P-Seminar Englisch: Blog zur London Tour
Our time in London was a really special and unique experience we won’t forget. To give you a little insight we, the P-seminar English, decided to write a blog for you, which describes every day of our journey. We hope that you will be able to enjoy and pull some insights from our blog, hopefully inspiring you to write one about your own personal journeys!
The first day of our trip to London was a bit chaotic. The main reasons for this were, that we had to get up extremely early to get our flight at 9.40 AM meaning we had to be at the check in at 7.40 AM at Munich airport. Due to some complications the flight also ended up taking off an hour later than planned. The flight itself was quickly over but also embossed by heavy turbulences. While some us could deal with it or joke around, others got a little bit ill and scared, like a friend of mine and I.When we finally arrived about an hour later than expected at Gatwick airport in London everybody was relieved. Some of us finally had the opportunity to exchange a certain amount of money and others used the time to collect the baggage. The teachers also were a bit relieved because we ended up reaching our bus shuttle on time, which took us to Victoria Coach station, where we were supposed to buy our oyster cards, enabling us to reach Bayswater Station and to get to our hostel.
After we stored our package in our rooms we had a small time slot to use for exchanging money and eating before we started our first tour about the traffic and the architecture in London.
The tour about traffic and architecture in London was quite interesting, because it sets itself apart from the developments here in Munich or rather in other cities in general. Some of the most interesting facts for example are the first public bus was already introduced in 1829 or also the plans for a new traffic system for cyclists. During the tour some of us also took pictures at the parliament square garden. But I personally think, that the Brexit demonstration in front of the Palace of Westminster was the most interesting disruption of the tour.
We were supposed to visit the Tate Modern on this day as well, but due to the flight’s delay it wasn’t feasible at the time. Instead of this we went for a walk from Westminster Bridge upriver to the Thames. Afterwards we took the tube and went to Leicester Square, where we had time to explore China Town and the general area. The most surprising spot was the M&M’s World, a huge fan store of the brand, sprawling over four storeys. After a last meeting in front of a Burger King we returned to the hostel as a group.We spent the rest of the evening in our rooms, unpacking our bags and taking showers after the exhausting day. Some of us opted to play board games far into the night. The only rule we had, was to come back to the accommodation by at least 10 PM and to be ready tomorrow for breakfast at 8 AM.
After the breakfast Sofia and Jessica continued their tour. We went by tube to the Tate Modern and spent around 2 hours there. We have seen really interesting pictures. One of Picasso fascinated me the most. In addition to the pictures we had a really nice view over the city on the top floor of the Tate Modern. With this visit the tour of Sofia and Jessica ended. Afterwards we went to the birth house of William Shakespeare. It was really interesting to stand next to the birth house of a really popular poet. It is also an unbelievable thought that you are standing in front of the poet’s house and we had read his dramas in the school class some weeks before. Later we went to the Globe Theatre and watched the play ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. It was a fantastic comedy and we laughed much about some scenes. In my opinion this is the best play made by Shakespeare after Romeo and Julia. I recommend other tourists to visit the Globe Theatre and watch plays. Mrs Mühlbauer said we should meet again for the Jack the Ripper Tour at Aldgate station at 18:50. Anton, Luka, Robin and me decided to eat something at the Camden Market. The guide told us about Jack the Ripper and his extraordinary killing methods. We could even see places where victims got killed. It was a really scary thought at first. After the tour we returned to the hotel.
