This past weekend, the students from groups A, B and C and their program leaders enjoyed a couple of days away from the city and their daily lessons in southern France, by the Mediterranée. There, they got to enjoy the sun, the beach, and some gorgeous views.
The group boarded on Friday, just after lunch for a 3-hour trip to Port-Vendres. Upon our arrival, the students were able to enjoy some free time to discover this fishing village. We had the chance to attend the Catalan festivals, typical festivals of the region highlighting the traditions of the south through parades and music.
On Saturday, part of the group went hiking to reach the beach of Paulilles, depicted as "The most beautiful beach of all the Pyrenees-Orientales", while the other part of the group joined the beach by bus. The Paulille site houses the former Nobel factory, which manufactured dynamite from 1870 to 1984. The Anse de Paulilles site has been a place of work and life for five generations of workers and today we can dive into this industrial past thanks to the remains and exhibition in the museum. We spent a few hours sunbathing and enjoying the magnificent view of the coastline.
On Sunday, we all walked to the nearby village of Collioure, a famous southern village that attracts thousands of tourists every year. Upon arrival, the students were able to enjoy some free time to discover the surroundings and appreciate the charms offered by this commune of nearly 3000 inhabitants. After enjoying the city, we had a guided tour of the castle of Collioure, a royal fortress built in the 7th century. We learned all about its history and the different peoples who have owned, from the Middle Ages to this day.
After the tour, we all walked back to Port-Vendres to pick up our luggage and take the bus back to Toulouse. The host families were waiting for us with excitement and the students came home with lots of new pictures in their heads and new stories to tell!!