From the 18th to the 24th of September, we, the 4HLKa, went on a Language trip to London with our teachers Mrs. Ertl and Mrs. Schlick. On the 18th of September, we flew from Graz Airport to Vienna and from there to London Heathrow Airport. During the week we stayed in the Royal National Hotel near the centre of London. The time of our trip coincided with the Queen’s funeral on Monday, which was an unexpected but unique experience that none of us would have foreseen. As we were watching the ceremonies of the Queen´s funeral, we noticed that people were very respectful and loyal towards the Queen. They seem to have a special connection with the royal family that many people from other countries can´t really understand. It was touching to see that many different people came together to say goodbye to a person that was important to them. After this exciting day, we met every morning to start exploring the city and visit different sights and museums. In the afternoon we often had some free time and could do what we wanted. Our goals included getting to know the city and seeing it from different angles than the average tourist. Furthermore, we wanted to get comfortable speaking to strangers in another language and by visiting museums, we wanted to learn about various topics, like the history of London or art.
There´s so much to do in London and we visited so many places that I don´t even know where to begin. The number of attractions you can see and activities you can do is endless. On the first day, we were part of an historical event as we were watching the ceremonies of the Queen´s funeral. The next few days, we visited many markets like Camden Market, Borough Market or Brick Lane, which are very big so you could spend days exploring them. We also went to green spaces, and in some parks, we saw great sights like Kensington Palace in Kensington Garden.
Moreover, we went to many museums in London, such as the Design Museum, as it´s a modern building with interesting exhibitions. In Tate Modern you can see famous artworks by contemporary artists while the National Gallery is great for time travelling through all epochs of art. In the Museum of London, we learned about the dramatic history of London. Also, we crossed Tower Bridge to see the fairy tale towers and be near the river Thames. Then, we had a stunning view of the whole city at Sky Garden and from the rooftop, we recognized many places we had been to. Lastly, a highlight for most of us was watching the “Mamma Mia” musical in the Novello theatre.
At the end of this eventful week, we flew back to Graz on Sunday. Even though, after our layover in Frankfurt, none of our luggage came with us, we were happy to be at home at last. We absolutely enjoyed this week and are thankful for this great experience. There´s a lot to learn in such a multicultural and open city like London. We improved our language skills and got more fluent by using English as our everyday language. Also, we got to know a different culture and gained an insight into the everyday lives of the Londoners. Therefore, we developed our intercultural and communicative competences. Overall, we learned a lot from our language trip as well as the preparation phase before, as we researched the history, culture and life of London. For example, we presented representative works of art in museums throughout the week. This was very interesting considering our focus in school is on culture studies. Finally, we learned to put together a programme ourselves.
Overall, we can definitely say that this week was a very successful trip. We are thankful that we got to see so many new things and experience this impressive city.