Why were we so lucky to travel to London? Well, we took part in the “Bundeswettbewerb Fremdsprachen“. We produced our own film which included writing the script, meeting many times in order to film various scenes and finally cutting all the scenes together. In the end we were the ones who won the first prize in Schleswig-Holstein and fortunately this included the honour of taking part in the trip to London.
On a Sunday night in November we were picked up by bus at 3.45 am in front of the TMS. Our group (Rilana, Beyza, Niklas, Robin, Philipp, Karn and Jana accompanied by Ms Petzold) was very excited but at that time also very tired. So most of us slept while other students joined us at various stops (Hamburg, Bremen, Essen, Cologne). The bus drove through the Netherlands, Belgium and finally France where we took the ferry from Calais to Dover. It was so unbelievably stormy that we had to carry on the railing because otherwise we would have been blown over board :).
Around 8 pm we finally arrived in the United Kingdom and our bus driver took us on a sightseeing route through London on the way to our hotel. So we were able to see most of the main sights already from the distance. Being at the hotel most of us were glad to check in and to get some rest.
On the next day we got up early, had breakfast and realized that it was going to be a gorgeous, sunny day! We took the tube from Paddington Station to St. Paul´s Cathedral.
From there we walked across the Millennium Bridge and enjoyed the beautiful view on the city, the Thames and the Tower Bridge which we visited the next day. After taking many pictures we continued walking to the Globe Theatre where we watched a Shakespeare Lecture at 10.15 am.
It was very much fun and all of us had to laugh a lot. Especially because of all the jokes our guide told us and he even let some of us act out a very short scene. It is nice to have real actors teaching you about this historical place.
Lunch was at the Borough Market around 1 pm. There were so many tasty looking sorts of street food that it was very difficult to decide on what you actually wanted to eat. At the end we decided on taking Asian noodles, an African variety and some chose curry with rice. It was all very delicious.
Refreshed we took the Jubilee Line to Canary Wharf where a guide already waited for us to take us around the Docklands with its impressive modern architecture and he also went with us to Greenwich.
In the park we watched a lot of squirrels which were taking every nut they could get from the tourists. When we arrived at the viewing platform at the top of the hill at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich we were overwhelmed by the breath taking view over London´s skyline, the docklands and on the left hand side you could even see the buildings called headphone, gherkin and razor.
The guided walking tour ended after two hours at the dock of the Cutty Sark. We took the boat from Greenwich to Westminster which was really nice because we were able to see everything from the water and we even passed under the Tower Bridge and had a great view onto London Eye and Big Ben.
We arrived at Westminster Pier around 6 pm and decided to do more sightseeing on our own in our TMS group. After visiting Westminster Abbey, South Bank Walk, Trafalgar Square we looked at a Christmas Market at Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus.
From there we took the bus to Oxford Street where we walked into some of the shops. London in the evening was really nice because the Christmas decoration was shining everywhere.
We were really lucky because our teacher actually managed to guide us through London with so many different impressions until we could not walk anymore.
After a very long day of sightseeing we were happy to reach our hotel and to get a few hours of sleep but before that we decided on the things we wanted to explore the next day.
Hyde Park was the first place we walked to from our hotel. We were impressed by the beauty of this park with all its plants and animals. On our way through the park we passed by the Diana Memorial Fountain, Royal Albert Memorial and Royal Albert Hall.
After a short photo-stop we continued walking to the science museum. There was no entrance fee but unfortunately some of the exhibits cost money. The museum was really interesting. They had exhibits about the history of communication, transport and space travels. After an hour in the museum we took the bus in the direction of the Buckingham Palace. Without knowing we walked to the gun salute for the Prince of Wales Charles who celebrated his 69th birthday.
As many other people we stopped there and watched soldiers in uniforms firing the guns with choreography. Later they put the cannons on horse carriages and rode away. We followed the horse parade to the Bucking Palace. After taking plenty of pictures of the palace alone, the palace with us in front, just us … we walked on and went to the so called walkie-talkie. We were lucky that we booked a ticket the night before to get on top of the building to the sky garden otherwise it would have been impossible to do that as a group. The sky garden begins on the 35th floor. The walls are made out of glass so you have a 360° view over London. Also you can go outside at one side to get a better view. The whole group was impressed. We probably took even more pictures than at the Buckingham Palace.
After a long time of taking photos, just sitting around and enjoying the view we continued walking through London. We walked along the Thames and visited the Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.
Later we got some food from Covent Garden market and enjoyed the atmosphere of the place with various street musicians. Finally it was time to say goodbye and we took the tube which was extremely crowded at that time to the docklands where our bus was waiting for us to take us back home. Although it was only a short trip all of us really enjoyed the time in London very much.
Article: Jana Klatt und Rilana Werthmann
Photo: Miriam Petzold