On this day the tour of Lara, Sofya and Janina was planned. It was about London in the 19th century. After the breakfast we travelled by tube to the Victoria & Albert Museum in Kensington. The world’s leading museum of art and design gave us a very good insight about many things that were typical for the 19th century and art in general. Sofya told us about the Victorian Age: It was the period between approximately 1820 and 1914, corresponding roughly to Queen Victoria’s reign (1837–1901), which was characterized by a class-based society, a growing number of people, who were able to vote, a growing state and economy and Britain’s status as the most powerful empire in the world.After an hour visiting the museum we went to Regent Street and afterwards to Trafalgar Square, which sadly was closed, because an event place was taking place. After we finished the tour of Sofya, Lara and Janina, we had some time to get something to eat and drink. We met again at Lambeth North at 2 pm to start the ‚London during WWII‘ tour. After a short walk to the Imperial War Museum, Anton firstly talked about the war itself and how London was involved. The city got mass bombarded everyday for around 8 months in order to force England to surrender. But England stood their ground and even sent out podcasts to America, which led to the introduction of the US Army on the 6th of June 1944. The bombardments also caused the ‚Second Great Fire of London‘ on the 29th of December 1940, in which around 1400 fires broke out all around the city. There is also a monument outside St. Paul‘s Cathedral to remember the firefighters who fought over the course of a few days against the fires. After a short introduction, we went inside the museum to look at the different exhibits. The World War II exhibition was the focus of our visit but there is also a huge World War I and modern warfare exhibition. The group met again outside the museum and Anton showed pictures of a one-man-bomb-shelter, which were used during the bombing raids and talked about other important exhibits like the atom bomb. After the one hour visit, we went to the Churchill War Rooms, where the focus mainly lies on the political aspect of London during World War II. We were handed audio guides which tought us more about the secret underground government command centre of Churchill and how life was down there. Besides this, the audio guide also talked about the course of the World War and the life of Churchill before and after the war. The Churchill War Rooms took longer than expected at around two hours. We finished up our tour for today and split up. While some pupils visited the city center and the Tower Bridge for example, other groups just took the tube back to our hostel to relax for some time. The pupils met again in the evening to play some board games and have fun together.
The only ones left to do their tour are Filip and Luca. We leave the hostel at around 1 pm. They talk about the Royals in London and how everything has changed for them. At first, we went to see the change of guards that took place right in front of the Buckingham Palace. Most of you probably think of their tall black hats when you think of them. It actually takes a while for them to change because it is a real ceremony, which means that music is played by guards sitting on horses and many other things. We sat down in a park and they both talked some more about how guards from different countries like Scotland and Wales differ from the ones in England. From there, we went to the Tower of London. There, we got to see all kinds of jewelery worn by all of the royals. Furthermore, we walked up to the White Tower where things like cannons and armors were shown. After Luca and Filip were finished at around 5 pm and we were told that we were free for the rest of the day, everyone went to different places. Some wanted to visit a football stadium, others grabbed something to eat and a few were exhausted by all the walking and went back to the hotel to rest. In the evening, all the students gathered to play Monopoly at around 9 pm. It was a nice ending to this day.
Today marks the last day of our London trip. We had to check out from the hostel early in the morning at 9.20 am but had the opportunity to store our baggage for 2 pounds a piece. Our flight back to Munich started at 6.30 pm, so we had the whole noon to use for some sights. There was no tour left, so we visited the British Museum. The museum is huge and stores all kind of different artifacts from the ancient greece for example. It was quite impressive to look at all the different statues, which were hand build a long time ago. But besides statues there are also painitngs and other kind of art stored in this museum. Our time plan was strict, so we went back to our hostel after some time in order to get our baggage and catch the tube back to Victoria Station, where we then returned our Oyster Cards and exchanged the money we had back to Euros. We catched the bus after this, which took us back to the Gatwick Airport outside of London in around one and a half hours. The time we had between the check in and the boarding of our flight was mainly used to get back some sleep and recover from the exhausting four and a half days in London. This time our flight was in time and without hard turbulences. We arrived in Munich at around 9.25 pm where we were able to get our baggage quickly. We then said goodbye to eachother and split up in order to get back home.
In summary: We had a really nice time in London, where most of us got to experience a new city and culture, we have never seen before. We also didn‘t just look at the most known sights but also visited some less known sights and museums. While our trip was exhausting with around 30.000 steps per day, it was really nice to visit one of the world‘s most known metropoles. This city is really worth a visit, even if you have already visited it because there are so many different facets this city has.