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PHSG ART TOUR TO ITALY & FRANCE ~ JUNE 2011


25 June 2011 D Day!
After months of organization, it is hard to believe that D day has actually dawned! The group is in very good hands with the 2 dedicated chaperones, Jacqui Greenberg & Debbie Dugmore as well as my daughter Michelle, who I know will manage the tour exceptionally well. Mich has reported that there was great excitement and a few tears at ORT as everyone prepared for departure and all went smoothly with the check-in and emigration procedure. They are scheduled to arrive at Roissy CDG @ 06h05am tomorrow and thereafter connect to Rome @ 09h45. All arrangements are firmly in place and I am sure that the girls will have the most wonderful experience. It remains for me to wish everyone 'bon voyage' as they fly out on the amazing A380....
Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

26 June 2011 Safe arrival!
06h30 Bonjour de Paris! I can confirm that all have arrived safely in Paris and are awaiting their flight to Rome. 15h00 the group has arrived in Rome and all have enjoyed settlng into their hotel rooms. They are now off to explore the Roman Forum and the Colosseum with their guide ~ phew, quite a first day in Italy! 22h00 everyone thoroughly enjoyed the guided visit this afternoon as well as the 4 course dinner tonight, but all pales in comparison with the thought of bed and a good night's sleep! A reminder that they are staying in the Regent Hotel Tél 00 39 06 802401 Fax 00 39 06 8080347
Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

27 June 2011 An incredible day in Rome!
After a wonderful sleep, all awoke refreshed and totally re-energized! Having eaten a substantial breakfast they commenced their 3 hour guided walking tour of Ancient Rome in the company of their expert local guide and what amazing sights they saw ~ the memories will last forever! Everyone then had some free time to shop (a really popular idea!) before visiting the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain, where all threw in a coin to ensure their safe return to the ‘Eternal City’! After an authentic Italian lunch they made their way to the Vatican City, where they visited the Vatican Museums which house one of the most impressive collections of art in the world, including Michelangelo's magnificent ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Everyone was in awe of the majestic St Peter's Basilica, which boasts many treasures, including the famous Pieta by Michelangelo and Bernini’s magnificent Mother and Child ~ Mrs Greenberg was in 7th heaven and absolutely speechless ~ what a memorable day for everyone!
Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

28 June 2011 Onward to Florence!
Arrevederci Roma as everyone climbed on board their coach destined for Florence. En route they visited the peaceful and mystical town of Assisi, home to St Francis and founder of the Franciscan order of the Friars. Much like Mother Teresa he emphasized simplicity & poverty and many of the stories that surround his life deal with his love for animals. They all marveled at the Basilica which is famous for its Giotto frescoes before enjoying some free time for lunch & shopping ~ the latter once again proving very popular! Onward then to Florence where they had a few hours to settle in to their hotel rooms and relax before heading off to a local restaurant for 'pasta al 4 formaggi + Pollo arrosto con insalata mista + tiramisu ~ authentic Italian and delicious!
Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

29 June 2011 Fabulous Florence!
What a wonderful day they have planned for today and I have just received a message from Michelle to say that all are thoroughly enjoying Florence, which is much calmer than Rome! They have some free time over lunchtime and the decision was unanimous to descend on the leather markets ~ I can only imagine their joy! Please note that I am leaving for Paris tonight with my group so will not be able to update again until tomorrow. A reminder that I may be contacted on my regular email or in an emergency on 00 33 6 18 43 14 00.
Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

30 June 2011 Onward to Cinque Terre via Pisa!
Today everyone enjoyed a relaxing morning, with many returning for some last minute bargains in the leather markets! At midday they all hopped on board their coach and travelled through the beautiful Tuscan Hills to Pisa, where they not only visited the Square of Miracles but also ascended the 294 steps to reach the summit of the famous Leaning Tower, which was by all accounts an ‘awesome’ experience! In the late afternoon they continued along the Italian Riviera to their hotel which is apparently very comfortable and a delicious dinner was served in a traditional restaurant within close proximity. A reminder that the group is staying at the Hotel Corallo for the next 2 nights ~ Tel: 00 39 0187 731366, Fax: 00 39 0187 754490.
Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

1 July 2011 An incredible guided tour of the Cinque Terre!
What a beautiful day all have had in the Cinque Terre! Listed as a UNESCO World heritage site, this region comprises 5 small medieval villages on the Ligurian coast which boast some of the finest views on the Italian Riviera. Their day guide was exceptional and introduced them to all the magic of this region, including the quaint life style, the hidden paths & the idyllic beaches ~ the memory of this special day will last forever! More tomorrow as they say arrivederci to Italy and bonjour to France!
Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

