My trip to London
Kladden til en engelskoppgave om en tur til London.
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I'm sitting here on a plane, on my way to London. Some months ago, I won a trip for two in a lottery. I brought my best friend Gustav. He's 14 just like me. I know it is kind of illegal to travel without a guardian when you are only 14 years old, but the lottery organizers had planned every detail and made agreements with people following us.
Almost as soon as I got aboard I fell asleep, so I don't remember any more of what happened on the plane. I woke up by Gustav yelling: Look, I can see London!!! I looked out of the windows and, yes. I could see it all from here.
It is wonderful, I said.
I agree, Gustav answered.
As soon as the plane was safely on ground, me and Gustav ran out of it and into the Airport. London Heathrow Airport was amazing. It had all kinds of shops, mostly shops for women, but also gaming shops and toy stores. Our guide said that we had to hurry if we were going to catch the train. We ran out of the airport and to the to the underground station. From there we took the bus to the five star hotel called Hotel Blakes to get something to eat. After a good dinner, the guide told us to follow her. We were going sightseeing in one of the famous red buses. We drove past Big Ben, The Bishopsgate Tower, Leadenhall Tower and the egg-shaped Swiss Re tower "the gherkin". The trip ended with the Tower of London. It was a great view. After this, we took the bus back to the hotel again. We were very tired, and went to bed.
The next day we travelled to The Museum Of London. It has over 1,1Million objects! The museum comprises a series of chronological galleries containing original artefacts, models, pictures and diagrams. I learned a lot of things at this museum. Gustav was very fascinated by the old swords and the other middle-age weapons.
We also visited the world famous Speakers Corner. We saw a lot of weird people there. With all kinds of possible costumes. I listened to some of the speeches, one weirder and crazier than the other. Today's last trip went to Madame Tussauds. It's a famous wax museum in the middle of London. It was set up by wax sculptor Marie Tussauds. It was a lot of wax-dolls there, like Britney Spears, Adolf Hitler, George W. Bush, Charlie Chaplin and so on. They all looked like if they could wake any minute, it was kind of scaring. We spent a lot of time at Madame Tussauds. We bought some pizza at the restaurant there so we didn't get hungry. Some hours later it was time to head to the hotel again. We all agreed that this was the best day ever. Again, we went to bed, with our mind filled with thoughts.
I wake up to my last day in London. It was sad to think about leaving this beautiful place, but i also wanted to get home, to tell my parents about the experience. So after a quick breakfast, we went on the bus to the airport again. When i entered the plane i thought if i ever was going to see this city again.
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By Sean Traynor, Editorial Adviser and Contributing Writer
I remember my first overseas adventure clearly – London. My parents thought that a London adventure, paired with another week in Paris, would be a great introduction to traveling overseas with a passport. The announcement of a trip to London brought up visions in my mind of Sherlock Holmes, Big Ben and the Tower of London. My mind was racing to the history stories about the Tower of London, a royal residence that became famous as a prison, the Great Plague, the Great Fire of 1666, and also the Industrial Revolution in the 1860s (when children were sent to work as early as five years old) that spawned books like Oliver Twist. I also remembered the great advancements in modern London such as the London underground rail system, the Millennium dome (an exhibition center) and the London Museum. I was extremely curious to see if my imagination had painted an accurate picture of these events and sites from this area.
Posing for my passport picture with no smile as required, I was amused by the fact that my picture would probably never really mimic my face as I was amused by the many sites I would see in London. I was told to pack layers of clothes just like for a trip to San Francisco, as London is known for its fog and large swings in temperature.
My airplane trip was 11 hours long! You never think about planning to be entertained for that long. I brought a couple books, but I found myself watching the movies on the plane and thinking about the things we would be seeing on our vacation. The roar of the engines finally had me drifting off to sleep. The announcement over the PA system to buckle up awoke me with a start. I looked out the plane window but the approach to the London-Heathrow airport gave no further clue to unravel the mystery of London.
The thing I didn’t think about before I traveled was the effect the time zone change would have on me. We arrived at the airport and I felt like a sheep being lead through a maze. We tried to quickly find our luggage, clear the passport control point, and hail a taxi, while working on only a few hours of sleep. I understood why my parents wanted an English-speaking country to be my first overseas experience because I couldn’t imagine dealing with speaking another language while we were working on only a few hours of sleep. It caused a haze in my head that made everything feel like a dream. Our taxi ride to our hotel was a blur of buildings and traffic. We decided to take a five hour nap to attack the early evening with a vengeance and renewed strength.
