The annual visit to Cologne, for the 80 boys studying German in Year 8, was once again a hugely enjoyable few days for all those involved. We arrived at the school bright, and very early (6:00 am) but very excited for the weekend ahead. After the coach drive to Dover, we took a ferry to Calais, before heading through Belgium, then finally arriving at our youth hostel: finishing a long 12-hour journey.

We settled into the youth hostel, which would be our accommodation for the next few days. Then, after an evening meal, we set off on a brief walk through Cologne to gain a sense of the German city and, after a long day of travelling, received some well-earned sleep.

At the top of the tower!

The next morning, once we’d enjoyed a delicious breakfast, we took a tram into the city centre, and started our day with an informative tour guide of Cologne and its famous Cathedral (which everybody climbed to the top of, later in the day). After that, we were able to buy lunch and shop in the traditional German streets. Then, everybody walked to the Lindt museum for a demonstration of how they make their chocolate, and we even received free tasters of their delicious chocolate. After an action-packed day, we relaxed with a visit to a traditional German restaurant for a proper meal, where we could try something new.

The next day, we travelled to a cinema to watch a German film, really putting our German skills to the test! Then, we all walked to the Lanxess arena, to watch an ice hockey match between Köln Haie, from Cologne, and their local rivals Adler Mannheim, from Düsseldorf. After an incredibly exciting game, Köln were extremely unlucky to concede a winning goal from Adler Mannheim with just 30 seconds of the game remaining, leaving the score at 2-3.

Stopping off in Bruges...

For our last day, we had another early wake up due to the 12 hour journey back to Challoner’s, stopping off for a brief visit to the beautiful city of Bruges in Belgium, in order to eat lunch and buy some last minute souvenirs. We then arrived back at school in the evening, tired but eager to tell our parents about the fantastic trip! A huge thank you must go to all the staff that helped with the visit, especially to Mrs Keen and Mrs Orr, who stepped in last minute to make the visit possible and definitely for the hard work done by the organisers of the trip: Mr Cadman and Mrs Sealy.