Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Northern Tour

Last Monday year seven and eight arrived at school around 7:30am. We packed our heavy luggage onto the bus and chatted with our friends for a while. When the bus was ready to go, we stepped inside and sat down for the next seven hours. Finally the bus arrived at Nelson Girl's College. While the girls got off the bus and met their billets, our driver tried and struggled to get the bus out of the impossibly tiny park he had managed to get the vehicle in to. When we found ourselves in Nelson College, we met our billets and went home with them.

The next day went was extremely busy. First we stopped at Nelson Cathedral, and were given a tour there by a woman who must have worked there. Everybody was taking out their cameras and taking pictures of the artwork whenever possible. Our next stop was the museum, which happened to be just down the street. There were lots of electronic, interactive screens and devices which seemed to keep everybody amused. Later on we had a look at the wearable arts museum and the classic cars museum. I had no idea costumes could be made out of drinking straws! In the afternoon, everyone was playing sports against Nelson teams. I think we won most of them. And after that, we all went home with our billets for the night.

The following morning, all of the St Michaels pupils met at Fairfield Park at 6:45am! Only minutes later, we were in the country, driving to Picton. When we got there, Mr Boyce explained to us that our Ferry would be three quarters of an hour late. The people at the Interislander terminal gift shop didn't seem to mind though. When we boarded the Ferry, we stayed in our groups for about ten minutes. But after that, everyone was running around on the deck, in the arcade, and in the resturant. A few hours later, our ferry came into Wellington Harbour. We were seated on a new bus and driven away to Te Papa. Inside the Museum, there were what seemed like endless exhibits, from and earthquake house to a giant squid. We visited the Marae, entered caves, and saw a huge whale skeleton. But sadly we only got about half an hour to spend there due to the ferry being late. Soon it was time for us to catch the bus to St Marks school and meet our new billets. When we arrived at the school I was introduced to my billet and then went went with them to their home.

The next day was probably the busiest of all. It started at St Marks school, where we got a new bus again. The driver took us around town and dropped off the year 8s at capital E. Our class was then taken to Parliament to find out about Government and Laws. The tour took around an hour and a half; plenty of time to learn. We visited many rooms and buildings, including the debating chamber. After our parliament visit, our class ate lunch in a small park. Lots of people ate quickly, they were eager to get to Capital E. Mr Kendrew said we could have some time on the playground. Nobody argued. Later on, we found ourselves being dropped off by the bus outside Capital E. There wasn't too much to say about Capital E, apart from that we made cool video games at www.atmosphir.com. Mine was a haunted forest with lots of evil guys you had to destroy. After that we were taken back to St Marks school and went home with our billets for the last night.

Friday morning was full of sport interchanges, and lots of excitement. We won most of the games, but lost a couple. After all of the interchanges, we farewelled our billets and continued on to the last part of our Northern Tour. At the airport, I got stopped because my inhaler set off the metal detector. On the plane we had a short flight back to Christchurch. I think we were all relieved to be home again. All in all the tour was a great and memorable experience.

By Henry.

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