30. Diary Entry: London

Dear diary,

in the semester holidays of 2015 I went on an excursion to Canterbury from September 06 to 13. We were a group of round about fifty students and we had a lot of fun there. There were activities planned for every single day and we could always decide whether we wanted to take part or not. Of course everybody took part in most of them. On one day we went to London by Coach. We left Canterbury quite early in the morning so that we could spend the entire day in Britain’s lovely capital. There were no plans for the whole group so everybody had the opportunity to discover the city on their own. The best way to do this is of course to go by subway. Walking through the city on foot takes a lot of time and the streets are always crowded with cars so the first thing I and most other people did was to go and get a day ticket for the subway. That was pretty cheap and most of the time it is by far the fastest way to go from A to B. I grouped up with some people that I got to know in the days before the trip to London and we discussed which one of the many famous and interesting places in London we would like to visit first. After a short discussion we made the decision to go to Piccadilly Circus first because it was pretty close to where we left the Coach. So we went there and listened to some of the music of the many street musicians there. Piccadilly Circus was nice to see but it was really full of tourists and after a couple of minutes there wasn’t really anything left to do there, so we decided to move on.
Our next stop was the “M&M’s World”. This wasn’t really anything that we had planned to visit but when we accidentally discovered it we decided to enter it and take a closer look. It is a huge store where you can buy a lot of M&M’s-merchandise and of course all versions and colors of the famous candy itself. It was nice to see but nobody actually bought anything because most of the stuff was really expensive there.

After visiting “M&M’s World” everybody was pretty hungry and it was lunch time so we decided to get something to eat. We were really fed up with sandwiches and fish and chips since we had them too often before the trip to London and so we were looking for a tasty alternative. After another short discussion we finally went into a Pizza Hut store and had a really good all-you-can-eat buffet there with pizza, pasta and salads. After eating everybody was pretty tired and so we took a little break to plan the rest of our tour through London.

Our next stop was Tower Bridge. We walked around there a bit and took some photos. Then we noticed that we had the opportunity to go on a boat tour from Tower Bridge to Westminster Abbey. We discussed if we wanted to do that and decided that it would be a nice diversion from going by Subway. We had to wait a couple of minutes until the next tour started and pay for the tickets. There were lots of tourists who also bought tickets for the boat tour but the boat was really big and we had some nice seats on the sun deck. During the tour we got lots of information concerning the buildings we passed from a guide with a microphone. He was quite a funny guy and he occasionally told some jokes to prevent that people get bored.

When we arrived at Westminster Abbey we left the boat and took some more photos. One of the girls in our group told us, that her friend recommended her to visit the Horse Tunnel Market in Camden Town. She described it as some kind of insider tip and since we had already seen some classic tourist attractions we all liked the idea of going there. It was quite far away from Westminster Abbey and a little difficult to find but in the end it was the highlight of our tour. The Horse Tunnel Market consisted of many little stores allocated over a net of tunnels. People were selling lots of different stuff there like clothes, food, furniture and toys. Everything was pretty cheap and you always had the opportunity to haggle about the price. I bought a t-shirt and a burrito with tortilla chips there. Right in the middle of the market we discovered a huge store called “Cyberdog”. There you could buy lots of crazy clothes. The light in there was pretty low and everything seemed to glow in the dark. When we left “Cyberdog” the shops in Horse Tunnel Market started to close and the sun was going down and we realized that it was already time to get back to the coach.

Overall the trip to London was absolutely great but I think that it takes more than one day to really get to know the city and visit all the famous attractions. Unfortunately many of the most famous attractions like London Dungeon are very expensive to enter which is why we couldn’t really go there.

Anyway, we had a lot of fun because we had a nice little group of people with the same interests when it comes to tourism. I especially liked the Horse Tunnel Market because it was a little bit aside of the general tourist trouble. Even if we left out some very famous attractions I think that we had a really nice trip. If I ever get the chance, I’ll be happy to visit London again and maybe then I’ll stay longer than just one day.

Kind Regards,
Florian Jakobs