Arrival Day, Sunday, 25th September 2016
Today, on 25th September at 10.15 you can see in front of St. Stanislav’s Institution a group of pupils wearing blue hoodies, waiting for a drive. Ten students, three teachers and one destination: FRANCE. Last year we hosted pupils from five countries namely Bulgaria, Scotland, France, Germany adn Slovenia as a part of Erasmus + project and this year it is our turn to go somewhere new. This is the one but last exchange to happen as a part of Erasmus + project, that is also why we are all even more excited. With students we are preparing a little show that will take place in the most known part of Paris. But first, we will drive to Venice and from there fly to Paris, where our hosting families will pick us up. Thus, our »bonjour and croissant journey« will begin. /Anika Odar, year 3/
Day one, Monday, 26th September 2016 – The City of Love
My first day in France began with a song. It must have been love. I woke up and realized it was pretty cold even though I had a really warm pyjama. I hurried and dressed up and went to get some breakfast. After that, Ruby (a friend from Scotland), Claire (my host) and I went to St. Dominique, the school, where we got instructions for the following day. We also got really cute sketch books for drawing as a welcoming present. Then we were divided into three groups that visited the city separately.
Our group went to a very nice house called Lalique. The facade is decorated with spruce trunks and leaves. It looks really odd, but nice. I liked it quite a lot. Then we walked to the Alexander III Bridge that symbolizes peace between Russia and France. We spent a lot of tim e looking at all the elements of the bridge. We walked over the bridge on one side and then back on the other, and stopped at each of the statues on it. After that, we walked to the Grand Palais where we took our first group photo.We also walked over the Elysian field on our way to a park where we had lunch. It was beautiful and the sun came out of the clouds so it was warm too, but we did not know if we could walk on the grass, so we just stayed on the bench and ate our sandwiches.
The Maxim’s was our next stop. It is a private collection of the Art nouveau paintings, furniture, decorations, etc. It has been a great privilege to come and see such a collection, however I did not like the guide, though. The old opera house and Galeries Lafayette were left for the end of the day and it was a perfect ending. The Lafayette is breath-taking and I liked the view from the roof a lot. I fell in love with the ‘city of love’ the first time I visited it and I’m definitely coming back. The city is so lovely and it has really great buildings which I personally love. I will be back on Friday. /Monika Lah, year 3/
Day two, Tuesday, 27th September 2016
Today was the second day of the Erasmus exchange. After the first day in Paris, which was quite tiring, we started today on much easier feet. It was the first day of workshops. We started at 8:45 in the morning, which was kind of late for us, but quite early for the French. We got separated in 3 groups and each group was doing a different task. The first group was creating movies, the second group was working with clay and the third one, which I was a part of, was making stained glass. Our group was led by a French stain glassmaker. He was a very kind and funny man. He only spoke French so we also had a translator who was even funnier than him. Our work began with a design in our head. Then we had to draw our design on a piece of card board. After doing so, we numbered our stencil, traced our picture twice on a thinner see-through paper and thus our work was done for today. We also learned how to cut glass and how to use it properly. In the afternoon we had a lecture about motion picture and after that we watched the movie called Midnight in Paris. We finished our day with a very French like (rather slow) flashmob rehearsal, which we would dance on Friday in front of the Eiffel tower in Paris. /Jerica Korpnik, year 3/
Day three, Wednesday, 28th September 2016
The third day of Erasmus+ exchange is coming to its finish line but my description of this day is just about to get started. Firstly, I have to say that I am becoming a bigger fan of French breakfast with every following morning. A French baguette with some butter as well as marmalade with chocolate croissants perfectly melt in the mouth. In the school, my team and I continued with creating the movie, which is going to be finished tomorrow. We filmed our story that we had written yesterday and tomorrow we are going to put all the clips together and make the real film. It definitely is an interesting experience; firstly because I work with students from other countries (Germany, Scotland, Romania) and secondly because we had to think about how to shoot the clips to make the best out of it. Our concern was also the fact that we were using costumes. After lunch, I attended another workshop where we were making jewellery. I am the only guy in the Slovenian team at this exchange but that’s OK and I am the only guy at this workshop as well but honestly I have no idea what I’m doing there. We have that workshop tomorrow as well so we can finish our job and I am going to use my necklace as a gift when we get back to Slovenia (if it looks nice of course). At the end, we practised the dance for the Friday’s flash mob and I think we are doing pretty well. Anyhow, I have to say that the day was interesting. We learned a lot of new things and will surely continue with that tomorrow and that’s why I’m really looking forward to the following day. /Tim Gregorčič, year 3/
Day four, Thursday, 29th September 2016
The penultimate day of Art Nouveau – art Renouveau exchange in France was meant to finish our weekly work and prepare well for our flash mob, which will take place on Friday in Paris.
