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9 April 2011 D Day!
Check-in went as smoothly as possible and everyone was really excited to make new friends and embark on a great adventure together! Please rest assured that Tanya & I will look after your precious children and a wonderful tour awaits them, more tomorrow!
Written by: Jenny Peddle


10 April 2011 Arrived safely!
Nous sommes en France! Flying on the state of the art A380 was really a wonderful experience, yet no one claimed to have slept more than 2 hours! Upon arrival in Paris, we changed terminals and then we had a few hours in transit before flying out to Nice. At midday we were warmly greeted by Jean Francois from Le Centre International d’Antibes and we made our way by coach to Le Chateau, where we freshened up and appreciated a delicious picnic lunch. Thereafter, accompanied by our 'animateur' Jean Christophe, we enjoyed an orientation tour of the vieille ville in Antibes ~ it was such a relaxing afternoon and the weather was magnificent! At 5.30pm we returned to Le Chateau, where all were introduced to their host families ~ everyone seemed very happy and a good night's sleep is guaranteed ~ more tomorrow…!
Written by: Jenny Peddle


11 April 2011 First day at school + excursion to Cannes!
Everyone had a wonderful sleep and all arrived bright-eyed at the school this morning, chatting excitedly about their host families! Thereafter they were divided into groups and followed their designated tutors for 3 hours of communicative French tuition. After a delicious and varied lunch we all hoped on board the train to Cannes and the first visit was to Le Suquet, a landmark which affords a magnificent view over the yacht-lined bay & the Estérel Mountains. On return to the beachfront, we visited the Palais des Festivals and after a photo-shoot on the famous steps (sadly no red carpet at this time of year!), the group was allowed ‘du temps libre’ - which equates to some serious shopping! I used to believe that only the girls enjoyed this, but judging by the packets + one pair of amazing shoes, boys enjoy spending money too! We returned to Juan Les Pins at 7.00pm from where we walked to the venue for our soirée barbeque and what a wonderful, animated evening it was ~ plenty of food, with much laughter and social interaction!
Written by: Jenny Peddle


12 April 2011 Excursion to Monaco!
Everyone arrived at the school this morning in good spirits, all looking forward to improving their spoken French with students of varying nationalities. After another delicious lunch we hopped on board our coach and departed for Monaco, driving along the ‘route du littoral’, the coastal road, admiring the magnificent views en route. Upon arrival in Monaco everyone was struck by the cleanliness and obvious wealth of this small principality and with 1 policeman per every 60 tourists, no one even thinks of dropping a sweet paper! All thoroughly enjoyed the ride on the ‘petit train’, which is a great tourist attraction, since it gives excellent commentary on the history of the Principality as you travel through parts of the F1 race track and stop for photos in front of the famous Monte Carlo Casino. We alighted at the Palace which was unfortunately surrounded by scaffolding as it is undergoing a major face lift for the forthcoming wedding of Prince Albert to our very own South African Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock. Unfortunately the cathedral was also out of bounds as refurbishments were taking place, but we all had a lesson in visualization as we pictured the red carpet and the number of dignitaries who would be present on the wedding day in July! After some souvenir shopping we headed on home and all agreed that it was another lovely day in this idyllic part of the world!
Written by: Jenny Peddle


13 April 2011 A free afternoon to explore Antibes!
All arrived in high spirits once again and it is wonderful to see the animated interaction between the students as they gather in the foyer and on the lawn prior to class. Everyone was delighted to have a free afternoon to explore the wonderful town of Antibes ~ a few brave ones even contemplated a swim in the sea, albeit a little chilly!
Written by: Jenny Peddle


14 April 2011 Excursion to Grasse!
After lunch today we made our way by coach to Grasse, the home of French perfume and dubbed the ‘balcony of Provence’ for its magnificent views. We started with a short visit to the vieille ville, where we saw 3 original Rubens’ paintings in the local church. We then enjoyed a fascinating guided tour of the Fragonard Perfumery, which appealed on different levels to both the males and females in the group ~ judging by the packets & strong scent in the coach thereafter, many purchases had been made! We then extended this experience by participating in a ‘mini workshop’, where we all created our own, personal scent ~ the conversation and quips of the boys were hilarious and priceless ~ a wonderfully entertaining afternoon for all!
Written by: Jenny Peddle


15 April 2011 Wonderful excursion to Nice!
Bon anniversaire to Carla Smit, who arrived at school this morning with a large smile! Presents and a cake awaited her and she was made to feel very special, with a 2nd cake at lunchtime, when everyone in the dining room sang ‘happy birthday’, in 3 languages! The week in Antibes has flown by so very quickly and today marked the end of their formal French tuition. All were proud recipients of a DELF accredited certificate which attests to the level attained + a comment from their teachers. Once again the teaching staff expressed their delight with our South African students and praised their positive & enthusiastic approach to the lessons. After lunch we all made our way to the train station for our afternoon excursion to Nice, the ‘Queen of the Riviera’ and our meeting point was on the newly revamped Place Masena. The majority headed off to the name brand boutiques along the Boulevard Jean Medecin, whilst others preferred to meander through the narrow streets of ‘la vieille ville’ looking for bargains and only a few chose to soak up the ambience on the seafront. Suffice to say, the day was a real success and at 6.30pm we returned to Antibes ~ all were looking forward to an enjoyable last evening with friends in this idyllic part of the world. We depart from Nice tomorrow at 10h25, so more from Paris tomorrow…
Written by: Jenny Peddle


