MARIS STELLA CULTURAL TOUR ~ JULY 2008

MARIS STELLA CULTURAL TOUR ~ JULY 2008

 

26 June 2008 D Day!

After months of organization, it is hard to believe that D day has actually dawned! I have two groups traveling to Zurich tonight – Maris Stella from Durban & Herschel from Cape Town and I can only imagine what fun they will have! I chatted to Mrs Matheson at 10.30am and she confirmed that everything was on track from her side. A phone call at 6.00pm assured me that all had gone well on the domestic leg and that the girls were in high spirits, having just passed through customs. I wished the group a 'bon voyage' and did not expect any more communication until tomorrow ... but then I hadn't factored in the effect of seeing the Springbok rugby team & DJ Fresh descending the escalators towards the adoring eyes of our girls! I was assured that this was their first 'cultural' experience and asked please to convey to all parents that their money had already been well spent! No doubt the photos and autographs will bear witness to this! Please rest assured that all arrangements are firmly in place and that a wonderfully enriching tour awaits the Maris Stella group. If you chat to your daughters and have any interesting snippets to share, I would love to hear from you!

Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

27 June 2008 No news is good news!

I have not heard directly from the Maris Stella group, but a brief sms from the Herschel chaperones confirmed that they had all landed safely in Zurich! The weather is apparently beautiful and perfect for their cruise on the lake. Please note that the group will not be staying at the Hotel Maro tonight, but at the Hotel Sunmatt...which is excellent news since they no longer have to move tomorrow! I remind you that the telephone number of this hotel is + 41 41 637 20 45.

Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

28 June 2008 A wonderful day!

I was delighted to receive an sms from Rose Matheson this morning who confirmed that all are well and that everyone is having a wonderful tour. They thoroughly enjoyed the excursion to the summit of Mount Titlis and the evening at the traditional Swiss restaurant, the Stadkeller, was unforgettable. South Africa was well represented, with 25 people from Maris Stella and 23 from Herschel! The cheese fondue was delicious and the folklore show was so entertaining, with many girls being roped in to yodel, dance and 'blow the alpine horn'! What a wonderful final memory of Switzerland!

Writt en by: Jenny Peddle

 

29 June 2008 Verona!

I am tonight flying out with a group of students who will be attending an International French Language School in Antibes. You will NOT be able to contact me on my SA cell number, but I will let you know my new number as soon as I purchase a sim card in France. If you have any queries or concerns, you may still contact me by email or telephone my husband Clive on 082 454 9746. I will update the site as soon as I can --- they're in Verona today!

Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

30 June 2008 30 June!

Bonsoir d'Antibes, Cote d' Azur! I arrived in France with my group at lunchtime today but unfortunately I have no further 'hot off the press' updates to relate re the Maris Stella group. I can only presume that no news is good news and I will try to contact the chaperones tomorrow!

Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

1 July 2008 1 July

I have still heard nothing from this group and continue to trust that no news is good news! Herschel girls are following a very similar itinerary, so my diary entries there may be of interest to you! I hope that the 'parent telephone chain' is working well! A reminder that I am in Antibes with a group of students who are attending an International French Language School. You will NOT be able to contact me on my SA cell number, but you may sms or call if necessary on my French number which is + 33 6 18 43 14 00.

Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

6 July 2008 Hot off the press news!

The group arrived in Antibes today and I was so excited to see them to glean some 'hot off the press' news! Clearly everyone has thoroughly enjoyed the tour and all were bubbling over with anecdotes of Engelberg, Mt Titlis, Verona, Lido di Jeselo, Venice, Pisa , Cinque Terra and of course --- the boys! After settling into their hotel, we all walked to the restaurant which overlooked the many, many yachts in the harbour. The 3 course meal was delicious and the ambience was so relaxed. Management really enjoyed the girls and accommodated the group request by turning the background music during dinner into a veritable disco after dinner! Who needed boys when we had 23 Maris Stella girls dancing the night away! Understandably, the chaperones opted to eat their desert on the terrace and then I joined them for a coffee. A ver y happy, albeit somewhat weary, group returned to the hotel just after 11.00pm and all were very excited at the prospect of spending another lovely day on the Cote d' Azur tomorrow.

Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

7 July 2008 Warm memories of the Cote d'Azur!

The charm of the Maris Stella group evidently won over their French chauffeur and he insisted on giving them a personal coach tour around Antibes before heading off for their scheduled excursion! Patrick drove them through the quaint old town, where they witnessed an authentic French market and then they continued on to Grasse, where they visited the Fragonard perfumery. The girls really enjoyed their guided tour and many bought small perfumes, soaps, hand creams etc. Thereafter, they headed for the Florian confisserie in the Gorges du Loup and here they were able to watch how the confectionary is made and sample it too! They then returned to Antibes, where all headed to the beach and enjoyed a few hours having fun in the sun! Swimming in the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea, with the backdrop of the Alps was really amazing and they all agreed that Antibes was 'awesome'! After some shopping in the 'vieille ville', all returned to the hotel and changed for dinner, which was served 'al fresco' on the waterfront. They enjoyed yet another magnificent 3 course meal and Management even acknowledged Lucia's birthday, placing candles on the delicious French apple tart which was served for desert! The girls leave with warm memories of the Cote d' Azur!

Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

8 July 2008 TGV to Paris!

At breakfast, all the girls prepared their lunches for the train journey to Paris and by 8.30am they were ready and waiting in the hotel foyer. The TGV drew into the station at 9.55am and miraculously the girls managed to find space for their suitcases and their MANY packets! The train journey passes through beautiful countryside and always provides a time to rest and recharge batteries. They are really looking forward to Paris and have the Eiffel Tower + a cruise on the River Seine today!

Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

9 July 2008 Paris is amazing!

I received an sms this morning to say that all had thoroughly enjoyed the guided visit to the Louvre and that the shopping in Paris was 'amazing'! They were all really looking forward to the 'Illuminations' tour of Paris by night.

Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

10 July 2008 Disneyland Paris!

I received an sms from Rose Matheson at 10.00pm to say that the girls had an AMAZING day and that they were waiting for the final parade before returning to their hotel. Luckily they have no early reservations tomorrow, so they will be able to sleep in a little!

Written by: Jenny Peddle

 

11 July 2008 Final entry and flight confirmations

This has been the third cultural tour I have organized for Maris Stella and by all accounts if appears to have been a tremendous success. Rose Matheson and Gail Dowsley have been outstanding chaperones and the girls have been very fortunate to travel with such experienced, fun-loving, responsible and compassionate teachers. They will all return with wonderful memories, having shared life-changing experiences with their friends. As parents you can rest satisfied in the knowledge that your children will be eternally grateful to you for this gift and privilege. All flights are confirmed and the group is to depart Paris tomorrow, Saturday 12 July at 21h50 on EK 76, arriving in Dubai at 06h30 on Sunday morning. They then depart Dubai on EK 763 at 10h15, arriving in OR Tambo at 16h25. They depart OR Tambo at 18h00 on BA 6221 and FINALLY arrive in Durban at 19h10 on Sunday 13 July. They will all most certainly be exhausted and 'jet lagged' and although the stories may not be immediately forthcoming, they will reveal themselves in the days, months and years to come! It remains for me to wish you all a very happy home-coming!

Written by: Jenny Peddle