Paris 2009. The second (and final) installment.

The saga continues despite what seems like an eternity since we arrived back in Scotland.

It appears Wifi hasn’t arrived on the North Sea ferries leaving Zebrugge and internet access in the hotel was still “en panne” (out of order!)

Anyway, enough excuses….


What did we get up to on arrival in Rotterdam?

A long bus trip through the Netherlands lay ahead as we pushed for the border with Belgium.  Assisted by DJ Cruickshank and his CD of ‘cheezy choons’, the journey seemed a lot quicker.

A quick toilet stop near Antwerp – pupils piled out and descended on the cafe. Waffles, continental coffee, cheeses, all manner of continental food were ignored for a slice of the familiar – fresh pizza and coke!

Back on the coach and off again!

Spirits rose as the signposts above the motorway changed – less Dutch and more French and finally, our first sign to Paris just as an ultrafast TGV shot past (NOT on the motorway, on the line parallel to the motorway!!)

Most are flagging now after early breakfast and pizza and coke and Haribo and Pringles and Haribo and ….

Sleepy boys and girls catch up on some sleep after another quiz from DJ Cruickshank’s and mair cheezy choons

Next stop, Stade de France.

We achieve our ‘goal’ and ‘pitch’ up at the stadium for our tour a little late but happy to finally be in Paris

An impressive sight awaits as we get a behind the scenes tour of the changing rooms used by the French World Cup Winners, complete with the (empty!) baths. Only on the continent would you find hair dryers in the mens changing rooms!

Out on the pitchside, we give a stirring shout of “Freedom” which seems to echo forever around the stadium.

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Next stop, dinner at Flunch, but first Yorkie has to get us into Paris City centre. Driving in Paris is not for the faint hearted. Fortunately we were bigger and Yorkie held his own among the traffic.

Flunch beckons…

Great choice of food, (almost!) everyone happy with the choices. A few folk are adventurous and try a bit of steak but promptly seek out Mrs Fitzpatrick to return the meat “coz it’s bleeding”.

Notre Dame awaits.

Well fed and getting a little bit tired, we all walk down to Notre Dame Cathedral. The trinket sellers are out in force and the first of many souvenirs are purchased – six Eiffel tower key rings for 2 Euros! A bargain!

After a quick pose in the evening sunshine outside this imposing building we pick up the coach and head for the hotel.

A superb ending to a full day.


Up a little later than we intended for breakfast amid shouts of “What, nae fry up?”, we fill up with fresh bread, jam, butter and croissants and a welcome coffee and hot chocolate.

We head back into Paris through the morning traffic to the Montparnasse tower for some stunning views of Paris. Preston Lodge goes up in the world (56 floors in 36 seconds to be precise!)

We stop for a few pictures on top of the tallest building in Paris city and a coffee (luvvly!) as well as Mr Cruickshank’s mid-morning pastry.

Next stop L’arc de Triomphe and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as well as a saunter down the Champs Elysees for a bite to eat.

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The big one… PL descend on Euro Disney.

Minnie Mouse ears ahoy!!

I think the staff have just finished cleaning Space Mountain. Other passengers have been offered counselling after Mrs Fitzpatrick’s oubursts on the ride after the lads convinced her to accompany them. “C’mon Miss, it’s quite a gentle ride” How cruel!

A quick soaking with Mr Kiernan’s ‘Equaliser’ water pistol for those late back to the coach  and it’s back to the hotel.


Back on the coach for our journey to Zeebrugge via a chocolate factory and a quick stopover in Bruge to soak up the cafe culture in the town square. What ever did happen to the free chocolates we were given?

Thursday night

Ferry back to Hull.

Party over!

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Many thanks to the staff and for the pupils especially for making this such a memorable experience.

You are all awesome!

From Mrs Hunter, Mrs Nanson, Mrs Fitzpatrick, Mr Cruickshank and Mr Kiernan.

SQA Grade Boundaries 2009

Exam Results Certificates arrived on doorsteps across the country this morning, bringing the (good) news to thousands of students. Hopefully you all got the grades you were after, congratulations to all of you! The SQA have released the Grade Boundaries for each subject across all levels (viewable by clicking the tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheets), as well as a few statistics on attainment etc.

