Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Belgium Trip 2015

Thirteen students and three staff departed Villiers on Friday 27th March 2015 for Belgium.  In a packed schedule, the group would visit three countries in 3 days on a cross-curricular trip covering curricular areas including History, English, European Languages, Religion as well as Civics Social and Political Education.
After a relaxing walk around Brussels visiting sights such as the Grande Place and the Manneken Pis, the group enjoyed some Belgian waffles with chocolate in preparation for the days to come. 
Saturday began with an early start as the group travelled to Ypres to meet our encyclopedic guide, Bob Findley to begin our World War I tour.  Sights included Vimy Ridge, Thiepval and Beaumont-Hamel and offered the group a fascinating, captivating and at times tragic, insight into the experiences of those who fought and died in World War I. 
Sunday began with another early start as the group travelled to Amsterdam.  Despite the inhospitable weather, the group remained determined to make the most of their time and the visit included the Jewish Historical Museum, the Portuguese Synagogue before culminating in the Anne Frank House, a highlight of the trip for many. 
Monday gave students the opportunity to indulge in more waffles and chocolate as they enjoyed some free time around Brussels before heading to the European Parliament.  There we were greeted by MEP Luke Flanagan who offered students an insight into the life of an MEP.  Our host, Roger, then showed us around the vast parliament buildings before ending our afternoon in the Plenary .  Students were treated to a wonderful  Q&A session regarding the workings of the European Institutions.   It was then time to take the return flight home to Dublin, just in time for the Easter Holidays, and time to catch up on some rest after a hectic, educational yet very enjoyable 4 days.