After a traditional Swiss meal of cheese fondue, we headed back to the hotel to pack our bags and one last sleep in Geneva.

The final planned activity was a late morning boat cruise on the lake. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and we sailed close to the famous ‘Jet d’eau’, literally ‘water jet', a famous landmark on the lake. A wander around the old market and a rest in the park was all there was time for before we caught the number 10 back to the hotel to collect our bags. We arrived in Manchester around midnight, exhausted but happy, having made lasting memories and some new friends along the way.

Thanks to Madame Imtiaz, Señora Bonilla-Marti, Miss Elliot and Mrs Poulson for a fun and interesting trip. Thanks also to Madame Banks for helping to organise the trip, but who sadly couldn’t join us.

By Lauren Chadwick 9B

At 8am on the last Thursday in May, around 30 girls from Years 9 and 10 met up with their teachers at Manchester Airport, for a three night trip to Geneva, a city in Switzerland famous for its links with science, diplomacy and finance. Oh, and they speak French! A busy itinerary had been planned and we were all very excited!

The journey there went without a hitch, and after checking into the hotel we set off for our first adventure; a walking tour of the Old Town - ‘Vieille Ville’ in French. Amongst the maze of cobbled streets and beautiful old buildings dating back to Roman times, were people in medieval costumes and military uniforms. It felt as though we had stepped back in time! We had arrived in the middle of a celebration for the Swiss president. Having enjoyed weeks of sunshine at home it was a bit of a shock when the heavens suddenly opened, and we dived for cover at a tram stop! Sadly, it didn’t let up, so we got another soaking whilst walking to the Italian restaurant for dinner. In fact, we were still drenched when we got back to the hotel later that evening despite the rain having stopped!

The next day, we awoke to glorious sunshine and headed out to the United Nations, a centre for international peace and security, and the protection of human rights. The UK is one of the founding members. The buildings were vast, modern and impressive. My favourite part of the tour was being given the opportunity to enter the Human Rights chamber, where the council debates important issues such as women’s rights. Next stop … and literally next door… was the Red Cross Museum, another organisation determined to protect human life and health. The highlight was the ‘Hurricane Game’, an interactive simulation which allowed ‘Team BGSG’ to work together to build flood defences to save people from a hurricane! We planted lots of trees, installed barriers, flew in grain supplies and placed experts on hand to evacuate everyone. After several failed attempts (oops) we finally saved all 120 people from the flood.

Being a bit of a Physics geek, Saturday was always going to be my favourite day – a trip to CERN, one of the biggest and most respected scientific laboratories in the world, and home to the Large Hadron Collider. The LHC is the world’s largest and most powerful machine and is used to collide particles at close to the speed of light, in a bid to discover more about physics and the possibility of parallel universes. There were earlier particle accelerator machines - we were able to see the Synchrocyclotron which was fascinating, and we saw people working in the control room of the very latest project - ATLAS. The morning was over all too soon, but we had all afternoon to chat and chill by the beautiful Lake Geneva. After a traditional Swiss meal of cheese fondue, we headed back to the hotel to pack our bags and one last sleep in Geneva.

The final planned activity was a late morning boat cruise on the lake. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and we sailed close to the famous ‘Jet d’eau’, literally ‘water jet', a famous landmark on the lake. A wander around the old market and a rest in the park was all there was time for before we caught the number 10 back to the hotel to collect our bags. We arrived in Manchester around midnight, exhausted but happy, having made lasting memories and some new friends along the way.

Thanks to Madame Imtiaz, Señora Bonilla-Marti, Miss Elliot and Mrs Poulson for a fun and interesting trip. Thanks also to Madame Banks for helping to organise the trip, but who sadly couldn’t join us.