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The Life of Leviathan – Depression, Bullying, Fatigue and Other Obstacles Watch

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    (Original post by FrenchUnicorn)
    Leviathan1741
    Another post woooo :woo: so this trip finally ended :3 What do you finally think of it ? Because you had such bad moments \: but I suppose it was still a great experience wasn't it ?

    Glad you're not leaving :jive: :jive:
    Yep! I think it was a good experience, and I'm glad I did it! Though it was challenging (physically and mentally), it showed me that I can do more than I think! I got to know my course mates better too!

    Me too! I was going to, and I left for about a week, but that little break was all I needed! :hugs:
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    (Original post by Leviathan1741)
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    Sounds like a very exhausting final day! Well written as usual. I'm so glad you're not leaving! :hugs:

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    (Original post by Matrix123)
    Sounds like a very exhausting final day! Well written as usual. I'm so glad you're not leaving! :hugs:

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    It was! Thank you Matrix! Me too! I'm feeling much better now, I've been in a sort of down, depressed period for the last week or 2, but now things are finally looking up! :hugs:
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    (Original post by Leviathan1741)
    It was! Thank you Matrix! Me too! I'm feeling much better now, I've been in a sort of down, depressed period for the last week or 2, but now things are finally looking up! :hugs:
    No worries. Awww, well if you ever need to talk, feel free to PM I'm glad things are getting better:yep:

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    (Original post by Matrix123)
    No worries. Awww, well if you ever need to talk, feel free to PM I'm glad things are getting better:yep:

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    Thank you for the PM offer! :hugs:

    I finally got my university accommodation offer this morning, and I've been very happy all day! I haven't felt this happy in a long time!
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    (Original post by Leviathan1741)
    Thank you for the PM offer! :hugs:

    I finally got my university accommodation offer this morning, and I've been very happy all day! I haven't felt this happy in a long time!
    No worries! :hugs:

    Oh wow, congrats! That's amazing

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    The French Alps

    Hi guys! I've finished writing about the Isle of Arran now, so it's time to write about the Alps! I hope you enjoy this account as much as the other one!

    This first chapter will be quite long, I apologise in advance

    The Journey There

    I was in denial before we’d even left college. I’d arrived early and managed to get a window seat, but that did nothing to lessen the horror of what I was about to endure: a 24 hour coach journey to France.

    While I was contemplating how I was going to survive, I became aware of two girls getting onto the coach. They walked up the aisle and stopped next to me. The first one looked at me, then behind me, and asked “could one of you girls move so we can sit together?” I turned round and noticed that there was another girl sitting alone behind me. I turned back and was about to give them a piece of my mind, when the girl behind me got up and moved next to me, without saying a word. I couldn’t say anything at that point, so I took a deep breath and decided to just let it go. I figured I was probably better off not saying anything anyway, as although I greatly disliked their rude behaviour, I liked the idea of being stuck next to some b****y girl in close proximity for 24 hours even less.

    Another thing which was bothering me was the fact that prior to dropping me off; my mum had insisted that she should see me off as we left. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see her sitting in the car clutching the side of her head, pretending to be talking on her mobile so that people wouldn’t wonder why she was just sitting there. Just knowing she was there made me feel somewhat embarrassed, so I was glad when the coach finally pulled away from the college and I was able to escape her gaze.

    About half an hour into the journey, I got my Walkman out and put my earphones in. Partially, I wanted to block out the irritating chatter of the others on the coach, particularly of the two b****y girls behind me, but mainly, I wanted to take my mind off the whole situation. I had tried my best to get out of going on the trip, but Alan (my geography tutor) was resolute: I had to go.

    Around two hours later, we pulled into a service station. Dan (my geology tutor) told us that we had 20 minutes to do what we wanted, but that we had to be back on the coach promptly. We clambered out of the coach and went into the service station. I wandered around for a bit, wondering what I could do to pass the time. I looked around and identified a group of girls who looked fairly approachable. I recognised two of them from my geography class, so I went up to one of them, Merryn, and asked her if I could hang out with her and her friends. She said that I could, so we went and sat outside at a picnic bench, waiting to be called back to the coach. When the twenty minutes was up, we piled back into the coach for the next leg of the trip.

    As we were leaving the service station, the coach driver made an alarming announcement: “we won’t be stopping again until we reach Dover, which will be in approximately four hours’ time”. The news was met with an audible gasp from everyone on the coach. “But I just drank a massive cola!” I heard another of the girls in my class, Shannon, whisper to her friend Abi.

