Our first day began with our trip and arrival in Hyères. We, Mrs. Geissler, Mrs. Borchard, Max, Colin, Sharon and I met at 8:00 at the airport in Düsseldorf . At 9:25 our plane started and we arrived 11:00 in Marseille.
From there we had a funny drive to the train Station, because Sharon and I were surrounded by our suitcases.
Then we took an earlier train and finally we arrived at 1:30 pm in Hyères.
Julia and Ines, our hosts, took Sharon and I to a park and showed us Hyères, where we had ice cream. In the afternoon we talked a lot and ate olives with "vol-au-vent" a typical, delicious food from the Cote d'Azur. After watching a series we went to sleep.
The day started for me at 6:45, because Julia lives only 5 minutes away from school. At school we ate breakfast and talked to the others from the project. After breakfast we watched the welcome videos of all Erasmus countries. Then we got to know our topic of the week, which is „ what is the future of Europe, our future?“ We will have to work in groups on this task and present our results on Friday. Each group has one of the subtopics: economy, environment, defence, culture and education.
Then we went on a tour through the school, which is a former hotel. Even Queen Victoria stayed here in former times. It is really beautiful 😍! Then we ate in the canteen, which serves very delicious food. We had a fabulous duck.
After lunch the French kids took us on a tour of the old part of the showed us the city of Hyères. At the end we ate a delicious muffin and talked alot.
Jean Aicard high school has been named after Jean François Victor Aicard a poet, novelist and dramatist from the end of the 19th century. Before being a high school, the building was a luxurious hotel built in 1884 and named “Le Grand hôtel des Îles D’or”. It was built in the core of the English District and was therefore usually filled with English tourists. Affected by the Luxury Hotel crisis in the thirties, it was bought in 1939 by the Municipality with the goal to make a mixed high school.
Tour of Hyères
Sheltered from the mistral, Hyères lies beneath a hill on the slopes of which the old feudal town is located. It belonged successively to the Greeks of Marseille, the Romans, the lords of Fos and Marseille, and the counts of Provence and was given to the king of France in 1481. It was the residence of several kings of France. Hyères began to gain repute as a health and winter tourism resort in the 18th century.
Today we had a really exciting and nice time at the beach and the Salins des Pesquires of Hyéres.
Salt marches of the “Pesquiers”
In the distant past, Giens was an island. Nowadays, it is linked to the continent by two parallel stretches of sand. In between these two laces of land, a series of lagoons have been used as salt marshes for years.
Outstandingly beautiful, they are home to over 260 bird species and 300 kinds of plants.
First we visited the salt marches where we learned about the history of the production of salt. Today the area isn’t used for gaining salt but as a refugium for wild birds, mainly flamingos. It was really beautiful.
Today we first spent the morning in lessons with our hosts.
Then we presented our videos we had prepared at home regarding our topic “Teenage Life Today”. It was fun to see how each country had approached the topic differently. We also discussed our task for the week and what we would prepare for the next day at school.
Wednesday was the day of fashion. So we all dressed up and went to school. I looked really funny because I had a sunburn in my face from yesterday. But Colin and Max had a sunburn too. This day was a day in school. First Sharon, Clara and I attended the English lesson. Then we worked in the library on our topic. In the break we got some roses from Colin and his host Artur, who also had dressed up very nicely today to give roses to nice people 😄 because of the fashion day. After the break we went with our hosts for the history lesson. The lessons are a bit different from ours because the teacher talks a lot in the lessons and they do not often work on their own.
After school we went to one of our hosts and ate a delicious lunch which was in a shell filled with cheese, tuna and bechamel (cream and sauce).At 3:00 pm we visited the beautiful harbour of Toulon and ate some tasty crepes. Around 7:00 pm we arrived home and had dinner.
Some of us went to a vineyard and to an olive plantation after school.
The school in Hyères starts at 8 am. We attended the classes of our hosts. It was like school in Germany but only in boring. I didn’t understand anything;((
As everyday I woke up at 6.30 am. School began at 8 o'clock and our group started to work on our project. We had the topic Environment. It was fun to work with the students from other countries.
Then we all met outside to start our trip from Hyères to Toulon. When we arrived we had about 2 hours to walk around to enjoy the market, the city and the harbour which was really nice to see.The French students had prepared presentations and told us about the theatre, the churches and a few other historical facts.
The military harbour of Toulon or « Arsenal de Toulon » is the 1st military port of France and even the Mediterranean sea. It is set in the « Rade » of Toulon and it is composed of a lot of military and naval facilities that are not open to the visit for obvious strategic reasons.
After lunch we went from Toulon to La Seyne by boat. There we explored the Fort Balaguer. This was a fort used for defence in former times. After about an hour we back by boat and bus and were back at the high school around 6 pm.
Built in 1634, this tower was able to defend the bay of Toulon by crossing the fire of its cannons with those of the other tower, on the other side of the bay, the Royal Tower. It now houses a naval museum and the 17th century chapel displays objects and documents related to penal settlements. You will also benefit from fine views of St-Mandrier, Toulon and the harbour.