03 May 2023

French exchange to Lyon

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In the first week of the Easter holidays, around 30 of us Year 9 students travelled to Lyon, finally meeting our exchange partners after over a term of contact purely online. This was intensely nerve wracking, although massively anticipated by all!

After getting to know the families and stopping at the school, we trekked to the Musée du Cinema et de la Miniature, a wonderful museum with plenty of props used in some very famous films. We also saw the Cathedral de Saint Jean, after which we got the funicular railway to the roman amphitheatre, from the ancient roman city of Lugdunum, on which Lyon was built. Continuing up the hill, we reached the magnificent Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière, with its crypt, massive golden statue and imposing figure.

The next day went next to Dijon, the medieval capital of the very large Duchy of Burgundy. We had a spectacular day touring the historical city, stocking up on culinary goods, and learning about the history. The weekend was spent entirely with our exchanges, exploring the city and experiencing French life.

Annecy, a beautiful town, was our next place to visit as a group. The temperature there was significantly lower than in Lyon, and there was snow on the surrounding mountains!

On the penultimate day, we visited the Musée des Confluences, after visiting a massive mural near Croix-Rousse, and a humongous shopping centre! The museum was great, exploring the history and identity of humanity as well as society.

On the seventh and last full day of the exchange, we split into two groups: one going to the Musée des Beaux Arts, and the other going to a pudding workshop, with both groups swapping locations at lunch. The Fine Arts museum was interesting; however, I much preferred the baking workshop, maybe due to the delicious results!

Our final morning was spent going to school with our exchanges, everyone was nervous. However, with some great teachers at Chartreux, and one of the lessons we sat in on being a foreign languages lesson, it passed all too quickly.

After bidding our French friends farewell, we lumbered back to the coach, everyone having had a wonderful week. We are all looking forward to seeing our exchanges again in June, and all very grateful for the incredible hospitality, warmth and welcome.

Alex Horsley, Year 9

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