Please find below this week’s edition of PLus
Paris to Bruges
Pupils loved Disney despite the 36 degré heat. Suddenly Frozen didn’t have quite same effect! Lots of rides and shows were taken. The most popular seemed r be the Rock n Rolla Aerosmith ride and the Tower of Terror. A great day was finished off with group meal at Planet Hollywood. Today sees us head back up to Belgium where we will visit Bruges. Famous for its waffles and chocolates the pupils have been warned about bringing back melted chocolates! Tonight is the famous PL disco in association with P&O Ferries. Dancing shoes on! (Mr Jessop is going to attempt the splits in Mr McNeil’s absence!)
Bonne Journée et à demain!
Once again we awoke to amazing blue skies and the promise of yet another scorching day!
Breakfast and then on to the bus for the short run to Belgium and Bobbejaanland.
For those of you who have never heard of Bobbejaan Schoepen he was a Belgian singer and entertainer who founded the Bobbejaanland theme park.
The temperatures continued to soar and eventually levelled at around 33°C.
The adventurers struggled against the high temperatures and incessant sunshine in a very quiet park with almost no queues but despite these challenges managed to have a great day!
Cold drinks, ice-cream and water rides were the order of the day.
Our return to Hotel Op De Boud was delayed due to heavy traffic on the Belgium – Netherlands border which slightly curtailed the evening entertainment to bowling and karaoke only – no time for Mr Evans to get his nails done which has left him feeling slightly deflated; in previous years this has always been his favourite!
Calum Stevenson was the adventurer karaoke champion and it proved difficult to get the microphone out of his hand. A really strong boys group managed to show the girls how to karaoke.
Stuart Wilson was the staff karaoke champion – he is not being allowed to come back again!
Tomorrow we will be leaving Valkenburg for the start of the return journey to Prestonpans and since we will have no internet connection on the ferry, this is the final blog post from Valkenburg 2015.
We will be stopping tomorrow in Gouda for a couple of hours of shopping.
Hobanwatch – the very final episode.
Preston Lodge High School came to Valkenburg for the first time during activities week 2001 and we have returned every year since then. Valkenburg 2015 is the 14th consecutive year that around 42 pupils from PL have been part of this fantastic and memorable trip. For 12 years we have been guests of Hotel Op De Boud and over the years our itinerary has evolved. Some items have come and gone, while others have been ever present including Vera Hoban, our boss. Every year Vera has organised the travel reservations, coordinated the hotel booking, recruited the travellers, collect the payments, arranged the passport, sorted the insurance and managed with military precision to ensure that nearly 600 pupils have enjoyed a fantastic trip. Many of our current party have siblings, aunties, uncles or cousins that have been here previously, they now have a shared experience; same trip, same Vera, different time!
2015 will be Vera’s final Valkenburg trip as she is retiring in September.
On behalf of these 600 “other peoples bairns” and around 20 staff who have travelled to Valkenburg over the 14 years we wish Vera all the very best for the future – she has given us her very best in the past.
PS. In recent years Vera has come in for some stick from the writers of the Valkenburg blog posts. Few of these descriptions or comparisons have been entirely accurate, we really do love her – and she did smiled once in 2010…we believe.
Vera, Calum, Gareth, Jill, Stuart and Donald (our driver) would like to thank all of the parents and carers of the Valkenburg 2015 adventurers for entrusting us with the care of their young people. They have been great travelling companions, fantastic fun and a real credit to their families and our school.
Another beautiful day in Limburg!
Our morning started at the Snowworld Ropes Course and Alpine Coaster. This was a real test of what our adventurers are made off.
The results: some are made off Chicken, whilst others are made of Macaque, another few, largely Sloth.
Some were so scared that they were trembling at each obstacle but showed enormous Resilience and desire to complete a job started. Huge respect to them.
Lunch in the sunshine was filled with tales of great bravery overcoming long held fears.
The afternoon was spent at the Mosaqua Swimming Pool in Gulpen.
The weather was fantastic with temperatures around 30°, the outside pool was open and our adventurers all took to water to cool off – except for a few who didn’t want their mascara to run or their hair to turn green!!, luckily they were cool enough already.
One of the many traditions of the Preston Lodge Valkenburg trip is that on Day 3 Mrs.Hoban prepares our evening meal and this year despite a potato peeling / chipping injury to her pinkie finger she struggled on to produce another lovely meal. The dining room was filled with stories of bravery and perseverance in the face of adversity.
The evening saw us walking up to Valkenburg AGoGo for a couple of games of Lasertag.
The cave was full of stories of bravery, strategy and talent, but the experienced travellers had heard these Hoban tales before.
Another of traditions of the Preston Lodge Holland trip is that not everything that the staff tell the adventurers is historically, geographically, scientifically or gastronomically accurate. (btw Gastronomically can be worth up to 80 points in Scrabble – this is literally true!)