After our arrival to school, we were divided into groups for our morning workshops, like on Tuesday and Wednesday. Together with Jerica we were in stain glass workshop. When we arrived to our working place, we were positively surprised, because the background for our stained glass has already been cut and prepared to put the pieces together. With that move, Mr Jean Claude made our work easier, because we were able to start constructing together all the pieces immediately. When Mr Jean Claude was showing us how to work, everything seemed very simple, but we soon discovered it was anything but easy. In fact, putting pieces together was very demanding. As the pieces did not match perfectly, we had to cut them all over again or adjust the edges. That took up a lot of time, so we only partly finished our masterpieces. Luckily, Mr Jean Claude kindly offered his help to finish our work. For the Friday’s exhibition, hopefully the stained glass master will succeed in finishing our work.
After lunch, we got back to school, where we were divided into groups for the afternoon workshops. We took part in glass workshop. We felt overwhelmed, especially Katarina, because we have finally had the opportunity to learn how to create pearls from Murano glass. Glass was in a form of a small stick, so it was easier to deal with the task. We took the glass stick in one hand and the metallic one in the other hand. Under the flame we first warmed up the metallic stick and then we slowly started to smelt the glass. As the glass was smelting, we wrapped it around the metallic stick. When we were happy with our pearl, we took it away from the flame and waited until it cooled down and solidified. With the pearl, we could create a piece of jewellery which was to be exhibited on Friday.
The day ended with our last rehearsal for the flash mob in Paris. This time we all had our “country shirt”- Slovenians the green ones – and we all together, this time almost professionally, rehearsed the entire choreography. Satisfied with our performance we went to our host families. /Katarina Babič and Katja Jenko, year 3/
Flash News: Fancy a Visit Chez Maxim’s?
Monday, 26th September 2016, brought about many surprises. It was the first time for me to wake up in a French bed, drive around with a Frenchman, look at the Eiffel Tower and visit Maxim’s. Maxim’s is the fanciest restaurant in Paris. In the time of Art Nouveau all the French – young and old – who were ready to dance to a spectacular music and see some friends or courtesans, met there. The film Midnight in Paris (which we watched on Tuesday) showed us what a party at Maxim’s looked like. A lot of elegant dresses, alcohol and some food.
Now in 2016 you can also feel the energy of the early nineties on a tourist visit around the house or at night when this place is a restaurant. For one person it costs 200€ to get “an art nouveau” night. However, it costs you less money if you take a tour during the day. Here is a part of their menu so that you get an impression of how much money we are talking about: Maxim’s Nest Salad 27 €, Poached quail eggs with Baeri caviar (30 gr) 125 €, Duck paté with foie gras and truffles 43 €, Baeri caviar with blinis (50 gr) 197 €, Roasted fillet of beef, reduced sauce with black truffles and puffed potatoes 103 €, Edward VII Lamb chops with artichokes puree and glazed turnips. 78 €, Fresh and ripened cheeses assortment 25 €, Coffee 9 €
So, how does it look like it? Nowadays we would say that it is too much. Too many flowers, too many vases and too many oval sculptures. On the ground floor there is a restaurant, with a bar, many tables and a dance floor and stage. Art nouveau is all about nature, animals and women. Even the lamp is no exception. After that, there is the first floor, there are some rooms, and two of them are decorated with mirrors on the opposite walls, so the room seems bigger. They are for rent if you want to host a party and if you want to make it special. You can also write on the invitation that one time even Mary Antoinette danced in those rooms. The view is very French, too. On the second floor, you can see in one room an exhibition of vases from different countries and furniture of oval shape and with flowers to open the drawer. Pierre Cardin, the owner of the place, had collected the items for 60 years. When you go through different rooms you meet women of art nouveau, one you will definitely recognise is a film actress Sarah Bernhardt during the First World War. She showed commitment to her nation through her participation in performances at the front, appearance in propaganda productions and the campaign suggesting the United States to enter the war. She was also called “The Divine Sarah”. And if you are lucky enough there will be a really into “art nouveau” man, who represents the period as if it was now. If you want to see all this by yourself do it quickly because the owner is an old man and when someone else buys the Maxim’s, it is not sure what he will do with it. It might even become a shop. It is definitely worth going to Paris and see it. /Monika Lah and Anika Odar, year 3/