Grade Boundaries 2009

Grade Boundaries 2009 (as percentages)

Component Marks – National Averages

Pre-Appeals Pass Rates & Course Awards

Pre-Appeals Pass Rates & Course Awards (Male candidates)

Pre-Appeals Pass Rates & Course Awards (Female candidates)

Statistics of 2009 @ SQA

Salt Scientists

On Saturday 20th June members of the PL Chemistry club presented a sample of sea salt to a visiting delegation from Newbattle Abbey College. The delegation followed the Salter’s Way, the route traditionally taken by the Cistercian Monks from their Abbey at Newbattle to Salt Prestoun (modern day Prestonpans) from 1198. These monks came year after year until their Abbey was dissolved in 1560. They used the readily available coal to boil the sea water using 2 tonnes of coal to produce 2 tonnes of salt.

PL Chemistry Club were challenged to replicate the conditions used by the original Salters and produce pure salt from sea water. This was carried out by filtering and recrystallising crude salt derived from the sea in Prestonpans.

Holland 2009: Wednesday – Phantasialand

The weather today has been fantastic!

We were down for breakfast at 7:30 and on the road to Phantasialand by 8:15.

The queues were quite long on some rides but this did not deter the PL crew.

Back to the hotel for dinner and then after some chill time in the hotel we got some packing done for the start of our journey home tomorrow.

The video for today also includes some photos from other days.

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This will be our last post until we get home – we will be in the North Sea on Thursday evening.

Tomorrow we will be stopping in Gouda for a few hours to sample the cheese and do some last minute shopping.



Holland 2009: Tuesday – The Lazy Day!

Thanks for all the comments on our earlier posts, please keep them coming.

Today we had a lie in until 8.00am, breakfast at 8.30 and then a walk in the sunshine to the Rodelbaan. This is a fantastic toboggan track which you get to by chairlift, on one of the few hills in Holland.

We then had a free half hour before going to the Gemeentegrot for a 4km train tour through these limestone caves which were mined from Roman times until the 1950s. They are full of fantastic charcoal sketches and sculptures. They have had a very mixed history and have been used as a refuge by local people through the ages – most recently for 14 days by 3000 people in September 1944 while the Americans liberated Valkenburg. Now they are a tourist attraction and the local nuclear war shelter with toilets and beds for the first 3000 locals who turn up in the advent of a nuclear attack!

After lunch we made our way to the swimming pool – unfortunately the outdoor pool was not open, we still had great fun on the flume at the indoor pool.

After dinner in the hotel, we made our way back across Valkenburg to the LaserTag.

Once we had finished this we had a free hour in Valkenburg before back the hotel for a short practice on the Karaoke – more of this tomorrow evening. Ms. Angus and Mrs. Hoban “Dancing Queen”, Mr Stewart – “Should I stay or Should I go Now” – to which the unanimous decision was “get your coat!!” 

The pupils sang a few as well — but these where less memorable!!

Enjoy our video from today.

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On Wednesday we are away to Germany for our second theme park – Phanatasialand, an early start – on the road by 8.00am.

See you all soon.


Holland 2009: Monday

A great day today.

Breakfast in the hotel and then back on the bus for the short trip to Bobbejaanland which is just across the border in Belgium.

The highlights seems to have been the Typhoon and the Sledgehammer.

The weather was mainly sunny although we had an occasional cloud – nevertheless some got really wet!!

The wet t-shirt award goes to Nicholas Lynch who bravely (or perhaps stupidly) went at the front of the log carrying both Mr. Stewart and Mr. Evans – that one log could manage this was in itself remarkable!!

Everyone doing well – on the whole.

In the evening Mrs Christie arranged the nine pin bowling, while Ms. Angus did some finger nail painting with some of the boys and Mrs. Hoban was the bingo caller with others in the lounge.

Enjoy the video from today.

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Check in again tomorrow for highlights from Tuesday – Rodelbaan (Toboggan), Caves, Swimming and Laser Tag – this is our lazy day around Valkenburg.

Preston Lodge High School goes global!