We met at Innsbruck Airport nine o´clock in the morning, everybody was very excited about our upcoming trip. Some came with big luggage and others with small bags. The boarding and the security check happened smoothly and at 10:35 we got into the plane. For some of our class this was the first flight in their lives, some were very excited, but most entered the plane in a relaxed mood. During the 2-hours flight we realised no problems, only after we had landed at Gatwick Airport, we were told that the board computer hadn’t been working properly…
After everyone had received their luggage, we went to the meeting point at Ealing Common near the Grange Pub by bus. During the bus drive, some slept, but the ones who were awake, were shocked and upset, how much litter was lying everywhere near the highway or in front of the houses. It was also weird that we drove over one hour to the meeting point for more than one hour, although we had landed in the same city.
In Ealing Common, the host families had already been waiting for our arrival. Again, everyone was nervous when their name would be called and which host family they would be with. On the way to our house, we noticed something strange. Seemingly, London couldn’t handle low temperatures, because the week before it had had -5°C, which had let water pipes burst everywhere.
We had only a brief time to get to know the people we would live with for the next week, as we had to meet up with our class to explore Ealing and the Ealing Broadway Station. By the end of this walk, we had a drink at a burger restaurant. Marcel and Bene got into trouble, as pieces of Oreo cookie in their Oreo-vanilla milkshake clogged up their straws. Nonetheless, it tasted delicious.:)
Afterwards, we returned to our host families’ houses and were served a delicious dinner. This very exciting and exhausting day had made us so tired, that we fell asleep quite immediately.
Another incident happened at Marcel’s house, as his roommate Lukas got up at midnight to eat his snacks from Austria.
All in all, the first day was very exciting, but also exhausting.
David Habernig, Benedikt Mair and Marcel Rappold
The next morning we went to the Ealing Green College at 8.45, but lesson started at 9.15. First we had a placement test, where we got divided into two groups. After a normal school day we went into the city centre of London to have a look at the Globe Theatre. The weather wasn’t the best and sometimes it was a little bit foggy and rainy. There we took part in a workshop about “Romeo and Juliet”. The workshop was hold by an actor, who also acts in many plays in The Globe. We did some body language workout and talked about showing status and theatre in general at Shakespearian times.
The next stop was at the Tate Modern, which is a gallery for modern art, built into an old oil power plant. At first we went to the top of the building, where we had a wonderful view over the whole city. After that we went to the gallery to have a look at some paintings and sculptures done by some famous artists. It was really interesting. One reason for that was Mrs. Fischer, who told us a lot about these strange looking works of art. Afterwards we took a long foot walk along the Thames, which lead us TowerBridge. After we had crossed the bridge, we took a look at the Tower of London from the outside.
There was also the ending of the official program of the day. The whole class took a tube home, where we all had dinner with our lovely guest families.
Julian, Ben and Max
After a long morning at Ealing Green College and a 10 mile travel by tube, we finally met with our teachers at Blackfriars Station. From there we went straight to the London Eye to get a ride on it. After getting there, we got a whole gondola just for our class, which was great. From the top we had a beautiful view over the city of London which was an excellent opportunity to take photos and get first impressions of the things we would see in the following days. The whole ride on the London Eye took quite a while…
The next stop on our journey were The Houses of Parliament. We were a little bit disappointed that the Big Ben was under construction and so we weren’t able to enjoy the whole beauty of it. Behind The Houses of Parliament we saw “The Burghers of Calais”, where our history teacher Mrs. Fischer told us the whole story behind that sculpture. Right at the moment of leaving the place the sun came back and delivered us a beautiful atmosphere to take some very stunning photographs.
On our way to Buckingham Palace we went through the administrative district. This was also a very interesting thing to see, because it is known from TV and to see all this in reality left massive impressions to us. Further on we visited the St. James’s Park. In contrast to the city it was nice to see this beautiful park in the middle of London. As we arrived at Buckingham Palace, we had a little talk with our class and then went there to see it in detail. We also had a good setting and various opportunities to take photos from the palace.
After that a fare share of our class then went to Leicester Square with our three teachers, because we wanted to watch the film “The Darkest Hour” in a cinema there. When we arrived in Leicester Square, we had quite some time until the film began. So we searched for places to get some food and in the end all of us had eaten great. Then we went to the cinema, where just in front of us the premiere of another film was taking place. When we finally got in, we were able to buy something and then we watched the film. It is a great drama on Winston Churchill and his role in the Second World War. All in all, this Day was very exhausting, but at least at the same time also extremely enjoyable.
