Being exhausted from the entire school year, my friends and I were really glad to participate in the trip to France and Switzerland which took place at the end of the school year, from 21st to 24th June 2017. We departed at 11 pm by a bus from Gymnázium Luďka Pika in Pilsen as we were joining students from this school.
Our first stop turned out to be a medieval city of Mulhouse. The city lays in the eastern corner of France, just 10 kilometres from the German border. In addition that, except the beautiful architecture of the local cathedral, town hall and pretty much every single building around the town square, it is also well-known for its museums. We made a pretty long visit to the automobile museum, though not before we explored the beauties of the town itself.
In regards to the museum, I have to admit the excursion might have been a little long, nevertheless, certainly educative and funny for about the first two-thirds of it. Not only have we managed to find out very interesting details about the old designs of car brands like Porsche, Maserati, Rolls-Royce and many other, but we also had a chance to experience the feeling of a modern car being flipped around its axis during a crash thanks to the simulator and we took more than a few pictures of the famous Bugatti Veyron, the fastest street-legal production car in the world, with a top speed of 431.072 km/h.
Our journey continued to Colmar, a city with more than seventy thousand residents. Being almost completely ignored during World War II, the city managed to retain its astonishing architecture and one of the districts is nowadays referred to as the Small Venice. It was right here, where we spend the rest of our day, wandering around the city centre, admiring the buildings, refilling our supplies and buying gifts for our friends and families at home.
We began our third day with a visit to the European Organization for Nuclear Research, also known as CERN. However, I am not sure I would speak about this event as a true CERN excursion. As soon as we had arrived, we were divided into two groups - one of them visiting the particle accelerators, the other one The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. What was sadly not said to us at the point was that the groups would not be exchanging after their respective tours. I am certainly interested in space exploration and the search for the anti-matter particles so the AMS was a great insight into the current research for me; nevertheless, I have to admit visiting CERN and not seeing the particle accelerators made me quite disappointed. Following these two tours, we then participated in one more together, which took us to the repairing and testing facilities of the tubes of the accelerators.
Furthermore, we made a quick trip in front of the second-largest offices of the United Nations, where we took some picture and quickly moved to the centre of the city, next to the Lake Geneva. Despite the unbearable heat, we could not resist a small tour through the city, which eventually lead us to the top of one local cathedral with beautiful views around entire Geneva.
In the end, we returned to the lake and spread around the area to buy some ice-cream, cool down in the water or to explore the famous Jet d'Eau, which is officially categorised as a fountain, though I would most likely not call a 140 metre-high water jet a fountain. We departed Geneva around 7pm and made a quick transition, which was almost without any stops due to a great majority us sleeping the entire way, back to Pilsen.
Having mentioned all the points above, I feel like this tour was definitely worth it; however, I would have liked it way more, were there be better time organisation of the European Organization for Nuclear Research tours. While it was very educative, I would rather spend twice the time there, than under the constant heat in the city itself.
Adam Vacek, septima A