16 April 2011 Mon anniversaire ~ Antibes to Paris!
This morning everyone said a fond farewell to host families, all having really enjoyed this unique experience with their famille d’accueil. As I met with the group they all burst into song, for yes, it was my birthday today and what a wonderful day it was! At 8.00am our coach departed for Nice and our driver was so cheerful and charming, insisting on giving us the scenic route to the airport, where we checked in without incident. At midday we landed in Paris, Charles de Gaulle, where our coach was waiting to whisk us off to our hotel, where all welcomed the time to relax and freshen up. At 3.30pm we made our way by metro to Montmartre, the highest natural point in Paris and the ambience was amazing as hundreds of on-lookers enjoyed various forms of street entertainment. After having visited the basilica of Sacré Coeur, we wandered to the Place du Tertre, which was buzzing with activity on a Saturday evening and here everyone had some free time ~ I had expected most of the girls to have a portrait painted, but no, it was only Luvuyo who had a caricature, which was really good! Then we dined as a group (prepaid to the delight of all!) in one of the most famous restaurants on the Place du Tertre, La Cremaillere and what a wonderful evening this was! The resident pianist soon gave the floor to the immensely talented Hamish, who entertained us + all the other groups who were dining there ~ if he had laid down his cap he would have made a fortune in tips! Nick too showed his amazing talent on the piano and we so nearly persuaded Laone to sing…! As dessert was served, I once again I heard the Happy Birthday song as my crème caramel appeared with 2 candles (we would have to times that by a great deal to be accurate account of age!) After much laughter and social interaction, we all reluctantly made our way back to the hotel, with the boys hoping to be able to watch the Barcelona vs Real Madrid soccer match on the hotel’s wide-screen TV! My birthday, however, was clearly not over and upon our return, Nick, on behalf of the group, presented me with two colourful and beautifully wrapped boxes, containing 2 amazing gateaux whist Penjani presented me with a lovely bouquet of flowers. After more singing and cutting of the cake + wishing + eating, we finally said good night to each other and went our separate ways! What a special day for everyone and such a memorable birthday for me! Thank you to everyone in the group and especially to my co-chaperone Tanya, who is a real delight and an awesome travel companion ~ so appreciated and merci beaucoup a tout le monde! x
Written by: Jenny Peddle


17 April 2011 Paris in the Spring!
All were so grateful that it was Sunday and that they were able to sleep in a bit! Everyone came down to breakfast around 9.00am and by 10.00am we were on our way to the metro, all eagerly awaiting our programme for the day. We started with a visit to the Hotel de Ville (Paris’ very impressive town hall) and then we made our way to the Beaubourg area, where we saw the Georges Pompidou Centre ~ this generated mixed reactions as Nick thought it was so ugly it should be burnt down whilst Chelsea really appreciated the post modern architecture … such intellectual discussions we have on tour! We then made our way to the beautiful Cathedral of Notre Dame, where many learnt the art of ‘nudging-in’ to advance in the long queues! It was a beautiful Spring day and so we chose to walk to the Louvre, strolling alongside the Seine and marveling at all the new flowering trees. All were impressed with the grandeur of the Louvre and after eating lunch we gathered for our tour with our guide, Julian. Although art is not everyone’s strong point or area of interest, all were able to appreciate the beauty of the works on display in this magnificent museum. Then came the highlight of the afternoon as, whilst walking through the Jardin des Tuileries, our boys spotted some Frenchmen playing soccer and within no time we had a SA vs France match ~ I am happy to declare the final score was 5 – 4 to South Africa! At 8.30pm all hopped on board a coach for our tour of Paris by night, ‘Les Illuminations’ ~ this is a highlight of my Paris sector and everyone is always delighted as the Eiffel Tower lights up & sparkles at 10.00pm!
Written by: Jenny Peddle


18 April 2011 Another wonderful day in Paris!
After breakfast we made our way to the Champs Elyseés ,where all enjoyed exploring the amazing boutiques along one of the most famous avenues in the world. Thereafter we walked along Avenue Kleber to the Trocadero which provides a stunning view of the Eiffel Tower. We started with a cruise on the Bateaux Parisiens which everyone thoroughly enjoyed and thereafter we jumped the long queues and fast-tracked it to the 2nd level of the Eiffel Tower. I can honestly say that in all the years I have travelled with groups that this was the most perfect day of all ~ not a breath of wind nor a cloud in the sky and visibility was amazing! I had arranged for an early group dinner on the way back to the hotel and this was a lovely ending to our tour ~ the group has bonded so well and everyone will remain friends forever, having shared such wonderful memories in France. More tomorrow re our final arrangements and departure/arrival times…
Written by: Jenny Peddle


19 April 2011 Au revoir!
We were able to have a relaxing start to the day, which gave us time to quietly pack cases and for the girls to try to find space for all the extras that have been purchased in France! I have confirmed our return flight on AF 990 which is scheduled to depart Paris at 23h20 this evening, arriving at ORT tomorrow, Wednesday 20 April @ 09h50. It has once again been my great joy and privilege to escort an outstanding group of South African students to France ~ they have fully embraced every opportunity and they have been superb ambassadors for South Africa. I would sincerely like to thank my co-chaperone, Tanya Jones, who willingly stepped in at the 11th hour. As a personality who sets the bar very high, I find it difficult to entrust responsibility to others, but Tanya has earned my greatest respect and assisted me admirably ~ for this I thank her most sincerely and wish her bonne continuation as she stays on in France for another 3 months. We will think of you on 25 April as you too celebrate your birthday ~ bon anniversaire! The children will return with mixed emotions and whilst they are all obviously looking forward to seeing family and friends back home, everyone will be left with a sense of sadness at having to say farewell to people they have grown so accustomed to seeing on a daily basis. It has been a very successful tour and as parents you can rest assured that you have afforded your children the most wonderful opportunity. I have no doubt that each and every child 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 remains for me to say ‘merci beaucoup, bon retour et a la prochaine’!
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