    The journey to Dover seemed to go on forever. As I looked out at the passing scenery, I began to wonder exactly what we’d be doing during the week. One thing I knew for certain was that we’d be going on a hike up Mont Blanc. Just the thought of it was awful!

    Eventually, the famous white cliffs of Dover came into view in the distance. As we got closer however, I noticed, with significant disappointment, that the cliffs weren’t white at all. They were in fact, grey. And so was everything else: the houses, the sea, the sky. All of it was grey and miserable, rather like my mood at that moment. My legs were beginning to ache from sitting in the same position for hours on end, and my anxiety was starting to play up. I’d never been on a large ferry before, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect.

    After what felt like an eternity, we were finally allowed to get off the coach and stretch our legs. I went with Merryn and her friends into the ladies’ loos, and walked into a cubicle. However, when I went to close the door, I found that it wouldn’t close properly. The door was too wide, and kept catching on the edge of the inner door frame. I was too tired to care by then, so I gave it a shove and pushed it past the inner door frame so that it stayed shut. Unfortunately, when I went to leave, I came to the terrible realisation that I had trapped myself in there. I pulled the door back towards me, but it caught on the door frame and wouldn’t open. I was going to need more force. I hooked one foot underneath the door, and gripped the top of the door with my hands. I pulled with all my strength, and eventually the door juddered open. I took a quick breath in and tried to appear calm as I walked to the sinks to wash my hands. I wasn’t going to make that mistake again.

    I found Merryn with her friends, sitting just outside the main entrance. I sat down with them and ate a couple of sandwiches from of my lunchbox. I hadn’t eaten anything since lunchtime, so I was starving. After a while, Dan came along and told us to get back on the coach, as we were going to be boarding the ferry soon.

    After everyone had got back onto the coach, we slowly inched our way towards the ferry. Once on board, we were allowed to get out and go up to the passenger decks. I found a seat close to the door down to the car deck, where I decided to sit for the rest of the journey. I had a view out of the back of the ferry, so I was able to sit and look at the wake as we moved along, which was an impressive sight. I also took the opportunity to eat the rest of my lunch, which consisted of a small packet of Jaffa Cakes, two packets of Hula Hoops, and a few grapes.

    The crossing took around two hours in total. By the time we reached Calais, it was already dark and nearly 11pm, French time. As we drove out of Calais, I texted mum to tell her that we had arrived in France, and that I was managing okay so far. Dan told us that we were going to be travelling on the motorway until morning, so we were in for a long night.

    We continued down the motorway for about two hours before we had our first rest stop at around 1am. I was really tired by then, but the constant noise of everyone talking, coupled with the general vibration and movement of the coach made it impossible to fall asleep. After a while, Dan told everyone to quiet down and try to get some sleep. Annoyingly though, the people in front of me, Liam, Shannon and Abi, continued talking and giggling, keeping me awake. Liam also decided to recline his chair so that it was around 8 inches from my face. All I can say is that it was a good thing I’m not claustrophobic!

    I also noticed was that it was becoming increasingly cold. The coach driver had left the air conditioning on, and I was getting cold anyway from lack of movement. I took off my jacket and draped it over myself like a blanket in an attempt to keep warm, but it didn’t help much. The pillow mum had given me didn’t make things much more comfortable either; it kept falling down into my lap whenever I tried to lean it against the window.

    I managed to doze for a couple of hours before we had our second stop at around 5.30am. By that time though, it was already getting light, so there was little hope of falling asleep after that. We climbed wearily off the coach and shuffled into the service station. I felt really stiff from sitting in the same position for hours on end, so it was nice to finally be able to stretch my legs and walk around for a bit.

    We couldn’t stop for long, however, because we were still a long way from the hotel. I reluctantly got back onto the coach and attempted to get some proper sleep. It was no use though, so I gave up and decided to focus on the scenery instead. It was certainly dramatic, with rugged mountains interspersed with rolling hills and the odd waterfall.

    We travelled for another two or three hours before stopping again at a small café. Dan told us that we could buy breakfast if we wanted, but even though I was really hungry, I was so tired that I didn’t feel like eating anything. Once everyone had eaten, we boarded the coach for the last leg of the journey.

    The Mont Blanc massif eventually emerged into view on the horizon. It was a magnificent sight, with snow covered peaks forming a jagged line against the bright blue sky. The drive up to the Hotel la Belle Etoile seemed to go on forever. As we gradually zig-zagged our way up the hill to Le Bettex, I was able to get a better look at the mountains. I noticed that Mont Blanc had a large glacier flowing down one side, and the white, pristine snow glistening in the sunlight made it look even more impressive.