2 July 2011 Onward to Juan les Pins!
This morning all hopped on board their coach and headed off to Provence, which is referred to as ‘paradise on earth’. The scenery en route was spectacular but it was sad that they had to by-pass Monaco, since all tourist buses had been denied entry due to the Royal wedding. As an attractive alternative they were able to spend a few hours in Nice, the ‘Queen of the Riviera’ and they all enjoyed the Saturday morning markets in Vieux Nice before descending on all the designer boutiques along the Avenue Jean Medecin. In the late afternoon they arrived at their hotel in the vibrant summer resort of Juan les Pins and after a delicious dinner in a local restaurant, all went to Le Chrystal to enjoy a ‘virgin’ cocktail, some good music and an excellent 'vibe' ~ all under the watchful eyes of the chaperones! What a wonderful introduction to la belle France! A reminder that the group will be staying for 2 nights at the Hotel Teranga Tel: 00 33 4 92 93 32 60, Fax: 00 33 4 92 93 32 61.
Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

3 July 2011 A wonderful final day on the Cote d'Azur!
After breakfast in the beautiful hotel gardens all boarded the coach and travelled to the Musée Renoir, where Auguste Renoir resided for the last years of his life. The girls were delighted to see some of his treasured possessions and original paintings, as well as his workshop in which he created his many masterpieces. Thereafter they visited the Fondation Maeght, which is a modern museum boasting some of the most important collections of twentieth century art in Europe, including some very bizarre pieces! Then on to Saint Paul de Vence, a medieval fortified perched village which boasts extraordinary views and it is most famous for being home to Marc Chagall who is buried in the communal grave yard. As a renowned mecca for painters, sculptors & tourists, all enjoyed wandering through this intriguing and quaint village, with its winding narrow streets. After lunch they travelled to Grasse which is dubbed the ‘balcony of Provence’ for its magnificent views and it is also the home of French perfume. The group thoroughly enjoyed a fascinating guided tour of the Fragonard Perfumery and judging by the packets & strong scent in the coach thereafter, many purchases had been made! All were back at the hotel by 6.00pm and they were excited to dash off for a final swim in the sea before finding somewhere to enjoy their dinner. What a wonderful last day in this idyllic part of the world…
Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

4 July 2011 Onward to Avignon!
I will update the activities once I have more information but in the meantime please be reminded that the group is staying for the next 2 nights at the hotel Le Magnan in Avignon and the contact details are Tel: 00 33 4 90 86 36 51, Fax: 00 33 4 90 85 48 90.
Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

5 Jul Visit to Arles & Les Baux de Provence!
After a good breakfast, all hopped on board their coach for a day tour to Les Baux de Provence & Arles and by all accounts it was really enjoyable! Tomorrow they say farewell to the south of France as they head toards Paris for their final leg ~ how time flies!
Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

6 July 2011 Farewell to the south and bonjour to Paris!
How time flies and today marks the beginning of their last sector on tour. All the bags were placed in the foyer by 8.30am and after breakfast the group was transferred to the Palace of the Popes, where all donned head-phones and enjoyed a visit to this magnificent 14th century edifice. At midday they arrived at Marseilles Provence Airport, arriving at Paris Orly Airport in the late afternoon. After settling in to their hotel and enjoying an informal dinner, they were all treated to a spectacular guided coach tour of Paris by night, where they were bewitched by ‘Les Illuminations’! A reminder that the group is staying at the Hotel Campanile Maine Montparnasse Tel: 00 33 1 53 74 60 00, Fax: 00 33 1 40 47 01 49.
Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

7 July 2011 Champs Elysees + Louvre + Montmartre!
This morning all headed off to the Champs Elysées which extends from the Arc de Triomphe down to the Place de la Concorde. The girls were given a generous time allowance to explore this world famous boulevard and all were delighted to note that the sales had started! They re-grouped at 13h00 and with so many designer packets in hand, all hopped on board the metro like pros and made their way to the Louvre Museum, where they were able to fast-track the queues. Everyone was so impressed with the grandeur of this former palace and absolutely stunned by the magnificent works of art as they enjoyed the guided tour led by a specialist ‘conférencier’ who used the latest ‘whisper system’ ~ this tour was a highlight for many! Thereafter all made their way to Montmartre, the oldest district and highest natural point in Paris and after visiting the beautiful basilica of Sacré Coeur, they wandered through the Place du Tertre, where many were tempted to have their portrait painted! After a visit to the Salvador Dali Museum all enjoyed a pre-paid dinner in one of the most famous restaurants on the square, La Cremaillere ~ the 3 course meal + drinks + service + ambience were superb and greatly enjoyed, as attested to by the laughter and noise level!
Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

