Stonyhurst College News | Posted 14.11.2017

This October half term a number of students visited San Francisco and the Silicon Valley in the United States. Seventeen students (accompanied by Mr McGarvey and Mrs Rushworth) made the trip and these ranged from Grammarians through to Rhetorians. After a gruelling 25 hour journey we finally made it to our hostel and decided to take in the night air and go for supper. Our visit to the local KFC will live long in the memory of all students!

Day 1 consisted of a visit to the Exploratorium which is a kind of tech/physics centre in San Francisco and everyone seemed to have a brilliant time interacting with the exhibitions on show. In the afternoon we had a cruise on the bay going under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz. Seeing the bridge and SF’s skyline in the blazing sunshine was a fantastic sight.

Day 2 involved our first visit to the Silicon Valley. The Computer History museum was followed by a visit to NASA then onto the Tech Museum of Innovation. Highlights of the day were the old phones and games on display at the CHM and the Body Works exhibition at the Museum of Innovation. Biggest disappointment of the day was turning up a NASA and not being allowed to play on the Space Shuttle they had on display!! A complete high to a low in the space of 5 seconds.

Day 3 was the best but most exhausting of all of our trip. Thanks to Mr Cookson OS we started the day with a visit the inner sanctum of Facebook and had a brilliant tour inside the main building. We were shown so many amazing things but the THE most amazing thing for all was the fact employees could turn up when they wanted, finish when they wanted and everything was free!

Next was a tour of the Google campus, then onto Apple and to finish the day a tour around the University of Stanford. This place is the size of an average English town and not the place to get lost (like we did).

Day 4 sorted the men from the boys. We returned to downtown San Francisco and after a tour of Alcatraz we went onto visit Lombard Street, which is a famous street with lots of twists and turns and used in lots of films. The approach was another ridiculously steep hill, well over 30% and some of the students thought it a challenge to see how far they could run up this hill. After 20 metres everyone had fallen over with exhaustion!

In the afternoon some went to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge and others went shopping. Like I said sorting the men from the boys.

Our journey home was a lot easier than going out. Some left at Heathrow, others at Manchester airport. The driver from Lakeland was confused when he turned up with a double decker coach and only four students and two teachers awaited him.

It was a fantastic trip and one we will definitely do again. Very exhausting but we were blessed with excellent weather and superbly behaved students. Everyone will have their own special memories of the trip, mine being of our amazing visit to Facebook on day 3. Thanks again to Mr Cookson.