Day 2: Another fun packed day in Valkenburg, in fact a very, very busy day! The teachers report that ALL rooms were awake this morning when they went to wake them up..fingers crossed this continues. Breakfast was a buffet of everything and anything the children could imagine....boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, cereal, cheese, cold meats and a variety of different bread....the children were well set up for the day. After breakfast, everyone set off on what was yet another bright and sunny day to begin a very full itinerary. A short walk took the children to explore the caves where they saw statues, art work and a finale of a light show with pictures to finish the trip off. The trip through the caves is in pitch darkness lit only by a gas lantern carried by the tour guide and this year’s guide was telling the children how his father had to live in the cave during the Nazi occupation of the town. The children were in awe of this as they’ve been learning about WW2 back in school and could relate their learning to many of the stories he was telling them. At the end of the tour there is a light show and this year they showed pictures of the town during the occupation of the war which the children watched intently. The light show at the end also allows the children to play hide and seek in a safe area and get accustomed to light again. Next on the agenda was a shopping spree, where apparently some purchasing of gifts/souvenirs for home happened along with plenty of ice cream and slushies to help cool down from the heat of the sun. The next stop was the Margraten War Cemetery, where the children’s behaviour was impeccable, as they walked quietly around, showing great respect and having great historical discussions. A number of the children managed to find memorials with their surname, which was an added poignancy to the trip. The children were an absolute credit to all and have been commended by many on the trip so far for their great behaviour and manners. No behaviour fines have been given out so far...again, fingers crossed this continues. As the group were leaving the cemetery, they could hear the thunder coming in the distance and unfortunately as they travelled to their next stop...the heavens opened. Following the cemetery, the children thoroughly enjoyed walking from the Netherlands, into Belgium, and then into Germany - the famous point where the three countries meet...if not rather soggy!!! A number of the children faced their fears and went up to the viewing platform, 200 steps up to witness Holland from its highest point. The steps have some holes in them which makes the ascent quite a mental challenge for some...well done to all those who braved the climb. A little play in the park was in order afterwards where ALL children got covered in sand...wet sand! You’ll be glad they weren’t getting back into your cars, however the bus driver was more than accommodating and knew that the sand was the sign of good fun. Having worked up a good appetite with all the walking they had done, the group arrived back to the hotel for dinner. The very full and exciting day was rounded off with a game of 10pin bowling this evening, where Miss Seaton was the champion bowler. As you read this the children are writing postcards for home, so keep an eye on those letterboxes over the next week. All are now relaxing before getting a good sleep for another jam packed day tomorrow ...which I'm told involves a lie in and some swimming....and a guaranteed shower and washing of hair....phew! All children (and staff) are in great form and lots of fun and laughter is being had.
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