France day Trip
For many people this was the clear highlight of the year! In most months the furthest Croydon Contacts ventures with its members is London’s Zone 1, but this event had our members searching their wardrobes to dust off their passports and check they were up-to-date. Months in the planning and was much anticipated by the members, for this trip we would venture across the English Channel to visit Boulogne and its famous Nausicaa Aquarium.
It was an early start, so early it was almost pitch black, when people gathered outside The Fairfield Halls shuffling in the cold waiting for the coach to arrive. But fuelled by breakfast bars and much excitement a group of 43 people sang, chatted and snoozed their way to Dover to catch the ferry to France.
Surprisingly, there was a lot of fun derived from travelling through customs and passport control, with much teasing of people’s middle-names and passport photos, while the ferry provided lots of places to explore (or hide from carers!).
Once across the border the coach made its way to Boulogne and the excellent Nausicaa Aquarium. Split into small staffed-groups the members explored the many areas of the Aquarium, gasping at scary-looking sharks, watching diving seals, staring at achingly slow-moving giant turtles and gawping at various colourful tropical fish.
Despite the September drizzle, many also found the time to explore the local town to find local market stalls, shops and restaurants before returning back to England. Some of the more adventurous tried the locals mussels, while the less courageous (but equally hungry) plumped for the French equivalent of burger’n’chips!
By the time every got home at the end of the day, there were a lot of tired but very satisfied members.