20. Diary Entry: Eastbourne, London

Dear Diary, …

Our excursions to Eastbourne and London

In the noon we arrived at Eastbourne so we could visit a Food Festival in the city centre first and watch a lovely firework after a concert of classical music in the evening. Unfortunately, the market closed one hour after our arriving and we were in a hurry to have a look at all stands of sellers first, but the festival was much smaller than we expected so we had enough time to see everything. Max and I bought a bread, baked with rosemary and salt, which was very delicious but nearly all the rest ate lunch at some fast-food restaurants behind the food market and after some excursionists discovered the city of Eastbourne, everyone met at the beach later. The weather was wonderful and we were talking and listening to music in the sun for hours, but later in the afternoon, when it got really windy and a bit cold some of us left for searching a wormer place to sit down and wait for the firework.

After a while Tobi, Flo, Jonny and I set off for buying a pullover and taking some photos of the landing stage but everything was already closed since 5. p. m. that is why we discovered a gallery with extraordinary art instead. Jonny visited Eastbourne before and guided us very amusing to some likely places in town. I bought a book of Sudoku with a competition, which I didn’t send to London yet …

We stopped at a pub just in the middle of Eastbourne and decided to try and get a drawn British Guiness. I was surprised how the consistence and the taste differ from the same beer out of bottles, which is sold in Germany but I really liked it. As we just ordered our drinks the owner of the pub asked us to take part of the pub-quiz in the evening and we agreed after having a lively discussion about our chances to win. Sascha, Olli and Jonny were ready to represent us for one pound per person and I let myself get talked round by them when they were searching for a female member of their team. Well, we changed to a table in the room where the quiz took place only a few minutes later. All four of us were very surprised to see the rest of the group change their table in order to compete, too, although the rules say, one group should consist of four persons at least. But the waiter was very friendly and collected our money before the start. Apart from us, a married couple next to us, a group of women and two others tables took part of the quiz. First, we needed to name our team. Sascha suggested to call us „The Fab Four“ as a allusion to „The Fabulous Four“, but the couple who should note our name on our questionnaire (because we forgot to do so at the beginning) didn’t get it acoustically and we were called the „The Fat Four“ from now on, which amused us most.

The quiz consisted of three parts. The first one was a photo puzzle and we were called to note as much names of the famous persons who were printed as possible. As it was really difficult, because most of them were shown very young and we finally just got five out of fifteen names, we looked full of hope forward to the next part – futile, as we should find out. The second exercise was to solve few picture puzzles which name I forgot. Every picture showed a drawn word to guess. “Pullover”, for example, was tapestried with the word “pull” printed the wrong way up. Unfortunately, even Keith trying to help us couldn’t make us get the system to solve and we understood only after resolving through the quiz master at the end and, again, didn’t earn many points. Last but not least, we had to prove our general knowledge about Britain and could save our honor. All in one it was really fun to take part of the quiz, although we did not win. But the married couple, who corrected our questionnaires must have had at least a similar funny evening like us and our group talked about arranging to meet again in Siegen to take part of the pub Quiz in the Shamrock.

At least one girl from the other table was lucky to win little money at the end and bought beer to play Beer-Pong the next day.

Some of the others excursionists listened to the concert while we were having a guess at the pub, but when the firework started everybody was assembled to watch the show which was quite short and few minutes later we set off to reach the bus punctual.

On Thursday we left our accommodation half an hour later than it was planned. Some excursionists arrived late for leaving Eastbourne the evening before, because they couldn’t tear off themselves from the wonderful firework ….but the bus driver needed to maintain his nine hour lasting break anyway. Frankly speaking, no excursionist seemed to be that annoyed than Keith because the night before we met to play Flunkyball very long and no one was angry to get a bit more of sleep. Perhaps this may be the reason, why Thursday morning was the first morning, when all excursionists sat in the bus on time.

Our little journey started at 8 a.m. and we arrived at London city at 10 a.m. after having a bit of traffic jam. Olli, Julia, Julia, Julia, Jonny, Flo and myself met in the metro station and decided to discover London as one group. After buying a day ticket we set off to get to Picadilly Circus, first. When we arrived and left the metro station I was completely impressed. I never visited London before and couldn’t imagine this mass of people in a hurry or taking photos of nearly everything. The buildings seemed to be much higher and more magnificent than in Germany to me first and I needed to stop and just look around. We walked towards the city centre and first stopped at the big M&M World to have a look at their diversity of little, colorful bonbons with chocolate and nuts. Some of us were hungry and we searched for a Pizza Hut afterwards because Olli went into raptures about having it when he visited London before. After our extensive lunch we took the train to get a ride to the Tower Bridge and we planned to walk to Big Ben from there but as we found out about the cheap prices to go on a sight-seeing tour on boat, we changed our minds. The boat passed the London Eye, the Big Ben and, of course, the Buckingham Palace where the tour stopped and when we left the boat we met another student from the University of Siegen, who was on a trip to Britain with her parents just on the same days as our excursion took time. We recognized her as a student from Siegen because of her bag which she carried around and on which the names of our different four campus were printed.

As it was already 5 p.m. we were not sure if the Camden Market was still open but when Julia and I decided to give it a try and have a look the others of our group joined us and it was worthwhile. When we arrived at Camden Town the market was still open for one hour but the streets were, on the contrary to what the other excursionists who visited the Market in the morning told us, empty and even the narrow walks were pleasant to pass. Julia and I wanted to get a linen bag from London as a souvenir. Due to the fact that the stores in the horse stables were already empty, a young artist who noticed our interest on her painted bags offered to draw any personal chosen motive for the same price. Unfortunately, she had only bags, which were already painted on the one side but Julia decided to buy one and the young woman painted a motive of Julia’s favorite bands on the other side and she was really happy.

The alternative atmosphere in Camden Town was the only thing I missed in Canterbury and in the others cities we visited before and I really loved the market with its friendly people and artistic stuff to buy. After having a snack outside the stables we wondered about visiting Harrods department store but we decided to have too little time for that and went back to the bus instead. The morning of yesterday we were considering about staying one night in London and get back to Canterbury the next morning on our own but as were really tired and had little money we decided to return to the bus.