Thomas Atzl, Mario Kanetscheider and Matthias Fasching
After the college, which ended at 2:00 pm, we went to Ealing Broadway station to meet with the teachers. Together we took the District Line to South Kensington, where most of the museums are situated. One special feature of this station was a long tunnel, with many exits to different museums and one of the last was the one to the Science Museum. At 3:00 pm we started our individual tour through the exhibitions. We started as a group of three in the café to eat a snack and afterwards continued with the old vehicle section. The very interesting space part, the interactive and funny atmosphere floor and the rooms for telecommunication followed. The most impressive department of the museum - due to our interests - was the plane and aeronautics section, where you were able to re-experience the history of aircrafts.
After everyone had finished his individual tour, we went on to the famous mall called “Harrod’s”, which is located at a quite rich and glamorous district of the city. It was quite fascinating to see the full range of expensive shops and brands next to all kinds of affordable products, which are also sold in “normal” stores.
After we had spent over an hour in “Harrod’s”, we went to the tube station Knightsbridge, from where we went to a wonderful chocolate store in Brick Lane within a 45-minutes trip. It’s a rather small store with only one employee. But with the chocolate is the best I haver ever eaten. There were about 20 different kinds of chocolate, and every single one of them tasted amazing. 100 grams of this chocolate cost about 8,5 € and together we spent over 150 English Pounds in this shop. It was the highlight for us in this week.
Christopher Heigl, Lukas Kruckenhauser and Kilian Scholz
Dear Diary, my precious treasure,
Today’s schedule was to spend the morning at Ealing Green College and afterwards meet at Holborn underground station to visit the British Museum. It took us about 40 minutes to travel from Ealing Broadway to our meeting point via Central Line, so I had enough time to take a quick nap.
Finally arrived, we started a time travel from the ancient Egypt to the medieval ages. Especially the mummy exhibition was very impressive because of the number of exhibits (They even mummied young bulls!) despite the fact that an awful smell pitted our noses. While we were travelling through time, we also spotted some gorgeous birds.
After this exhausting activities we had to refresh our batteries with some really delicious sandwiches, cakes and coffees. Then we discovered that hieroglyphics on the Rosetta Stone are very similar to some of our classmate’s handwritings and generally took a look at the obelisks and old Egyptian statues. As the last issue in our agenda we visited the Far East. We started in China with its famous porcelain and took some Snapchat stickers from scurrile wall paintings, but soon moved on the India, because of the enormous heat inside, we truly felt like in a giant sauna. So we made our way through the Indian exhibition and gazed at lots of sculptures from strange gods like Ganesha and Shiva (There are more than 420 different Hindu gods!). After this impressive experience, we weren’t able to absorb any more historical facts and according to this we went to the meeting point just in time.
From there our teachers led us the way to Covent Garden, a famous shopping district. Here the teachers’ responsibility for us ended and so we explored the lots of small stores by ourselves. Due to that many of us took the opportunity to buy some gifts for their families in the mainly subterranean and lovely furnished shops. I personally visited two facilities, one tea shop from which I bought some really nice tea and one that was all about chocolate, they even sold tea with the taste of chocolate (It tasted as strange as it sounds). J
As this had been our last issue for today, we took the tube home to our host families, where most of us probably just enjoyed their fluffy beds after another cool but exhausting day.
Daniel, Lisa und Lucia
Starting the sunny morning with the last day of college was a pleasure. It was “a pity” that we had to leave the school one hour earlier, because our teacher held a lecture at the Hammersmith College.
After this exhausting brain work, we treated ourselves with an Italian gelato. It was such an eye-catcher, because they formed the scoop of ice-cream like a rose in a beautiful spring morning.After this strengthening snack we were able to start the tourist program. Light like a feather, we were floating through the masses of people to the appointment. At the Trafalgar Square we had been overthrown by the impressions of the architecture and the immense statures of the four lions. In front of the enormous example of the neo-classicistic architecture, we saw art from and for the “simple” people.
