15th March 2023
Writing: Jordan Butcher (Year 10)
Editing: Sami Pyakuryal (Year 13)
On March 15th, 22 students from Years 9 and 10 flew from Heathrow to Marseille, along the beautiful Mediterranean coast of France.
Upon touchdown, we were greeted by our host families and exchanges, who we had not seen since November. To kickstart our French adventure, we were shown around the incredibly large and welcoming school that is Lacordaire. A short metro hop allowed us to visit Vieux Port (old port) which traced its origins back to 600BC, the time of the Greeks. Whilst here, we picked up the Petit Train de Marseille (little train of Marseille) which toured us along the coast and up to the Notre-Dame de la Garde. The overlooking views of Marseille were nothing short of stunning and provided for some excellent panoramic photos… which took up at least 10% of my camera roll.
The second day carried the same excitement in visiting Les Halles market and the Palais des Papes (Palace of Popes) inside the fortified city of Avignon. Perhaps the most incredible part of the trip for me was the visit to Cassis, a small coastal village just a one hour drive from Marseille. Known for its limestone cliffs and countless seafood restaurants, Cassis is easily one of the most beautiful towns I have ever visited.
However, we did not stop there. Next, we took a boat trip out to see the Calanques which totally blew me away with their natural beauty, the clear blue sea and sky could not have made this trip any more idyllic. Our last activity involved a visit to a local soap factory where the owner once did the exchange with Challoner’s!
Once we arrived back at Lacordaire, with a bit of time on our hands, we started a football match, which later turned to France versus England. Without Harry Kane to miss our penalties, we walked away victorious unlike our national team in the Euros.
Our final day in France consisted of a trip where we explored the 15th Century Castle in Les Baux-de-Provence and a painting exhibition in an old quarry. This time, when we returned, France versus England part two ensued - which was no less fun than the first time, as of course, we won.
The French exchange was a fantastic opportunity for me and everyone to practise our French and experience French culture in the best possible way. Many thanks to Mrs Sealy, Mr Elliott, Mlle Robillard and all those who made this unforgettable trip possible!