On the final day of the exams, within my year group there was a feeling of excitement that was almost tangible. No, it wasn’t about questions and answers, it was all on the trip to Turin within a couple of days.

Every hour that passed was an hour closer to what everyone was calling paradise. Finally, Sunday came, and a pack of eager enthusiastic students boarded a plane which would give start to an extraordinary experience.

Not even a hundred-page book would be enough to include all of my experiences. Let me just give you an appetizer of our magnificent holiday that all Year 7s and 8s should look up to.

The day started early in the morning when we jumped out of bed for breakfast. Soon after we would leave to different places all with their own beauty.  I recall Becchi, where Don Bosco was born and lived his years of childhood. We saw his home which is rather poor and simple.  I was amazed with the architecture of the basilica made up of two churches built on top of each other.  Then we paused for a moment of prayer and recollection in front of a relic of Don Bosco. And what about Don Bosco’s first oratory! In Valdocco, we experienced how it was like to be a young lad in Don Bosco’s oratory.

Then we come for the adventure! I would have never imagined to gaze at the snow falling on pathways and trees.  We had the unique opportunity to go for a walk with snow gently falling on us, where we threw snowballs at each other, and made snow angels. My favourite part, however, was bob-sleighing. Here, we climbed up part of a mountain repeatedly, and rapidly sled down on ice, controlling the bob with handbrakes. It wasn’t the first time that some of us ended up losing control and falling on the soft snow.

More adventures that I also loved were the fresh air that we breathed during the night hike around Lago Grande di Avigliana. This is the lake that overlooked our Salesian residence in Avigliana.  And what about the buzz of the adventure when we went boulder-jumping at Forno di Coazze!  Simply unforgettable!

The last day came! On our way back, while on the plane, we were filled with memories.  I was so keen to retell them again to my family. I feel that this was an experience that shouldn’t be missed… an experience to treasure for my whole life.

Nathan Balzan