We had to arrive at the airport at 5:20 in the morning. So no one of us was dancing, but at least we all arrived on time (more or less). After a quiet check-in, flight and check-out we finally reached our long awaited destination – London. We took the underground to Bayswater station which was near our youth hostel. Unfortunately, check-in time was not before two o’clock p.m. which was almost two hours ahead of us. At least we were allowed to store the luggage in one room and so we decided to explore the surroundings around Bayswater station and finally grabbed some food and did some errands in a cheaper supermarket. After moving into our rooms we went to London city centre by underground and walked together from Trafalgar Square to the London Eye via Big Ben and took lots of pictures. After that we had to take our tired pupils back to the hostel and called it a day.
As our hostel was very close to the Hyde Park we planned to make a hiking tour through the famous park. The weather was nice and our pupils got into contact with the beautiful nature (and birds) and so all were quite well-tempered. We made a stop at a café and some of us were drinking a tasty coffee or tea and were having some scones or muffins. We then arrived at the Buckingham Palace and even if the queen was present (the flag was hissed) she didn’t show up (shame on her). Our exhausted pupils refused to walk another mile and so we took the underground back to Bayswater. After we searched a café or restaurant to revitalize our powers we made another trip into London downtown heading to the famous Oxford street where our pupils could go shopping until they were ready to drop.
The marvellous Sunday morning was perfect for a boat trip to Greenwich. A very British humoured guide told us stories about the buildings and bridges we crossed in our journey. We even saw Sir Ian McKellen’s (Gandalf’s) and Dame Helen Mirren’s houses (my personal highlight of the boat trip) and had a look at London’s most evil criminals – the banks (one of the guide’s jokes). In Greenwich we tried in vain to explain the importance of the zero meridian, but we were merely critizised why we were forcing the pupils to climb a hill in order to tell them boring stories (it was a try). But all liked Greenwich market which offered lots of bits and pieces to look at and to purchase. The many activites of the last days took their toll and we went back to the hostel by ship and underground and the pupils took some rest in their rooms or stayed near the hostel.
This day we drove to the well-known Kings Cross railway station which is, despite of its magnificent architecture, more famous because of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books and the presently existing store at the invented platform 9 ¾. Some of us (yes – me, too) bought quite something there and prevented Mrs Rowling and her descendants from impoverishing quite so soon. On our way back we jumped out of Covent Garden station and stayed at the popular market place until the early afternoon. Some of our pupils still had a good mind to explore some more of London and so we were taking the iconic red double decker buses for the first time and were driven to the Picadilly Circus. From there we went for a walk over London’s wonderful London bridge, took some marvellous pictures during a perfectly timed sunset and walked the Queens way crossing Shakespeare’s Globe theatre and saw the Tower Bridge well-lit at night.
On our last day before our departure we took the red buses again so that the rest of our pupils could also experience sitting in one of them. We aimed at Westminster and some of us queued up like real British people to take a ride on the gigantic London Eye which seemed to be a good experience for them and they apparently enjoyed the spectacular view very much. After some time for everyone at Westminster we had a date at 4 o’clock at the London Dungeon. There we experienced an informative and funny, but not so scary show. Unforgettable, when Mrs Köhn had to appear in court and was accused of having danced nakedly to convince the devil to send her a boyfriend. After the show some of us went shopping and then we went back to the hostel.
We checked out and took the underground again to travel back to the airport. There we had to wait quite some time for our delayed flight, but we arrived home safely. It was a wonderful trip with pupils which were easy to deal with and so it was a great experience.
subject teacher of german and english