33. Diary Entry: Chatham, Dover, London

For me the whole excursion was a great experience. Before the excursion I have already
visited England. I went several times to London but only for a day and always in
wintertime. It was so nice to improve my English skills, meet new people and share so
many experiences and special moments with them on each day of the excursion. After
the first few days we became one unit and took care to us. Afterwards I could say that
some of them became friends of mine.

On Monday, 7th September, we all went to the historical dockyard in Chatham.When we arrived in Chatham we all were really astonished about the old dockyard with their historical vehicles like: tanks, trucks, cannons and of course historical ships and warships. We went to that warehouse where all those vehicles were stored and took some photos of us in the upper part of that huge warehouse. The upper part of the warehouse was the best spot for taking photos because there was a lot of natural sunlight, which is awesome for naturallooking pictures.

After that we felt like pirates when we visited an old sailing ship. We went below deck and
checked the inner life of it with its engine and had a little nap in the hammocks which where also there. Another special moment on this day was the visit of the old rope manufactory. In that they had centuries-old machine to make ropes, which are up to one kilometre long. The noise, the craft, the smell of old wood and history and of course the smell of ropes, that was really
impressive for me.

On Tuesday, 8th September, our group was divided. One group went to the beautiful Dover Castle and the other group did some hiking (17km!) with Tom along the beach and the white cliffs of Dover.

After our visit at Dover Castle we picked the others up and went all to the white cliffs of
Dover. It was really great to feel the wind in your face and had this amazing view over the
ocean. In the afternoon we all met again in Deal. Most of us went to a tiny restaurant in a side street to have so fish and ships, burgers and other delicious stuff. The owner was seemed really happy because he has made the business of his life on this day and only because our group (50 people) has visited his tiny restaurant.

Toms group was really tired when we met them but also happy to sit at the beach and relax a bit. Then we sat with them and asked them how their day was and what for experiences they have made. We listened to some really chilled out music, looked at the sea and enjoyed the beach. It was a very windy day in Deal but fortunately not very cold. The beach at Deal was not a typical beach because it consisted of larger stones. That stones looked very pretty and we collected some of them, because of their beautiful colours and their unique shape. I also took some of them home as a souvenir of that great day.

But the greatest moments of the entire Canterbury excursion was our daytrip to London
on Thursday, 10th September because there happened a lot emotional stuff for me. I went
several times to London but only for a day and always in wintertime. So it was really
refreshing to see the city in summertime. When we arrived in London we first went to
the Underground to get some tickets for the tube. Then we went to Camden Street
because a lot of girls in our group wanted to get there for shopping. When we arrived at
Camden street most of the people of our group, not just the boys, recognized that it was
too stressful there at Camden because of the pushy seller.

So we decided to pick the underground and go to London Eye and the Big Ben because of
the fact that some people of our group had never visited London before. I asked Max
what he thinks about London because he was one of those persons. He said to me that
the city of London reminds him of New York City or something like that because of its
huge buildings and the traffic. He also said that you couldn’t compare it with big cities in
Germany.
We took the underground again to get to our favourite spot in London: Hyde Park.
When we arrived at Hyde Park there were a lot of people there what was really crazy for
me because in winter there are just a few people in it. We lay down on the grass and
tried to relax and feel the warm sun on our faces. After a few hours there was this little
black girl. I think she was three or four years old. She smiled at us and had a lot of fun.

Then she came to us and gave each of us a leaf as a present. We said: “Oh thank you!” and she started smiling and laughing. There is this one sentence Kira said, on which I
remember. She said: “Well it´s so easy. We laugh in every language equal”. The little
black girl was with her family in London as we learned later. We all danced with her in
the sun and she had so much fun with us. After that she took each of us by the hand and
brought us to her family so that we could say hello to them. That was a really great
moment for me. After we visiting Harrods, Sascha showed us the way to Abbey road and the famous zebra crossing in the evening. We took some photos at the cross just like the Beatles did
it.

When we finished we went back to the coach and drove back to University of Kent. On
the ride there were a lot of conversations. But then somebody has turned on Coldplay
and the whole bus was quiet and thoughtful. We sang along quietly. That was also one of
the greatest moments of the excursion.

Aiken Grajcar.