Exploring British Education & Culture
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Travels to England:
This has been my first experience traveling outside the United States. In my preparation for leaving the country, I visited the local one-stop-shop (Walmart) to purchase a few items that would help make life outside the United States much easier. Fast forward to actually leaving now--Honestly, I was a little nervous leaving home and going to a new place. However, know that I can adapt pretty well to environments. After all we are teachers and teachers need to adapt to each group of students that walk through the door.
The plane ride was pretty rough for me, I slept for about 2 hours out of the 6. The rest of the time I stared out into no-where-land. Felt a bit sickly too at times. My stomach decided it might be fun to jump around. Once getting out of the plane at Heathrow, I INSTANTLY felt better. (I think being in a new place does that to ya. and the sun was out too.)
Jet lag-- first night at the Barringers: Went to bed about 7pm. Slept well until midnight. Then was awake, pretty much until it was time to get up for school.
A.K. A. ''Patrick''
My travels to England:
The flights were tiresome, but not really stressfull. The Chicago flight was great, considering it was less than an hour long. I was able to sit next to some classmates which was also better than sitting by a stranger.
The flight from Chicago to England was gruesome. It was about 8'ish hours long and by the end of it, my butt was super soar and I had only gotten a few hours of sleep. It was really great in some aspects because I ended up sitting by a girl my age who was also studying abroad. Turns out, she thought about going to Bethel herself. I learned a lot about her and it made the flight better meeting a new friend. Finally getting to England was a great releif, especially with the warm weather. That concludes my travels to England.
Our Journey to England
I have made it to England and I am very delighted with how things are going thus far. The first flight to Chicago was only one hour in length and went very smoothly. Everyone made it through security and we had time to grab something to eat while at the Chicago airport. While the flight to England was an adventure, it was not the most pleasant flight that I have experienced. It took quite a long time to get going because the plane was completely filled. Also, it was a seven hour flight at nighttime, so if you weren't able to sleep there was not much else to do. A few of us were not feeling well after the flight and most of us were incredibly tired.
While I previously mentioned many of the negative aspects of the flight, there were also some positive aspects. The two meals that we received were both pretty decent and we all loved to listen to the many English accents all around us. When we made it to the airport we all crammed into a small bus but received an incredible taste of driving in England! Almost everything is completely opposite. However, what is perhaps the most astonishing thing for me is just how similar, yet different most everything is. I thank God that we made it here safely and I am sure our travels that will continue will be just as fun, if not more!
We are in London!
Going to London really made it feel like we were in another country because we were in a larger city and got to take time to be “on holiday”. After we arrived and checked in to the hotel, we mapped out a plan to explore the city. We set off in groups for the sites we wanted to see. However, this took some scheming. We needed an idea of where we were going and how to get there. The main modes of transportation are the Underground trains (also known as the Tube) and buses. It is fairly easy to tell that the faster way to get around was by the use of the Tube, but there were a few set-backs to this option while we were in London: first, it is underground so you obviously do not get to see the city as you are moving from one place to another and secondly, the Tube had a few closures of particular lines that made getting around a little more complicated.
Our class found out right away that one of the main lines, the Circle Line, was closed for the weekend. This complicated things slightly because it is one of the most convenient to take around through the city, but it was fairly easy to figure out alternate routes. Plotting a journey became a little more difficult, however, later in the day on Saturday. My particular group wanted to get to the Tower of London, but a part of the only Underground line to it was closed. So we had to venture above ground to tackle the bus system. This was a little more confusing because there are maps of the whole Tube system posted all around and a few of us had copies of it, however, this is not quite the case with the buses. Only certain streets have stops that go to certain places and the maps on the stops were slightly harder to figure out. After much investigation taking longer than we had hoped, we finally figured out a way to and from the Tower. Later that night, we even figured out how to read the bus maps and figure out some of the routes ourselves! This made for a much more relaxing day on Sunday for figuring out transportation while sight-seeing. Although there is still room for error and becoming lost in such a large city; thank goodness for the other alternative – taxis!
Weekend in London!
Dear family and friends!
