Saturday, July 30, 2011
Our final day in Paris was wonderful. We spent the morning in Monmontre (pardon my spelling!) where you could find hundreds of aspiring artists! We shopped around and some of us even got our portraits sketched! At lunch, we tried escargot and frogs legs! Nora had trouble getting a snail down, but everyone surely loved the frogs legs! Yum!
Later that afternoon, we headed to the Eiffel Tower, traveling all the way to the top! The view was fantastic!
We finished the day on a boat cruise that passed the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Napoleon's burial site, and other gorgeous architectural buildings! It was a great finale to our European adventure!
Posted by Discovery Traveler at 3:39 PM
After baking school, we went to the Lourve and visited famous art work like the "Mona Lisa", "Liberty Leading the People", and "Winged Victory." We learned that the Nike symbol was designed after the "Winged Victory" statue! Going through the Louvre, we focused on the 6 major pieces to see since we had limited time. The students have amazing conversations about what certain symbols represented in the artwork we visited. I was thoroughly impressed with their dialouge. :)
After the Louvre, it was off to the French sewers. Paris is the only city that has a sewer system that follows each street in the city. It is a one of a kind system, but smells like all the others! Yuck! Haha. It was an experience that will prove valuable for students, as they develop appreciation for various systems used in other cultures.
BONJOUR PARIS! After our Eurostar journey, we checked into the hotel and got some much needed rest. After a traditional French breakfast of bread, the next morning we visited Notre Dame Cathedral. It was gorgeous! Did you know that there is a gold marker outside of the cathedral the marks the center of the city? The distance from Paris is always measured from this point. Interesting! After our stop at the cathedral, we ventured on to the French bakery school where we would learn how to make macaroons! It was so enjoyable! We all got to wear bakers hats and do all the baking ourselves! We ever took some of our delicious products home. (Were any parents lucky enough to have a taste yet? If so, what did you think?!)Paying close attention..
We just couldn't wait to eat the yummy chocolate!
TMMS visits Notre Dame Cathedral
Posted by Discovery Traveler at 2:56 PM
Good morning! We had breakfast at the hotel and headed off via the Underground to the Silver Cross restaurant to meet the spy we'd be working with for the day! It was crazy when we arrived at the Silver Cross. We snuck under a gate, protecting anyone from even knowing where we were meeting! We were so excited to meet Jim - the SES spy. He taught us about stalking techniques and how to know if we are being followed. After his Powerpoint, tea, and biscuits, we were informed our the suspect "BOB" that we would be following that morning. We split into 3 groups and were in constant communication so that we could track his path. We may have given up our cover a bit early, but we're beginners! Reagrdless, it was fun! We also got to see some famous sites along the way like Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, and Leiscester Square.
We debriefed at lunch, said goodbye, spent an hour shopping before heading to the Eurostar for our trip to France! See ya later, London!
Posted by Discovery Traveler at 2:41 PM
We're home! I will continue to post from the last 4 days of our trip and post photos. I just couldn't keep up! Continue to check this blog for details on our adventures! Thanks!
Posted by Discovery Traveler at 2:39 PM
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
After the Tower of London, we went to take a ride on the London Eye. The London Eye is the most sought out tourist attraction in the world. You can see for 25 miles from the top! Many think it is a ferris wheel, but it's not. There are 3 main differences: 1) it has enclosed carts, where a ferris wheels carts are open-airred. 2) A-framed and 3) Cabins are on the exterior of the structure, where a ferris wheels carts hang in the structure. (I found this interesting..don't make fun of me!) The views from the top were awesome! You could see Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament, and much more! After the London Eye, there was a 4-D video on it. I had no idea how many movies used the London Eye in particular scenes! It was great!
After our ride, we had dinner and attended a show in the West End of London (like NYC's Broadway)! We saw WICKED! It was a great show!
Now it's off to bed to prepare for a busy day as a London spy! We're so excited!
Alexa and Michelle on the London Eye
Ben, Nora, me, and Daniel on the London Eye
The London Eye!
House of Parliament and Big Ben!
Posted by Discovery Traveler at 11:09 PM
TOWER OF LONDON
After lunch, we went of the Tower of London. This historic building with steep stairs and narrow passageways held many famous prisoners in its thousand-year history. In the infamous Bloody Tower, the murder of the "Little Princes" took place. (There are a few suspects, but the incident is still a mystery!) The Tower of London served as a prison, but also a luxurious royal home. The girls were most excited that the crown jewels are kept at the Tower of London. We saw the Queen's crowns dating back hundreds of years ago. Did you know the Queen's coronation robe weighs over twenty pounds?! We got a change to take a look! At Tower of London, we also saw guards, ancient torture devices, and the Tower ravens. Legend has is that Charles II was told that if the ravens left the Tower, the kingdom would fall. Just in care, the Ravenmaster keeps a close eye on the caged Ravens and the others get their wings clipped so they can't fly away!
Tower of London guard
CT group in front of the Tower of London
Posted by Discovery Traveler at 10:51 PM
London is great! There is so much to see! We crammed as much as we possibly could into one day! We dropped off our bags at the hotel and then headed to Lee Valley Regional Park where the white water rafting games of the 2012 Olympics will be held! We learned about the water quality in the area. Our community service project was to help clear our overgrown shrubbery and grasses in the area outside the rapid center which will be used for ticketing and admission to the Olympics! They informed us that after the Olympics, the area will be converted into grassland and will be carefully preserved by the park staff. Derrek (park manager) didn’t think we would fill his truck, but he sure was wrong! We made steady progress and removed about 3 trucks worth of overgrown materials. It was a productive morning! We left the park after completing our work and had a tradional English lunch of fish and chips at an adorable restaurant called The Minories. Some of the kids were weary because they aren’t too “keen” on fish, but they all loved this meal! Yum! Now, off to the Tower of London and a ride on the London Eye this afternoon!