8 July 2011 A wonderful day in Paris!
The group had a later start this morning and at 10h00 they made their way by metro to the imposing Hôtel de Ville, Paris’ very ornate City Hall! In close proximity lies the audacious Georges Pompidou Centre and at 11h30 they had a guided tour of this National Museum of Modern Art, which apparently appealed on different levels! They then made their way to l’Ile de la Cité, where they visited the magnificent cathedral of Notre Dame and this everyone really loved! At 16h00 they ascended to the 2nd level of the Eiffel Tower for a magnificent view over Paris and when they regrouped, all spontaneously started to sing their school song ~ much to the delight of the on-lookers! At 18h30 they enjoyed a leisurely cruise on the river Seine and the commentary was most informative as they identified the many famous landmarks of Paris. The evenings stay light for so long and the girls will be given a choice of places for dinner tonight.
Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

9 July 2011 Musée d’Orsay + Giverny + packing!
I return to SA with my group of students today and therefore will not be able to update this site until late tomorrow. The girls have a wonderful day lined up with a visit to the Musée d’Orsay + a coach tour to Giverny, followed by a final farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Arrangements are confirmed for the group’s departure tomorrow and I will explain all in tomorrow’s diary entry…
Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

10 July 2011 Homeward bound!
Today marks the final day on tour and what a wonderful 2 weeks the girls have had! This morning they were grateful to have a later start and they did some serious lateral thinking on how to find space for ALL the additional purchases! With cases finally stowed in the ‘bagagerie’, they set off to the Champs Elysées once more and then enjoyed some time in the Tuileries Gardens, where many chose to ride on the giant Ferris wheel. The airport transfer from the hotel has been arranged for 16h15 and once at Roissy Charles de Gaulle the group will undoubtedly enjoy the duty free shops! Flight AF990 is scheduled to depart at 23h20 tonight and to arrive at OR Tambo tomorrow, Monday 11 July @ 09h50. To act ‘in loco parentis’ is no mean task and your daughters have been privileged to travel with both Jacqui Greenberg and Debbie Dugmore, who managed to find the perfect balance between firm discipline, genuine compassion and a great sense of fun. As the Personal Touch representative/co-ordinator/on-site guide, my daughter played a crucial role in the smooth running of their comprehensive programme and she has earned my greatest respect ~ my sincere thanks dear Michelle for your immense contribution to the success of this tour! The girls’ behaviour has been impeccable and they have been fine ambassadors for their school and for South Africa. They will undoubtedly be exhausted and whilst the many wonderful anecdotes may not immediately be forthcoming, they will reveal themselves in the days, months and even years to come! As parents you can rest assured that you have afforded your children the most wonderful opportunity and I have no doubt that each and every girl will return not only academically enriched, but enriched as a person, having matured and grown in confidence and the precious memories & firm bonds of friendships will last a lifetime. It has once again been my joy & privilege to be associated with Pretoria High School for Girls and it remains for me to say ‘merci beaucoup et bon retour’!
Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

You are rendering a unique service to schools and children! I have just read your web-page information on our tour and was once again inspired by how committed you are to what you do.

Parent – St Peter's College

 

I loved the daily reports that you provided ~ thank you for a fantastic tour!

Parent – PBHS

 

Thank you so much for an amazing diary - it was always completely updated and I have loved reading it! It has been the highlight of my day going to your website and seeing what the girls have been up to!

Parent – Herschel

 

I would like to thank you for all that you did to make our Cultural Tour so memorable! Not having to worry about accommodation or tour arrangements because we knew that you had organized everything so skilfully meant that we chaperones could relax and enjoy what was on offer. I really admire your boundless energy and the superbly efficient way in which you took care of every little detail. We all had a fantastic time and thank you, we all had a wonderful trip!

Educator – Herschel School

 

Your daughter Michelle was a delightful co-chaperone and it was so special to travel with her and to see what a beautiful relationship you share. It inspired me to work even harder towards mine with my son, as I believe it takes a lot of love & hard work to create a special family.

Educator – St Peter's College