The street artists let the tiles of the Square spring to life and connected different cultures, only with the presence of their drawings.:)
After that we got into the National Gallery, where we met the old masters of the Italian Renaissance as well as the modern expressionists and impressionists. With our confident guide, Mrs. Fischer we went through the tremendous rooms filled with punctually designed paintings of biblical as well as natural motives. She winged our minds with her impressive knowledge on terms of the most famous artists of the human being. It was a revelation to see the hopes and ideas of humans painted on canvas. Especially as we analysed the famous painting of da Vinci, the “Virgin of the Rocks” our guide explained us her interpretation, which our brains soaked up like a dry sponge. With the time rippling like an hourglass, we just shortly took a look at the interesting skull morphism of Hans Holbein.
As the sun went down, we only could rely on ourselves and we walked down the streets of central London, the lantern lights shining gloomily on our ecstasised faces. Suddenly we bumped into a Street Food Festival and we finished the day with a culinarian experience on its best. And with the shining moon we drove away into the depths with a whiff of anticipation to be in the land of dreams we had seen in the works of arts.
Lukas, Luca and Stefan
Dear diary, after breakfast, at around 10 am we to Notting Hill by tube. We went to a huge market which is called Portobello market. There were a several shops where you can buy every stuff that you can imagine. For example, I bought a sweater for my little brother, where there was a print on it. It said “Oxford University”. A thing that was interesting was that there was a German food seller, but he didn´t speak a single German word. It was funny to see David talk to him in German, but he just couldn´t imagine what David meant. After the funny trip to Portobello, we drove to Tower Hill by underground. But Benedikt and I were there a lot too early, and so we had the best idea ever. We did some quick–sightseeing, which means that we sat in the underground and drove through several underground stations, where we then got outside the stations and did some sightseeing. Then we got into the underground again and drove to the next station. In that way we saw like 10 sightseeing spots in only one hour.:)
After this little tour it was time to drive to Greenwich. We got into the DLR and drove to the last station to see the docklands of London. At the last station the train changed direction and drove the way back. We got out at the Greenwich Maritime Station which was the next to the Royal Observatory. We got there to see the zero meridian that runs directly through the observation centre. It was interesting to see, but it was just sooo cold. My feeling told me that it had about -10°C. I was a bit sick as well and that was probably not the best for my ears, but you might only get once there in your life. We saw the biggest and last cargo sailing ship as well because it was near the station where we got our train. The Cutty Sark was also the fastest sailing ship that had ever been built. After that Lukas Kruckenhauser and I drove to Oxford Street by tube to visit the NikeTown. It was so interesting to see that Nike has just so many products that you can fill a 3-floored building with it. A huge amount of sport shoes, T-shirts and other Nike stuff was in it. After half an hour only looking at those clothes, we drove home by Central Line, which was as usual very full. But all in all, it was a nice day and we saw a lot more than we had thought we could.
Mathias Auer and Matthias Kleinlercher
Endlich wieda dahoam!
Today we finished our trip to London. In the morning our host families brought us to the meeting point where the coach waited for us. To our amusement this time the teachers were a little bit late. After one hour of driving for the last time in this strange left-handed traffic we arrived at the airport. There we used the time to think about our trip.
The first thing we had to laugh about were the continuously changing weather conditions. Even though it usually snows just three times a year, we managed to be there obn one of this days. We also were impressed by our team spirit. Everything worked fine, and we have had a lot of fun together, even with the teachers.
There was one thing we had known before we started our trip: There are millions of people and it is a multicultural city. But it is quite different to know it and experience it on your own. Every day when we went back to our host families we could feel it very intensely. This was because it was rush hour. It was fascinating that every kind of person, business man next to musician and manual worker, could be found in the tube.
The flight was comfortable, even though we were a bit late because of a traffic jam of the planes. At 14:50 we finally arrived in Innsbruck, where our teachers were relieved to give us back. Although it was an exhausting but wonderful week in London, we are glad to be “dahoam” again.
Kathrin Schreder, Nicole Fröhlich and Anna Mol
The Teacher’s View
The excitement was considerable – also on the teachers‘ side…
Though our trip had been well-organized, unexpected obstacles would have been possible…
Well, all in all, everything was just perfect:
The students behaved well, were interested, punctual (at least most of the timeJ), the weather was lovely (except day 1 and the final day with snow), the events we had planned were successful (my personal highlight was our workshop at The Globe)…
So thanks to everybody, especially to my dear colleagues Daniela and Traudi for sharing this valuable experience with me and my class!