# somme trip 2019

# France was pretty epic!

The day started at 3.30am on Friday 13th September 2019. I hate early starts, and I even though I was really looking forward to the day ahead I was dreading getting out of bed. Despite this I necked a coffee and got ready. Mum had already packed me a massive bag full of food the day before, and all I had to do was get down the road to school (I was staying with my grandparents that night).

I got to school at around 4.15am and found everyone else who was waiting around - a few teachers were standing around keeping everyone in one place and once I'd had my passport checked the register got going. 80 kids were going to the Somme in total, and there were going to be two coaches.

Luckily I was on a coach with some friends and we got to sit together. Most of this post will be talking about the coach trip because honestly, there was a lot of driving.

I'd had a coffee before I left the house for school - Coffee Counter: 1.

We left school and started to make our way to the Eurostar. In my bag of goodies, Mum had packed two cans of double shot espressos to keep me going during the day, because there wasn't going to be much sleeping on the coach; everyone was just too excited! I drank my first can. Because it contained 2 shots, we'll bump the coffee counter up by 2. Coffee Counter: 3.

The Eurostar departed at 7:30am, and we made good time without having to stop in traffic in England. On the Eurostar we were given a whole other carriage to stretch our legs in, and have a chat with others on the way to France.

Upon arrival in France, one of my highlights was receiving the anticipated "Welcome to France!" text from EE, my phone provider. I really wanted to find out if I was going to be able to use my data whilst in France, and I had to wait the longest out of all the people near me to receive the text - but good news! I could use all my minutes, texts and data in France; no problem staying connected with the rest of the world!

We stopped pretty soon after getting into France at a service station on our way to the Somme. We had about half an hour to ourselves so we all just stood around chatting and getting in the way of everyone else at the services. Two of my friends bought coffees from the French Starbucks, and neither had a clue what was in their coffee but one hated theirs. At first the person with the other coffee took theirs and so had two massive iced coffees. But no worry - I took one off their hands. When I started drinking it one of the teachers told us that we'd have to neck our drinks because we had to get back on the coach and we weren't allowed to bring them onto the coach with us. This large iced coffee was nearly full and I necked the whole thing in about a minute. It contained 2 shots (I presume). Coffee Counter: 5.

10 minutes after getting back onto the coach and setting off, I started to feel very unwell. My friend Joe (who was sitting next to me) grabbed a teacher and he was stood there for half an hour distracting me from the fact that my leg was shaking uncontrollably and my general feeling of nausea.

We arrived at the first graveyard of the Somme and I got off first with this teacher to have a walk around and calm down. Honestly, that experience wasn't one of my best.

We spent the rest of the day going around several graveyards, battlegrounds and memorials to the passed soldiers of the Battle of the Somme. I found it very moving and I "enjoyed" myself. Is that the right word to use?

After the final site my coffee high finally reached its' end. It had lasted 5 hours, and I passed out for 20 minutes. I think it's safe to say that it was my best powernap ever! Thanks Joe, for taking photos of me whilst I was sleeping:

Passed out after the 5 hour coffee high.

On the way home the teachers strictly said no coffee for anyone, and I feel proud that I got coffee banned on our bus! We got stuck just outside Duxford on the M11 for about an hour because a car did a forward roll - I never thought cars were particularly gymnastic!

Thanks to all my friends for a great day. Here's a picture of us on the Eurostar, heading back from France:

Me and my friends on the Eurostar