This article could have been 89 pages long, but here is our attempts for the ‘best bits’!
Wednesday 27th February
Following a 5am meet at Gretton, we set off to Stansted. A morning that was full of excitement, anxiety and promise. The students felt similarly too! For some, this was their first ever flight, or first time away without family. Every student was overcoming endless huge obstacles.
The flight passed quickly and smoothly and we then had a short bus to the hotel in central Krakow. Following a bag drop off and some time in Krakow, we allocated and went into rooms, with everyone very exhausted. Some more free time in Krakow followed, with the evening meal at the hotel. It was a long exhausting day and 6 out of 9 students were asleep by 8pm!
Thursday 28th February
Up and at ’em with breakfast at 6.30am! The sights we saw that morning. Everyone up and ready for the tour of Auschwitz, bus departing at 7.30am with the tour starting from 9am. A 3 hour tour of Auschwitz and Auschwitz Berkenau. The tour guide was incredible and the students were engrossed, reacting and coping in a manner of different ways.
A bus journey back and we were back in Krakow, with the students having some free time, before 10 of us went and did an escape room! Team 1 escaped in 56 minutes, with team 2 allegedly escaping in 54 minutes – I believe theirs was easier…
The evening meal of fine Polish cuisine followed, before we then headed off for a bowling session. All students handled this well, but Miss Neal showed a competitive ‘spirit’ that truly needs to be seen to be believed!
A later bedtime was had by all and the luxury on day 3 of a mini lie in and 8am breakfast.
Friday 1st March
A relaxed morning and checking bags out, then a 9.15am bus trip to the Salt Mines. 55 flights of stairs down and the students were in awe of what they were seeing, 130 metres below ground. This was an experience that surprised them of how good it was.
Following on, there was an afternoon in Krakow and 2 evening meals were planned, with students and staff having yet more amazing social interaction time. The evening meant a flight home and everything ran smoothly, we were belted in; then the announcement came… a 2 hour delay… sat on the plane. Our flight finally landed 2 hours late at 1.15am at Stansted!
The trip exceeded all expectations and words really cannot really describe how incredible the trip was, as well as how students smashed through every boundary they faced. This was the first international trip from Gretton and the students have set the bar so very high for future trips. Well done everyone.