This weekend our class had the opportunity to spend a weekend in London. For the most part my experience was unforgettable. We started the trip by train, since I normally don’t ride in anything but cars, it was fun and exciting. I felt like Harry Potter riding the express to Hogwarts. After the train I got my first taste of the underground; which if you do not know is like the American subway. At first the underground seemed confusing and with certain lines down for the weekend, Katie and Jill did a fabulous job navigating our path to our five star hotel. Our hotel for the best part was big and grand, yet, I did find that fact that our rooms were not completely ready when we got there annoying and awfully inconvenient. We had to pile our stuff into a couple of rooms and I did not get to check in until 10:30 at night!
The first day in London we had a planned schedule and a list of sites that we were going to see. The night before Elise brainstormed different sites and a route, which my advice is: know what you are going to do before you get there! The first day was busy but fun. We walked down the Thames river by the Tate Modern to the Globe, over the Millennium bridge, to St. Paul’s Cathedral (climbed to the top), then to the Tower of London and the tower bridge. My favourite part of the first day was seeing the Tower of London after dark and seeing it all done up, it was truly an amazing site. Yet, that was not the end of our day, after our site seeing we got to go to Queens Theatre and see Les Miserable. Overall it was a very busy and amazing weekend. Furthermore I suggest to anyone who wants to visit London spend 3-4 there because there is so much to see. In the time we had I walked miles and if I was to do it over again I would see less sites but spend more quality time at them.
Weekend in London
The weekend in London was an awesome experience and I had so much fun. There were so many places to go to and not a lot of time so we were walking pretty quickly to get to where we wanted to go. Of the things that we saw my favourites were seeing Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the Tower Bridge, and Buckingham Palace. Walking through St. James Park was also very enjoyable because the grass was so green with people walking everywhere and the birds swimming in the pond.
I would have to say that my favourite part of the weekend was seeing Les Miserables at Queen’s Theatre. Musicals have always been a part of my life and seeing this one was incredible. There were so many actors and actresses that had amazing talent in both their acting and their singing. If I would have had more time and money, I would have gone and seen another play somewhere in the theatre district. My second favourite part of the weekend was worshipping at Westminster. It was just an incredible feeling to know how many important people had been there and how beautiful the architecture was inside and out.
We attended Les Miserables at Queens Theatre in London on Saturday night. It was in Picadilly Circus, which is the big, busy, and happening center of London. The theatre was extremely elegant, and I think we all felt like we stepped back in time to when rich people used to go in their big gowns. The play was amazing. The acting and singing were both better than anything I have ever seen. The stage had a huge rotating circle in it, which moved the actors around as they were moving out or into a scene. We agreed that the best singer was the girl who played the innkeeper's daughter. The man playing the innkeeper reminded me of Captain Jack Sparrow, with a kind of likeable meanness. A lot of us girls also ended up crying in the end! It was very moving.
The time in London was wonderful, but I must say that personally Les Miserables was one of my favorite parts! Having not been to that area of London yet, it was quite a surprise to feel like we came out of the Tube in New York. It was so nice to meet up with the group again and quickly share stories of London before going into the show.
Once we entered the theatre, I was shocked about how steep the aisles were. I felt like I was going to fall down every time I was standing. One thing that I thought was very odd was the fact that we could take pictures in the theatre. I don't know about the rest of you but I've been to a lot of shows and you're never allowed to take pictures. I felt sneaky doing so... until I realized that everyone else was, and no one cared!
The show itself amazed me. The singing was "brilliant" and the music from that show are some of my favorite songs. I always find in musicals that much of the first act is spent setting the story and the second act is where all of the action is, so I enjoyed the second act more. I thought it was a great way to spend our night in London! I hope that everyone enjoyed it!
So if this past weekend wasn't exciting enough in itself we got to see Les Miserables on Saturday night in London at the Queens theater. Even though I have seen the play before in New York, I would say it’s been the best part of the trip. The acting and singing were both great. It was also nice to hear an British version of the same play.
From the responses after the play it seems that I wasn't the only one who shared these thoughts. My favorite part was listening to the little boy sing, and the songs: At the End of the Day, and Do You Hear the People Sing?
It was a little rough just sitting there for 3 hours, but you hardly noticed until you stood up for break or at the end of the show. Got the best of both worlds that day, walking for 6 hours and then sitting for 3 hours. Something I don't do that often. Besides that it was great!