24.Diary Entry: Departure,London, Leeds Castle

Saturday, 05th October 2015

Dear Diary,

Finally the day was there. Today we started our excursion to Canterbury in England. We had to be at the meeting point in Weidenau at 7am. Caro had a sleepover at my house, so we could walk together to the coach. Of course it was raining this morning, but this couldn’t stop our good mood.

At the coach, we had to wait a longer time, as one member of our group overslept. But we still were in a sleepy, but exited mood.

Most of the time of the ride to Calais, we slept, as it was too early for us. At one of the breaks I got to know our flatmates for the week. Caro knew Jenany before, so we decided to share an apartment with her and her friend Sarah. Ann-Christin was also nearby, so we asked her to join us.

Once at the ferry to Dover we had a look around and spend some time outside to have a view at the white cliffs.

When we finally arrived at our apartments in Canterbury, the weather was much better than back in Germany. We first unpacked our suitcases, walked around the ‘neighbourhood’ and took a little nap to be fit in the evening.

For dinner we went to the local bar called ‘Woody’s’, where I had really delicious fish & chips. A few other people were there and two of them were members of the crew of the ‘50 years of the university of Kent festival’. They asked us whether we wanted to join them. There would be a little live music in the pub, some more live music outside in front of the Ferris wheel and a big firework to finish the concert. Afterwards they would go to a nightclub. The tickets would only cost 5pounds so we bought some for us.

The festival started with really cool singers, we enjoyed listening to their live music. The last one was the best one, as he was really funny. But unfortunately I forgot his name. Afterwards we went to the place where a stage was built up. The music there was really good as well, so we got to dance a little. The firework after the concert was impressive. It was nice that it was just behind the Ferris wheel, as this was a great scenery.

To get into the nightclub we had to wait in line, but not for that long. Inside we went to the dancefloor and had a lot of fun. The English people are really crazy dancers, but it was amazing to see how much fun they had.

It was a great fist day in Canterbury!

Thursday, 10th October 2015

Dear Diary,

Today we went to the capital city of England. We (Jenany, Sarah, Ann-Christin, Caro & me) were all looking forward to that day, especially because Jenany and Sarah had never been to London before.

After we had a delicious breakfast together at our apartment, we went to the coach and I had a little nap during the ride. Unfortunately it took a long time to go to London as traffic was really busy. When we finally arrived, our first stop was the tube ticket machine. There was just one machine which gave exchange and took notes, so we had to wait for another long time as nearly every member of our Canterbury group needed a ticket.

Afterwards we went to Covent Garden as we planned to join a guided tour though London. Sandemans is a company which is famous for its free walking tours in different big cities around Europe. I knew the company because I already joined a tour in Riga and Berlin a few months before. At the end of each tour you just have to pay what you think the tour was worth it. So if you didn’t like it, you don’t have to pay anything. But I’ve never seen anyone who wouldn’t pay, as all the tours I joined were really good and entertaining.

Our tour guide was a young student from Perth, Australia. She told us about London in an authentic way and we learned a lot of new things. First, she talked about the heart of London, than we moved on to ‘St. Martin-in-the-Fields’. Afterwards she showed us one of the houses in London, where the Queen is allowed to live in. But she never stayed in that house, because it doesn’t look that nice. Just in front of the house, the tour guide told us the story about the six wives of Henry VIII. We all had to laugh, as she told it in a funny way. And we learnt the rhyme:

King Henry VIII,

to six wives he was wedded.

One died, one survived,

two divorced, two beheaded.

Afterwards we went to a statue of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, also known as Queen Mum, which was the favourite Queen of our tour guide because every day she started drinking a gin tonic at 11am and had another one every hour until she went to bed. She got 102 years old.

The next funny story we got to hear in front of the Buckingham palace: Once a drunken and homeless person decided that he was allowed to have a little sleep inside Buckingham palace, so he just got in through a window, which he broke. After a little nap, he took a bottle of alcohol and walked through the corridors until he went into another room. But this wasn’t any room, it was the room where the Queen was sleeping at that night. As the security system was renewed a few days before, no one knew how to use it. So the Queen started talking to the man and invited him to have a drink with her. After a little time she called the butler to bring her a cigarette. The butler was confused as the Queen never smoked before and the Queen said: ‘Yes, but the man at the end of my bad does.’ So the butler called the security and the man was removed of the Queens room.

The best thing of the story is, that the Buckingham palace used to be free property, so the homeless man had just to pay for the broken window and stolen bottle of alcohol as there was no law that he was not allowed to go inside the Queens home. After this story, they changed the law.

We moved further to St. James’s Park where we had a little break. The group of us five decided to leave the tour, because Jenany and Sarah wanted to take a ride on the London Eye and Caro wanted to go shopping. So we said goodbye to the tour guide and gave her a big tip, as we really enjoyed the tour.

So Caro, Ann-Christin and I went to a little ice-cream shop called Gelupo, where we had a really delicious scoop of ice-cream. Afterwards we went to a few shops and spend some money on the latest fashion of London.

As we were really hungry after the long day, we went to Pizza Hut and had a big Pizza with some salad. As the Pizza was that big, we took some with us back home, so we can have some tomorrow.

After a long drive home, we all went straight to bed, as it was an exhausting, but great day in London!

Friday, 11th October 2015

Dear Diary,

Today we went to Leeds Castle, which is a really beautiful castle in Kent, England. It calls itself the loveliest castle in the world.

We met at 10am at the coach and after about an hour we arrived at the entrance. We only had to pay about 9 pound instead of 24, as we went in as a group. The weather was perfectly sunny to spend the day outside.

Just after we went into the park of the castle, we were welcomed by a few ostriches. As we went further we arrived at a beautiful little river with small lakes. There we got to see a lot of geese, ducks, black and white swans and birds.

After a little walk while we had a beautiful view at the castle, we arrived at the Cedar Lawn where a food-festival was happening. It was really nice and there was a lot of regional and international food, such as Indian, Greek or lots of other different kinds of food. At most of the booths we were allowed to try some food, which was really delicious!

Then we headed on to the castle, which is just in the middle of a moat. There was a tour through it, so we got to see how the castle was used when noble families lived there. It was really impressive.

Afterwards we went back to the food festival to buy some lunch. We had a “Halloumi wrap” which is a wrap with grilled Greek cheese inside and a fresh pressed lemon juice with it. It was really delicious. As we passed a booth with bakery products, we couldn’t say no to the organic made brownies. Yummy!

After our little lunch break we went further, through the wonderful Culpeper garden with lots of flowers in it, to the maze. This was not our best idea, as we got lost inside it! We didn’t even find the way to the middle, where we could have had a view over the maze. After about half an hour we luckily found the exit.

Just after this we saw a falconry show with really impressive birds. Unfortunately we had to be back at the couch at 3pm, so we had to leave and didn’t get the chance to see the birds of prey. We could have stayed at the castle the whole day, as it is a really beautiful place!

Back home, we all had a little nap, to be fit for the evening.

Around 11pm we caught up with a few others of our group to walk to the city to a night

club called ‘chemistry’. The admission control was a little bit different to Germany. We had to show our passport twice. The second time they scanned it, to check if it is everything alright with it and they even took a picture of us.

Inside of the club we first got shocked as the English got a different outgoing culture as the Germans. All women are barely dressed and the men are intrusive. I was a little bit used to it, as I’ve been to Australia before, but this was a little worse. Nevertheless we had a nice night out and got to talk to a few locals.