Have had an excellent weekend!!! Sunshine was out again (although Saturday was kinda windy and very cold at times) and we headed up North to Poitiers and the nearby Futuroscope theme park. Had an excellent time: the company was brilliant, we just got on so well (bonded you could say) and I haven't laughed so much in ages, Futuroscope was AMAZING, we had a good "story-for-the-grandchildren" almostabandoned moment and got to tick another French city off my list.
So 5.45am Saturday morning R.D.V at the gare with Molly, Catherine, Eddie and Hari. Random-conversation filled train journey from Bordeaux and then Bordeaux to the gates of Futuroscope (on the TGV) picking up Tim and Rachel en route. 9.45am arrival at Futuoscope. Cameras out. Tickets bought: an absolute bargaintastic 10euros each, as all of us who were 20 got in for free and through the means of student cards/internet vouchers we managed to reduce the price for the others too and split it between us, so, yeah, loving that! So Futuroscope is a theme park but it's nothing like any other theme park I've ever seen. As Wiki describes it: "The Parc du Futuroscope is a French theme park based upon multimedia, cinematographic and audio-visual techniques of the future." So basically it's lots of huge architecturally interesting buildings with massive cinemas, 360 degree cinemas, 3D cinemas, 4D cinemas, shows, simulators and other atractions. Basically right up my street, have always loved simulators but just don't do big rollercoasters/anything which makes you go upside down so normally theme parks are not really great for me, but this one rocked! (there was only one thing I wouldn't go on, "Dance with robots" which was most of the others' favourite he he!).
We were really lucky in that the queues really weren't that bad at all and we managed to do most of the stuff we really wanted to. It really was an impressive place. The simulators were really fun, and some of the films (for example a 3D "Under the sea" and a trip down the Nile on a screen the size of two tennis courts) were just amazing. There was also this clever thing where you wore special mirrored glasses, held onto a bar to walk along and had the feeling that you were walking on the ceiling; was really quite a bizarre sensation. The 4D film was a tour of the local area by air, boat and racing car led by this bizarre tree-man who sneezed all of you (the 4D part being his "snot" squirting at your face!).
In the evening there was a "spectacle" over the massive lake with video, water, lights and fireworks all combined in some crazy, nonsense story but very pretty and impressive to watch. Then we meandered our way through the departing crowds out of the main gates (stopping for a photo with a gorilla) and waited for our bus into town. And waited. And waited. And saw the car-park empty. And saw the staff leave. And found out we were 20km from town/food/warmth. And practiced huddling like penguins. And discussed cannebalism. And played the silly animal game. And then eventually (an hour later I think?) the bus rocked up. Halllllelujaih!
Then we wandered around the city in search of food (Saturday night no problem right?! wrong) and eventually opted for Quick (French McDonalds). By this point we were pretty hungry and chicken dippers have never tasted so good. But we were still laughing and the in-jokes continued. Next job was sorting out bus to our hostel but that went surprisingly well and once we'd sorted out out Youth Hostel cards and inspected the mostly-clean sheets and stinky toilets and went back down to the common room and bar. We drank the bar dry that night. That's to say we drunk the 5 bottles of beer (1 euro!) and 3 bottles of water they had available! ha ha ha! Played pool, and headed to bed; had been an early start and a busy day.
But we were up and at 'em again on Sunday. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for a 10am bus. Got us some patisserie/coffees/jus d'orange and then hit Poitiers. Being a Sunday none of the shops etc were open but had a really nice time wandering around and really liked the city. There were some cute little rues and beautiful churches and we found a lovely park with an amphitheatre were we premiered some new and original theatrical works and spun around in circles like the children we are. We also found a really nice restaurant where we had a long lunch of pizza and yummy desserts and then it was almost time to begin the journey home again entertained by looking through the 700+ photos we had between us.
Overall though an excellent time. Am well looking forward to Arcachon in Spring Break and hope we can do another weekend like that next term sometime.
Was shattered when I got back last night (i.e. just enough energy to put my photos onto Facebook before going to bed). This week I'm doing Penfriend letters with my pupils, and depending on how that goes I might do a little bit on "English Literature" i.e. a random lesson reading them "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"/"Jack et le haricot magique"/the poem "What is pink?" and doing tongue twisters! Then it's vacances time! 2 days to packing/spring cleanage of flat/theme planning for next term, then home/Bath, then Molly and Rachel and I are off for The Big Adventure South.
Some photos from the weekend (check out Facebook for more, they're wicked!):