    When we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted by my nemesi- I mean, my geography tutor, who was already there from the previous trip (there were 2 trips to the Alps as there were too many geography students to fit on one coach, and I was on the second one). Alan instructed us to take our suitcases up to our rooms and get settled in, and asked us to come down the restaurant for lunch at 1pm, where we’d be told what we’d be doing for the day. I also found out that I was going to be sharing a room with two girls called Fran and Lisa. I’d never met them before, but they seemed nice enough, and I really hoped I’d get on well with them.

    As I climbed off the coach and took a look around, I immediately became aware of a very large concrete pipe with graffiti inside it, passing through a grassy bank towards the hotel. Now, I was already aware that the hotel probably wasn’t going to be that fancy, we were only A Level students after all! But did we really have to walk through a graffiti-covered pipe in order to get to it?

    Fran, Lisa and I hauled our suitcases and bags up the stairs and slumped down on our beds. We were all completely shattered from the journey, but of course, the trip was only just beginning.

    The photos:
    Our room from different angles
    The view from our balcony
    Attached Images
       
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    (Original post by Leviathan1741)
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    Another well written post! And a 24 hour journey! Well done for surviving that The incident with almost trapping yourself in the toilets must have been very frightening to - what a great way to start it all off. I can tell you, if a guy had reclined his seat that far back in front of me, I would have been really annoying! The scenery does sound absolutely amazing, and the picture sure does support that.

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    (Original post by Matrix123)
    Another well written post! And a 24 hour journey! Well done for surviving that The incident with almost trapping yourself in the toilets must have been very frightening to - what a great way to start it all off. I can tell you, if a guy had reclined his seat that far back in front of me, I would have been really annoying! The scenery does sound absolutely amazing, and the picture sure does support that.

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    Thank you Matrix (as always!). It was worrying, but I only have myself to blame haha!
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    (Original post by Leviathan1741)
    Thank you Matrix (as always!). It was worrying, but I only have myself to blame haha!
    No worries! Haha fair enough

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    Leviathan1741 I love all your posts so much! :five:
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    (Original post by ||TheUnknown||)
    Leviathan1741 I love all your posts so much! :five:
    Aww thank you ||TheUnknown||! :hugs:
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    Frennnnnnch Alps :ahee: they're awesome aren't they :gah: Le Mont Blanc is so beautiful :love:

    You seem to have a curse with your trips tho :lol: having to near such girls sounds terrible :facepalm:
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    (Original post by FrenchUnicorn)
    Frennnnnnch Alps :ahee: they're awesome aren't they :gah: Le Mont Blanc is so beautiful :love:

    You seem to have a curse with your trips tho :lol: having to near such girls sounds terrible :facepalm:
    They really are! Especially in the sunshine!

    Haha I do! Something always goes wrong :lol:
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    Hey all! Here is the 2nd chapter of the Alps. It's the rest of the day we arrived, but I split it up from the journey as that chapter was long enough already!

    Le Bettex and the First Night at the Hotel

    Fran, Lisa and I went down to the restaurant at around 1.15pm. We sat down at the long table next to the balcony and waited for lunch to be served. Lunch consisted of some kind of vegetable soup with bread rolls. It didn’t taste very nice though, and I had no idea what they put in it, but I was so hungry by that point that I ate it all anyway.

    After lunch, Alan informed us that we were going out to do some fieldwork, and asked us to go and get changed into walking boots and waterproofs. He also gave each of us a fieldwork pack and a plastic wallet so that the paper wouldn’t get wet in the rain. I went back to the room with Fran and Lisa, where we changed into our outdoor clothes. I also took the opportunity to have a good look around our room. It had two single beds, and a mattress on the floor next to the radiator serving as a third. There was also a small desk and chair in one corner, which were far too small to be of any actual use, and a balcony. Unfortunately, the balcony doors opened inwards, and because the room was so small, one of the beds blocked them from opening all the way. The room also had only one socket, which was situated next to the ensuite bathroom door, so that you couldn’t actually open it if the socket was being used, along with one tiny mirror which you could pretty much only see one eye in at a time.