Our list of “must-sees” in London included many things, so when we awoke we immediately set to work checking the opening and closing hours of attractions. Our primary objective for the first evening was to experience a true London eating establishment. Since there wasn’t much else to do in late afternoon, we made our way to Leadenhall Market, a beautiful covered market in the City of London. Under the elegant Victorian roof there were stalls selling flowers, cheese, meat and other fresh food, and shops, pubs and restaurants in the market building. We tasted various cheeses and made a meal out of the famous meat pies. The Dragon Alley scenes in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone were filmed in Leadenhall Market so we also enjoyed exploring.
We took a drive through the winding city streets of London and were amazed by the absolutely beautiful night lights in front of a clear night sky. There wasn’t fog in sight. We were able to find a vacant red telephone booth to take the traditional British phone booth picture. We then darted to the river to see the Tower Bridge with the lights illuminating the span across a pitch black background. Across the river you could see the London Eye (a Ferris Wheel on the banks of the river). We knew the Houses of Parliament (with Big Ben) was across the water from the London Eye so we zipped over to it experiencing the underground railway for the first time.
Throughout the week one of my favorite moments was when we were toured the Tower of London. I enjoyed the history related by the guides that made the walls come alive. This was one of the times that my visions of what I believed it would look like came true. Although smaller than today’s castles, you could walk through rooms and imagine the activities that occurred there. Its “crowning” achievement is the royal jewels display. Being in the presence of so many jewels and intricately carved gold ornamental pieces underscored the pomp and circumstance of royal occasions. I especially enjoyed the stories of the kings and how the Tower was used as a prison. It made the walls cry out to me and I viewed the small spaces with even more respect.
Even though English is spoken in England, we still had to adapt to many different customs from our own. First of all, the typical “American” breakfast of a pastry and orange juice was replaced with boiled tomatoes, extra thick bacon that looked like ham, and eggs. In addition, the English people drove on the other side of the road from Americans. This caused my parents to be extra nervous in the taxis as we went from place to place. What I really liked was the various types of transportation. Whether we chose a double-decker bus to stand on top to view the sites or take the “Tube” which is the name for their underground rail system, we were able to get to each place we wanted quickly and with very little hassle. It was great! I also enjoyed the individuality of the hairstyles, clothes, art, and music. No one seemed out of place because everyone was unique.
Yes, we saw all the normal museums, monuments and statues. My favorite moments though, were when we were sitting at a sidewalk cafe and watching the people and vendors. There was a wide variety of tourist shops that were contrasted with upscale shops. Harrods is an example of a department store that caters to a high-end clientele. We roamed for quite a while in their elaborate food section where most displays take days to create. It was an experience just to walk through the various floors of merchandise, even though we were afraid to fall in love with anything because of the price tags. Back on the street, the local people blended in by being different. They had dyed hair in interesting severe cuts, fashionable clothing that looked like it jumped out of fashion magazines and an air of indifference to the buildings depicting centuries of history that only hangs on people that see them every day.
The weather swayed back and forth between clear days and overcast days. In the early evenings a fog rolled in, blanketing the streets with an air of mysteriousness. When we found ourselves with an extra day at the end of our trip, the fog made us decide that a trip to Sherlock Holmes’ residence was appropriate. Sherlock Holmes was a fictitious detective written about in books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Walking along the tree-lined residential street, you could imagine living in 1881, and living as Holmes at 221B, Baker Street, up 17 steps. Once climbing to the apartment we were shocked by how small the apartment was and couldn’t imagine living in those cramped quarters. The tourist spot was decked out with glasses, investigative instruments and things from the various Sherlock Holmes books. We enjoyed the trip out to see this experience and my brother even bought a deer-stalker hat before leaving.
We said goodbye to our adventures in London from a boat cruise on the River Thames. We saw close-up views of our favorite buildings and listened to more history of the area. We looked up and saw the London Eye where we had ridden a full circle a few nights before. It gave us a good perspective on where everything sat within the city.
The taxi ride to the airport made us smile as we remembered the week before when everything seemed to be in a fog. London had spoken to us over the last week and we clearly understood that this city was more than the beautiful historic buildings – it was a collection of stories that read like a intricate novel with many twists and turns. It has a unique character that makes it different than any other place I have visited since. Through the Roman influence, the fires, plagues, and conflicts, London has emerged as an interesting place that can offer something to everyone.