September 23, 2015

We started to prepare 2015 exchange trip with slide anxiety. The fact is we have only 3 classes in this year programme of 2nd-year-students and besides the Dutch partners notified us that not many students from their school would like to join the programme. In spite of these peripetia we manage to complete both groups and prepare accommodation for everybody though our group was larger in number. Dutch teacher staff also went through great changes and instead of long lasting familiar faces their group was accompanied by absolutely new colleagues. Nevertheless on 22nd March 2015 in the morning white Scania coach with 35 students and 3 teachers (Hana Golová, Svatava Duková and Vladimír Švihlík) started its journey via the Netherlands. The next annual exchange programme between Titus Brandsme Lycee in Oss and Josef Jungmann Secondary Grammar School in Litoměřice could begin.

After smooth course of 11-hour-journey through Germany and a little bit nervousness we are at the place. Our students are met there by their host student partners and their parents. Couple of drawbacks is solved and everybody leaves for their new home with many expectations. On Monday morning everybody is back at school and ready to go and taste the new country according to a really full program. After being welcomed by the assistant of the headmaster we started: lessons at school, sightseeing tour in the capital of province s´Hertogenbosch and its famous Cathedral, an evening bowling match, residential capital den Haag, the Parliament, Governmental buildings, museum with jail and torture chamber, wonderful Madurodam, Scheveningen and its sand beaches, fabulous Kinderdijk with 19 wind mills, Amsterdam with an ancient part Jordan, super Rijksmuseum with Night Watch and other highlights of arts, walking in the centre of Amsterdam and then a visit of touching Ann Frank´s house, an old-time Willemstad with its bastions and cannons, enormously large and huge Rotterdam Europoort and Maasvlake II, modern architecture in the town centre, old-time underground tunnel for pedestrians and cyclist, a gigantic moving barrier Maeslantkering, tens of kilometres cycling, sun, strong wind and rain, a wind mill tour and an evening cultural festival with a great performance of our students, tiredness and a night journey back home across Germany ...

It is high time for everybody to get over and to go back to school because the second half of the exchange is coming. Time passes very quickly and after 2 weeks Dutch group accompanied by Martijn Vermast, Rob v.d. Burg and Marieke Reijs is coming on 12th April to Litoměřice. The programme we have prepared it is traditional but demanding. Fortunately the weather is nice so they can enjoy all beauties and places of interest in our country. Well, on Monday they are fascinated by gigantic Škoda Auto factory with a robotic stamping line, an assembly line of Octavia car, a museum and its brights, in the afternoon they walked in a beautiful country side of Czech Paradise, Prachovské Rocks and a monumental castle of Kost. On Tuesday they are participating in 2 lessons at school and they are playing football and volleyball at both gyms, then they are perfectly guided by our students in the lovely Chateau of Ploskovice and in the afternoon great sightseeing and walking tour in the town of Litoměřice, observing all beautiful sights – the Castle, the Town Hall with Kalich overlooking the whole city and excursion into brewery. Wednesday is traditionally connected with Terezín, Small Fortress, German propaganda film and Crematorium. After that they have dinner at school canteen to taste Czech midday warm meal, then the transfer to Prague, glass factory in Nižbor, the most beautiful places in Prague, Black Theatre evening performance, Old Town restaurant Zlatá Lyra, disco ... To make it short so many impressions for several weeks.

We hope all member of Dutch group enjoy their stay and this year exchange trip is that to be remembered for ever by both Czech and Dutch students.

Mgr. V. Švihlík