Culture Tour - Europe
Onwards and Upwards – The Culture Tour Mantra
Travel humbled us and left us modest as we realized we are part of a bigger world. Yes, we started with a tremendous amount of excitement and anticipation and in part, the expectations for us as a band of touring brothers and sisters left us speechless, however, we have returned home a group of 29 storytellers.
Gary Player stated “Travel is the university of life”. If this is the case; then the 25 boys and 4 staff who travelled to Amsterdam, Bruges, Paris, Madrid and Barcelona this August holiday have returned with a qualification adding to their Preparatory report card.
Our group was exposed to various cultures, exquisite scenery, magnificent architectural buildings, historical information and an increased appetite to know more about how the past has shaped our present world.
Each city visited allowed for its own unique magic to be discovered where an arranged bus tour with knowledgeable guides offered an informative introduction to its people, infrastructure and tourist attractions. Emblematic tourist attractions such as visiting a cheese and clog farm, NEMO science centre, riding bicycles through Amsterdam together with the Eiffel tower, Arc de triumph, Disneyland Paris, an authentic Flamenco show, Camp Nou, Real Madrid C.F, Park Guell, Museo Nacional d’Art de Cataluyna, Picasso Museum and the Barcelona beaches all added to a rich, active and varied program catering for body, soul and mind.
Furthermore, the boys enjoyed staying in various hotels - staying up with a mate long after the scheduled lights out curfew together with respective language barriers and a diverse range of other guests added to our boys discovering more about themselves, each other, the staff and fellow humans.
“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.”- Tim Cahill. Our band of brothers who left our shores to explore, discover and live this experience is truly united with friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.
The teachers were rewarded with many moments of pure joy as we witnessed our boys seizing the day and whole heartedly engaging with every aspect of the tour itinerary. It was a delight to be part of their humour, energy and interaction with each other. While the schedule was demanding the boys afforded us many examples of Saints Preparatory grit and their default mode of our Saint’s Values was always on display. While everything we do at the preparatory is about the boys, I need to give credit where credit is due: Mrs L Humphrey, Mrs J Thompson and Mr Noonan were a terrific team where a balance between professional experience and parental care ensured that each day each boy was recognized, cared for and enjoyed his tour and holiday time. Observing the staff enjoying their vocation and our boys is a strong reminder as to the quality of educators we are fortunate to have shaping our boys. Our preparatory staff often hears the following: The anecdote for exhaustion is wholeheartedness. I can honestly account for the touring staff that they wholeheartedly, passionately and energetically added a tremendous amount of value to what was indeed a fantastic tour.
To the band of brothers who toured with me - Onwards and Upwards.