Michelle and Alexa waiting to eat!
Our group at Lee Valley Regional Park, site of the 2012 Olympic games
Miles and Daniel.. hard at work!
Posted by Discovery Traveler at 10:41 PM
We arrived in London a bit sleepy still after the overnight sleeper train ride. On our way to the hotel, Matt pointed out the site of the 2012 Olympic games! The tents/arenas were huge! After dropping off our bags at the hotel, we ventured to Lee Valley Regional Park where we would complete our community service. We were asked to help remove weeds and unwanted shrubbery from the park. They will be clearing it out and use the space for ticketing for the 2012 water reafting events. Following the Olympic games, they plan to preserve the area as a grassland. It was truly inspiring to see all of us come together to help London prepare for the Olympic games!
Posted by Discovery Traveler at 2:58 PM
The over night train was such a great experience! Although it was hot at first, once we got moving the AC kicked on! Rooms were tiny but we traveled 343 miles while sleeping! Traveling this way let us have a whole day in London, rather than spending all that time on the bus. It was a bit cramped on the overnight train, but we appreciated the experience!
Posted by Discovery Traveler at 1:19 PM
Day 4 – Another day on the water
We woke up this morning and ate breakfast in preparation for our second day of water sports at SportScotland on the Island of Cumbrae. We each got to do the two activities that we didn’t complete yesterday (wind surfing, sailing, and kayaking). Miles was not a fan of wind surfing, but loved the kayaking! In our kayaking group we paddled around the harbor and then played games like crawling across all the kayaks of our group members, tag or (“tig”) and a “sea start” where we launched off of a pontoon. It was so much fun! We said our goodbyes to Stuart, Dave, and Nick – our watersport instructors – but plan to have 3 new Facebook friends when we get home. J
We are currently on the bus back to Glasgow where we will have dinner and catch the overnight train to London. J Prince William and Princess Kate ..HERE WE COME!
Posted by Discovery Traveler at 11:57 AM
Saturday, July 23, 2011
I am so pleased with the friendliness and cooperation amongst these 2 groups of students. We just spent our night playing cards and as a teacher, I want to thank all of you parents out there reading for raising such respectful and compassionate children. All of the students from South Carolina and Connecticut are working together, getting to know each other, and enjoying each others company. I am so happy to be here, watching them interact and experience such an amazing culture together.
What a DAY!! We started our journey this morning at 6:45 am (7:15 for me.. I slept a bit past her alarm! Whoops! Haha!) and had a yummy breakfast in Glasgow. Following our meal, John the bus driver to us to the town of Largs. We said our Goodbye's to him and were escorted via boat to the Isle of Cumbrae! This island is tiny, but surely spectacular! The view is amazing! We spent the morning working in teams to create a raft that could float and successfully carry our teams as we paddled around a marker buoy. Some groups did better than others and we will leave it at that! Either way, it was such a great, fun, friendly competition and brought the students closer together.
Later in the afternoon, we split into our groups and went kayaking, sailing, or windsurfing. My group did an awesome job windsurfing! Alexa's determination paid off and she did a really great job! Karilee and Caitlin had tons of fun falling and laughing with each other, while Ben held his own on the open water! I will surely be a bit sore tomorrow!
We wrapped up our activities and had a delicious dinner. Not time for rest yet, however! Our amazing group went for an 11 mile bike ride around the entire circumference of the island. The mountain and water views were magnificent. The entire ride I kept thinking to myself, "I can't believe we are here!" We kept riding and it looked like we were traveling through a painting! It was a great experience.
Posted by Discovery Traveler at 2:52 PM
Before leaving Loch Lomond, Michelle, Alexa, and our new friends Nora and Hamilton took a spin on an Aquaball! See photos! It was hysterical :) We hopped on the coach for an hour ride into Glasgow. We walked through the city center and our travel leader Matt pointed out some note-worthy statues, buildings, etc. Off to bed for an early start, as we continue our journey heading to the Isle of Cumbrae for SportScotland!
We are having a great time here! Hope you don’t miss us too much yet!
Posted by Discovery Traveler at 9:21 AM
Scotland – Day 2 – Highlander Style
We started our Friday with an hour bus ride to Loch Lomond. We learned about the weapons of a traditional Scottish Highlander. We all dressed up in kilts, dresses, and armor before recreating a Scottish charge! Miles loved checking out all the weapons! We walked around for a bit, stopping in some shops and carnival type activities. The kids had SO much fun!
After lunch, we met Ben who taught us about the Scottish Highland games. We broke into three teams and competed against on another in games such as haggis tossing (haggis is a Scottish dish made from pig stomach, organs, and other gross animal parts that I will not further discuss! EW!), caber throwing, tug-of-war, bagpipe playing, and Scottish dance. It was so much fun! As our prize, we had a ride on a Segway through the meadow where we were playing. Michelle is ready to put one on her Christmas list for next year!Amy W
Posted by Discovery Traveler at 9:07 AM