London Bericht 4AHMBT
If you’re curious, London’s an amazing place (David Bailey)
On 18th February we met at Salzburg airport at 8 am. We took off and shortly afterwards landed safely at Gatwick Airport at 2 pm. After finding our transfer bus we were driven to our hostel. After some time in the hostel we started our orientation walk. We passed through Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. When we arrived at the Leicester Square, it was 6 pm and we were allowed to stroll around on our own and have a look at different shops and get something to eat. On our way home we took the London Underground, the so-called tube. It was the first time for a bunch of us. It took us only a couple of rides to understand the subway system and soon we were able to orient ourselves.
On our first full day in London we visited different museums in the morning. Most of us went straight for the Science Museum and only a handful went to the Natural History Museum. Furthermore, we could have gone into an art museum, which was not too popular with us. The Natural History Museum is famous for the big hall, where the skeleton of a whale is displayed. Moreover, we could see different dinosaur skeletons, which can exclusively be seen in London. The attractions in the Science Museum are, for example, the first watch in the space and the first telephone. In the afternoon we visited the Austrian centre of international trade, Advantage Austria. One of the topics was, of course, the Brexit. A woman, who comes from Austria but works in London, explained the Brexit and what she thought about it. Unsurprisingly, the presentations started a lively discussion about this hotly-debated topic. Furthermore, a local told us about the dos and don’ts in Britain and what the differences between the people in America and the people in Britain were. We were surprised about some random facts we had never thought about. For example, in Britain it is important not to jump the queue and they don’t like direct criticism. We were allowed to plan the evening to our liking. Some of us went to the British library where we saw some of the most expensive books. In this library there are millions of books.
On our third day we took the subway to Greenwich where we listened to a speech about the Thames Barrier. This system helps to prevent London from being flooded by the tides. When the sea level is high, the Barrier closes and the level behind the Barrier sinks. When the sea level sinks again, the Barrier slowly opens again. The Thames Barrier was built in 1982 and is still the best system world-wide for preventing flooding. After our visit we took the cable car high above the Thames. In the afternoon we had lunch at Greenwich Market and walked around the sights Greenwich has to offer. To get back to the hostel we took the boat. The boat ride was a great sight-seeing tour. We paid only 3 pounds and saw so many beautiful (old and new) buildings and tourist places. We also passed below the iconic Tower Bridge with the boat. In the evening some of us had a guided tour, which was about Jack the Ripper. This experience enabled us to see some of the most famous murder scenes.
Our next day was fully booked. We made our way to the British Museum, but before we went there, we saw the biggest bookstore I have ever seen. It was over five floors and a toilet; I am still fascinated! We couldn’t stay long in the British Museum, because we had an appointment with Plasser UK. This company is responsible for the subway and the railway maintenance in London and the whole country. They work together with Robel, a German company. Mr Simmons, the boss of the company, gave us a brief summary of their products and explained what he thought about Brexit. Then he showed us around the huge workshops of the company. The evening was organised individually. While some of us went to a 4D cinema, I and a couple of others wandered through London looking for the perfect Asian restaurant. I can only say: delicious!
Our time in London was coming to an end and our last full day arrived. In the morning everyone had a different guided tour, mine was about Harry Potter. After we all had had lunch at Borough Market, we went to the Tate Modern, a museum in the building of an old power plant. Some might say that modern art is not really something for engineering students, but the view from the roof top was breath-taking. When we had finished our tour through the modern art museum, we went to the Imperial War Museum. I found it quite interesting, most of all the part about the Holocaust. It was so different to any of our museums here in Austria. I can’t describe it, I liked it so much and I read everything. There were audio files about the victims. They told their story and what they saw in the concentration camps. Breath-taking and shocking!
On Saturday we had to be at the airport at around 2 pm. Until then we were allowed to do what we wanted. A friend and I wanted to visit this incredible bookstore again. To my surprise London hasn’t got only one of these big bookstores. No, there were two only 10 minutes away from each other. Furthermore, it is surprising that every bookstore has at least five floors.
Finally, it was time to check-in and board the airplane. We arrived home at 9 pm. We were amazed from what we had seen and experienced and we took fond memories with us, which we will never forget. A big thanks goes to our teachers, Mr Neuhuber and Mr Niederwimmer, who organised the trip and guided us through the UK’s capital.
Marlene Kübler, 4AHMBT