    After we’d changed and got everything ready for going outside, we went back down to the restaurant, where Alan split us up into fieldwork groups. I was in group number 11, along with Merryn, Alister and Jasper. He then led us outside and told us that we were going to take microclimate measurements. We followed him up the hill outside the hotel to the Le Bettex cable car station, where we gathered in our groups and began taking our measurements. We measured the eastings, northings, the altitude, air temperature, aspect (the direction we were facing), and the topographic exposure level. When we were finished, Alan then took us further along the side of the hill above the hotel. He asked us to draw a field sketch of the surrounding landscape, facing east of Le Bettex. He pointed out the Rocher des Fiz, the Aiguille Rouges, Tete Noire, Le Prarion, Mont Blanc, and the Bon Nant Valley, along with the town of St Gervais at the bottom of the hill.

    Our final task for the day was to take some more microclimate measurements in a second location. Alan took us back the way we’d come, to a large grassy clearing, used by tourists for skiing in the winter months. Each group had to take measurements at a specific point in the clearing. My group had to walk almost to the very top of the hill in order to take the measurements, a detail I was not especially pleased about. We had a lovely view of the surrounding mountains from the top of the hill though, but sadly it became obscured by a huge cloud which formed seemingly out of nowhere.

    After a while, it began to rain, so Alan called us back down and we began the relatively short trek back to the hotel. I was so tired that every step took seemed to require a massive amount of effort, my legs felt stiff and my back was aching, due to a combination of sitting still on the coach for so long, and carrying my ridiculously heavy rucksack. When we arrived back at the hotel, Alan told us that we could relax for a couple of hours before dinner, which was to be served at 7pm.

    Just before the food was served, Alan informed us that the meal we were having was a French speciality: cassoulet. It smelled and looked alright; sausages and pieces of meat in a bean sauce. As I brought a forkful up to my mouth though, I realised that it didn’t smell as nice as I’d first thought. It tasted even worse. With each mouthful, I began to feel more and more ill, until I honestly thought I was going to be sick! I looked around at the others, and everyone else seemed to be eating it no problem. I decided I couldn’t eat any more of it though, so I gave up and left it. I felt bad about wasting it, but I genuinely couldn’t eat it! I noticed that I wasn’t the only one though, I saw that a couple of other people had given up on it also, which made me feel a little better.

    When we’d all eaten, Alan told us we had some free time, but that we should all return to the dining area at 8.15pm for an evening class. Fran, Lisa and I decided to go back to our room to unpack our suitcases. The first thing we realised that there was very little storage space. I was forced to keep my suitcase in-between my bed and Fran’s (she decided to take the mattress on the floor), as there was nowhere else for me to put it. The gap between my bed and Lisa’s was so narrow that even walking down it sideways was a challenge, and because the room was so small, the only space left was a narrow strip of carpet at the end of the two single beds. Fran and Lisa’s suitcases were smaller than mine, so they were able to put theirs in the wardrobe, but even that was a squash!

    During our evening class, Alan gave us an introduction to Alpine environments and the purpose of the trip. He told us about the formation of the Alps, and explained that during the week we were going to be studying the microclimates in different parts of the Alps, for our A2 Geography investigation which would be examined in the 2nd year of the course.

    Once evening class was over, Fran, Lisa and I headed back to our room. Although we were allowed more free time after the class, we were so tired that all we wanted to do was go to sleep! We each took turns getting ourselves ready for bed, and all three of us were in bed by 10pm.

    I will attach some photos later on
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    (Original post by Leviathan1741)
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    Amazing second chapter and well written! It was interesting tge whole way through. The fieldwork didn't sound quite as bad as the previous trip but the room you stayed in seemed very awkward

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    (Original post by Matrix123)
    Amazing second chapter and well written! It was interesting tge whole way through. The fieldwork didn't sound quite as bad as the previous trip but the room you stayed in seemed very awkward

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    Thank you Matrix! I'm glad, it's hard to make measuring microclimates sound interesting haha! The room did have a very strange layout, it was more like a hostel than a hotel really
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    (Original post by Leviathan1741)
    Thank you Matrix! I'm glad, it's hard to make measuring microclimates sound interesting haha! The room did have a very strange layout, it was more like a hostel than a hotel really
    No worries! Haha indeed ohh right, a bit odd when you first saw it then

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    (Original post by Matrix123)
    No worries! Haha indeed ohh right, a bit odd when you first saw it then

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    Yeah, I mean what kind of hotel has mattresses on the floor?
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    (Original post by Leviathan1741)
    Yeah, I mean what kind of hotel has mattresses on the floor?
    Haha wow, I can't wait for these pictures

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