Trip To Spain
R. Oldman R. Waters Form 6
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At 5.30 a.m. on the 29th July this year, a group of boys, cold and dejected, stood beside the coach which was to take them to Dover. The boys waited eagerly while the coach was loaded with the luggage. Finally, at half past six, with Fr. Dominic and Fr. Brendan aboard, the party set off for Dover. We were soon aboard the boat without any trouble from Customs.

The three hour crossing was extremely smooth, and the party experienced no difficulty with the Belgium Customs. Here we were met by our Continental driver, and his five year old coach.

The first stop was at a hotel in Blankenberge. It was here that we first met the Continental custom of piling as many double beds as possible into each room. In our room there were three people each with a double bed to himself. We were lucky; some boys had to share.

Blankenberge is a popular seaside resort with amusements as in England. The cabarets play out onto the front so that anyone can stand and listen.

The following morning, we undertook a journey of about 250 miles to Paris, demolishing a packed lunch on the way. We arrived in Paris at three o'clock, only to be thrown into extreme boredom, by an elderly lady who was to be our guide. We are sure that every member of the party remembers the two hour description of Notre Dame.

Although it looked shabby, the accommodation was not bad but it was situated opposite the "Gare du Nord", one of the largest railway stations in Paris.

The next stop was in Limoge, an industrial centre. Despite the lack of places of interest, the older boys found amusement in talking to the local people. The hotel was encouraging but the food not so good.

The party now made their way to Lourdes where the boys had their first rest from travelling. Lourdes is very commercialised and one of the most interesting places visited. There were many things to sec but not enough time to see them all, even though we stayed an extra day. Apart from the obvious places of Catholic interest, there were many intriguing shops the assistants of which spoke numerous languages.

On Saturday afternoon we arrived in Logrono via San Sebastian. The party now had four days of glorious sunshine coupled with swimming in the College’s private pool. The college had not long been built, and everyone had his own private wash basin.

The town was explored and gifts bought. A day out was organised but the boys refused to leave the swimming pool. On the first night, some of the boys went to a bull fight which started at 11 p.m. and finished at 1 p.m. The Fathers and Brothers did a wonderful job in serving meals and making us as comfortable as possible. Well done!

The return journey brought us back, via "Haro", through San Sebastian to Villeneuve where we stayed the night. Originally we were to stay at Bordeaux, but it was full with refugees from Algeria. We had difficulty in finding accommodation and the town itself had little amusement. As a result, the party retired early.

An early start with little or no trouble was achieved. The mischief of the boys was considerably reduced at the prospect of going home. Tours was a welcome sight for the hungry party. The hotel was excellent for those who prefer living in a chateau. However, the food made up for this. On studying the, bars, it was noticed that the local drink was a sickly green in colour. Nobody tried it.

Our final night on the continent was spent in a training college. The sleeping accommodation was up to the standard of Logrono Everyone retired early so as to be ready for the last lap home. One boy, however, was unfortunately disturbed by a cold shower.

The next day we experienced no trouble at the customs. The channel crossing, however, was slightly choppy and many people found it necessary to lean over the side.

After a short wait at the English customs, we ate our lunch and boarded the coach which was one hour late. We finally arrived back at the school at six o'clock,

We congratulate Fr. Dominic and Fr. Brendan on a very well organised and enjoyable trip to Spain.

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