Well, it's been a week now. What has happened so far, let's see:
The two highlights of the stay for the kids were rather a disaster: Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle. We were dropped off inside Edinburgh Castle and be told to meet again after one hour. That was about it. The kids were left alone to roam around the walls. I couldn't believe it. The minute I got back home we wrote an email to the school complaining. There should have been a guided tour, but all we were told in the castle, that we could get audio guides if we wanted to. I stood there with my mouth open and asked if they always did it like this. Getting the kids inside and then just let them wander around on their own. Oh, yeah, they always do that. I replied that there is no sense in leaving them alone in here because they have no idea about what to look at, why they are there nor where exactly they are. They have to be guided. Edinburgh Castle is not a castle one just wanders around, one needs to be guided.
The next day when I arrived at school, Christine (working for the school in EB) asked me what happened and I told her. She apologised and told me that there was a guided tour included in the entrance fee, that is why it is so expensive. Actually the activity leaders did know about that but somehow didn't care. It seems that at one point one of the guides refused to take children on the tour as they were too noisy. So what? It's the activity leaders' job to keep them quiet. They got told off and Christine promised that we were going to have a guided tour at Stirling Castle. Ok, let's see then.
Stirling. We arrived by train (of course they didn't manage to get a coach, they obviously tried only a day beforehand) and were looking for a bus to get us to the Wallace Monument. At W.M. we had to wait. First of all the children started to moan about having to walk and wanting to have their lunch and second the tower was over capacity and we had to wait for people to leave. Finally we were allowed inside in groups. When they came back down again, some of them hadn't seen the sword. William Wallace's sword. About the only thing worth to be seen inside. Why? Teachers didn't point it out and children just passed it.
Ok, so down we go again. And looking for a bus to get us back to Stirling. Couldn't find the right one. Took us a while. After some time we arrived at Stirling Castle and kids were again whining about the humid weather and why they had to walk up that hill and what they were doing here and that they wanted to go home. Well, that is a thing Mama-Bear and I are not listening to. We are deaf when it comes to that. And the Austrians didn't moan anyway. We waited for our guide. Teachers pointed out that "the Austrians" would get a guided tour. Other kids asked, why only the Austrians and I told them that they were of course free to join as the tour was for everyone not only for us, but we insist that the Austrians would take one. The others stayed sitting in the grass. The tour lasted an hour and was pretty good, unfortunately it was more of a history lesson. The main thing about Stirling Castle is that it had been under construction (renovating) for the past years and one could not get inside; it was reopened last year. It's supposed to be one of the biggest and most wonderful Renaissance buildings. We were told to discover it ourselves, which we would have, if just would have had enough time doing so. Unfortunately we were rushed to get out by activity leaders and teachers as we needed to catch the train back and the other students didn't want to stay so long. Well, most Austrians did.
Anyway we went and on we went because obviously the teachers didn't know which bus to take to the train station so we walked. We were there 35mins too early.
One can tell that we were pretty pissed off with all of that and so another email has been written. I guess that school doesn't want to see us again. Well, we don't want to see them again either. But this is anyway going to be the last trip with students. A shame that it didn't go as well as we would have loved it to be.