S3/4 students from Tobermory and Tiree High Schools bonded on a recent trip to Paris and Ypres. They spent the day at Euro Disney where Space Mountain was the most popular ride (with students!). All pupils and staff also managed the exhausting climb up the 264 steps of the spiral staircase to the top of the Arc de Triomphe where they had a more unusual view of the Eternal Flame as well as stunning views of the Champs Elysées and the Eiffel Tower. They completed the Paris leg of the trip with a visit to Notre Dame, the Musée d’Orsay and the Stade de France.
After Paris the group headed to Ypres. As well as the obligatory visit to a chocolate shop the group remembered the events and sacrifices of the First World War. Overnight rain meant the visit to the trenches was a muddy experience giving a little taste of what trench warfare was like. At Langemark German Cemetery students followed in the footsteps of WW1 veteran Harry Cross and laid a wreath following a short reading from “All Quiet on the Western Front”. At the Menin Gate and in Tynecot British Cemetery they were able find the names of those from Mull and Tiree who are commemorated there. At Tynecot the group held their own Act of Remembrance, reading out their own thoughts and feelings followed by the Naming of the Dead when the names of all those from Mull and Tiree who have lost their lives in conflicts from the First World War to Afghanistan were read out and wreaths laid on behalf of their respective communities, a two minute silence ended with Glenn Denavan playing the Flowers of the Forest on the pipes.
Before the trip the Tobermory and Tiree students had never met, but it didn’t take long for friendships to form. Staff and parents back home were able to follow the trip via the trip blog (http://tobtireeparisypres2012.wordpress.com/) which was very popular with over 100 hits each day of the trip.