“Adventure Funders” will be pleased to know that room inspections are conducted most mornings to support Adventurers in maintaining the high standards of bedroom tidiness they normally display at home. “Adventure Funders” can view the inspection results below, and trip staff respectfully suggest that some remedial lessons in bedroom tidying should be arranged over the summer holidays!
Can you identify the rooms in the pictures below? Leave us a comment!
PS. Day 3 of Hobanwatch – definitely found to be smiling on more than one occasion – this has been reported by multiple observers. Stuart Wilson said he read about it on the BBC news App!! and apparently it’s gone viral on Facebook! What is going on? Hopefully on Day 4 we will find out more!!
Thanks for all of your comments and keep them coming.
Early start for our first full day – 7am breakfast call. Disembarked boat and found Iain and our coach again in Zeebruger. 3 hours plus a delay for traffic took us right into the centre of Paris and we were dropped off at the base of the Eiffel Tower. Sun cream and hats sorted, we walked right underneath the tower. Did you know that it was originally built for a temporary exhibition in the late 1800s but was so popular that the French decided to keep it?
Kids were surrounded by salesmen trying to sell mini Eiffel Tower statues and the new fad: selfie sticks. Warning to parents: you may have a mini Eiffel Tower soon based on the number bought!
Despite it being a baking hot day the group walked along the Seine river bank all the way to La Concorde and found drinks and shade in the gardens. Some even cooled off by the fountains. At five thirty pm our coach met us and whisked us to Beauborg just behind Le Centre Pompidou for an evening meal at Flunch – a real French institution.
Writing this now from our hotel where we have arrived safely, showered, found the vending machine and most importantly apparently sought out the wifi password.
Tomorrow – Champs Élysées, Le shopping, Bateau Mouche river cruise and a trip up the Montparnasse tower!
Hi From Paris- struggling a bit with patchy wifi could you post this?
Day 1 :
On board and Europe bound – PLHS over-night cruise.
Our driver Iain got us down to Hull in good time. The weather got warmer and warmer as we headed south much to the pupils’ and teachers’ delight. Most spent the evening enjoying the balmy weather out on deck watching as the sun went down.
We are sharing our ferry with literally hundreds of Belgian soldiers.
We were treated to a multi-course buffet and live music. A few made the most of the on-board cinema.
Clocks go forward one hour for continental time and an early call for breakfast means a good sleep is called for! Bonne nuit tout le monde! Next stop Zeebruger en route to the Eiffel Tower and all the sights of Paris.
A demain !
Temperatures were soaring as we set out for our excursion to Phantasialand.
Our adventurers were all very excited and keen to be let loose in the magnificent park.
Bratwurst, Candy Floss and Blue Slushy drinks were top ranked Menu items. The staff had a salad. Honest.
Loaded with sugar, E133 (Brilliant Blue) and German meaty snacks we made the journey back to Valkenburg stopping only top up the sugar levels with Vimto chews.
Not many photos taken today as everyone has been too busy.
On Monday we go to Europe’s largest High Ropes course and then to cool off at the swimming pool.
We have been receiving, so far unconfirmed reports, that Mrs. Hoban was allegedly seen smiling. Some of the more experienced travellers have found these reports quite disconcerting but have decide that no action is required at this time and are going to maintain a watching brief.
Thank you to those who have taken time to leave a comment on the website – our adventurers were delighted to hear from you.
We waved a fond farewell to Prestonpans and set off on the Preston Lodge Valkenburg Adventure 2015 with 42 students and 5 staff and Donald, our worried looking driver.
Almost immediately we spotted that something was not quite right. The experienced adventurers estimated that we had barely crossed the border when Mrs.Hoban comment positively on something, and rumours began to spread that she had even smiled, but this was quickly dismissed as nonsense.
We travelled south where P & Os Pride of Hull awaited us.
All of the adventureers had a great night on the Ferry. Stuart Wilson, our new staff member, was a little over excited but Mrs.Hoban soon put a stop to this when Stuart was volunteered for late night corridor duty.
On Saturday morning Donald drove us up to Amsterdam for our cultural experience, canal boat trip and shopping.
Dam Square was amazing – 1000s of tonnes of sand had been imported for the 2015 World Beach Volleyball championship. Mr Evans and Mr Stewart are have been keen followers of Beach Volleyball for sometime but true to form Mrs.Hoban said “No”.
After a few hours in Hamsterjam we set off one again for Valkenburg.
We all arrived safely had our dinner and had our first outing to Valkenburg centre.
Everyone is well and and looking forward to tomorrow and our trip to Phantasialand
Please leave you comments on the website our adventurers are always keen to know that you are keeping up with their experience.
Please see below this week’s edition of PLus.
Following on from the success of ” Day Tripper”, ProdCo Productions have produced a sequel to their debut musical video called “The Elephant in the Room”.
It tells the story of a panda who tries to hunt down the murderous elephant on his rampage of violence. You’ll need to watch to find out if the panda succeeds!