Diary of the Trip to England
8 May 2016
Today, on the first day of our trip, we had to meet at the school at 6 o'clock in the morning; however, we only left the school at 6:30. Sadly, there weren't any empty seats next to any of my classmates, so I had to sit alone.
In my free time to the ferry, I watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens in English, and Mathias Sandorf, a film version of a novel of Jules Verne in German (it had no English localization).
During the journey, we stopped thrice. At the first time, we stopped in Germany, near Cologne. Our second stop was in Belgium, near Antwerp. The machine at the entrance of the toilet didn't work, so I sneaked in and paid the fee at the cashier.
Our last stop before Folkestone was the ferry. On the ferry, Ryszard, Youssef, Schajan and I spent our free time together, which group would usually come together later too.
When we arrived in Folkestone, we still had lots of free time to spend, so we, the boys went to the beach. Some boys just rested, some were having a running race.
Finally, our host family arrived. Well, actually only Mrs Huzzey arrived, her husband stayed at home. At their home, at first we had to tame her dog with some biscuits. Mr Huzzey showed us the house, and we could choose from two rooms. Ryszard chose the larger one with the hard bed, TV and computer. The one left for me was small, and I would usually hit the lamp with my head each time I lie down.
In the first evening, we learnt a lot about our host family. Our host family has four grandchildren. Mr Huzzey's hobby is diving, and he has Jewish Dutch ancestors. Mrs Huzzey has been smoking since she was 13, but she would only smoke in the garden.
We got pizza for dinner, after which I gave them my present: a book about UNESCO World Heritage in Hungary. Mr Huzzey read it through, as far as I know.
9 May 2016
We woke up at 6:30. We got cornflakes and toast for breakfast. We had to meet the class at 8 o'clock, so we left the house at 7:40. Mrs Huzzey gave us a lift to the harbour.
Today, we visited Dover Castle and the White Cliffs. As we arrived in Dover, we still had half an hour until the opening of the Dover Castle, so we were allowed to go shopping in a supermarket called Tesco. I bought a pack of biscuits, a bar of chocolate, two rolls and a pack of Barny biscuits, which I had already known from Hungary as "Dörmi". It is a bear-shaped soft biscuit filled with vanilla cream.
After the shopping, we visited Dover Castle. When the teachers had found out that we have no guide, we entered the castle, and visited a tower. In this tower, we could see medieval objects of everyday life. On the top of the tower, we had a beautiful view of Dover.
We returned to the bus at 12 o'clock. Well, we actually returned to the earlier position of the bus, as the bus wasn't there. It was parked where it wasn't allowed to, so our bus driver called Karsten (and under no circumstances “Hey, you!” or “Geezer!”) was fined and he returned to the harbour.
The other groups departed to the White Cliffs while we were waiting for our bus, but finally, we also gave up and started going in a direction. After half an hour, our teachers realised that we were going in the wrong direction. As we had been walking downhill, we had to walk backwards uphill. After 30 tiring minutes, we finally reached Dover Castle!
Our bus just arrived to Dover Castle when we did, so we entered the bus and rested a bit. I could put down my pullover which I have been carrying for the last hour, as the weather was very hot. After fifteen minutes, we started walking to the White Cliffs, this time in the correct direction.
After we walked an hour, we found a good place to make a class photo with my 4K, Ultra Zoom camera. In the background, there was a large, white cliff which was separated from us by a valley. Many boys wanted to go through the valley, so we decided to go that way instead of going around.
It was proven to be a bad idea, as I almost fell down at least twice, and my melissophobia (fear of bees) even made it worse. But luckily, I arrived there without any injury or damage to my camera. We stayed there for some time, then we started to return to the bus, which already waited for us halfway between the cliff and Dover Castle. During our return, I started to miss my pullover, as the weather started to get colder. Where the bus parked, there was a café. We sat down outside the café, and at 16:30, we went back to Folkestone.
Mr Chakiath gave us 50 minutes to look around in the town. The other boys wanted to go to McDonald's, so I followed them. I thought I shouldn't eat too much, as we would get dinner from our host family, so I only wanted to drink a vanilla shake, but their machine was broken. It would have been impolite not to buy anything after I asked, so I requested an "empty ice cream". However, I got a McFlurry instead of McFreeze, which is circa 3 times larger than the latter.
We returned to our host family. After that, Mrs Huzzey picked up the two French students who were staying from Monday to Thursday. Well, actually only one of them was French, Nathan. He speaks almost no English, so the other boy, Smith must almost always translate him. Smith is from Uganda, and his native language is English. He moved to France three years ago. We introduced ourselves at dinner, which was pizza and French fries. Before we went to sleep, we played chess.
10 May 2016
As usual, we had cereals and toast for breakfast. After we met in the harbour, we departed to London. It took us three hours to get there, of which in two we were stuck in London's heavy traffic jam. We stopped next to Hyde Park. We were allowed to walk in Oxford Street until 13:15, after which we returned to our bus, and rode to the Imperial War Museum.
Here we got a guide, Mr Hill. At first, we went from the museum over the Thames and had a look at Westminster Abbey and the Parliament. After that, we rode along Buckingham Palace, and then we turned right from Park Lane into Mayfair, London's richest district.
These were followed by Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Downing Street, after which we returned to Westminster. We crossed the Thames only to have a closer look at London Eye, and then we returned to the other bank on Waterloo Bridge. After we rode along the Royal Courts of Justice, we entered the City, London's financial district.
We visited a restroom in a shopping centre near St Paul's Cathedral, and crossed the Thames on London Bridge after that. We dropped Mr Hill off here, and returned to Folkestone.
This evening was the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest, featuring my homeland, Hungary. We arrived just on time to see the last seconds of the 4th participating country, Hungary. My homeland made it into the final. I took a shower after the show, and went to bed at 11 o'clock.
11 May 2016
After having breakfast and meeting in the harbour, we went to Canterbury. We stopped at a Sainsbury's to shop. The Barnies, which I bought on Tuesday, ran out, so I had to buy new. It was £1 in Tesco, but it was £1.70 in Sainsbury's!
After that, we walked around the town with a guide. He told us lots of interesting things about Canterbury's history.
There was a village there before the Romans conquered Britain, then it became a town. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Anglo-Saxons moved into the city. It was Christianized in the 6th century. In 1066, after the Battle of Hastings, it was conquered by the Normans, and became the first French town in Britain.
In 1170, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket was killed by four knights of the king, who hid in the cellar of a house until evening, then killed him in the church. Later, the king returned to Canterbury to atone his act.
Canterbury became a destination for pilgrims, so tourism was the most important industry of the town until the age of Henry VIII, who destroyed the tomb of Becket, and thus ended tourism. (I learned later from the news that some of Becket's relics are in a Hungarian city, Esztergom.)
Tourism started blooming in the 19th century, when Canterbury was connected by train with the coast, from where a ship transported tourists to London, and the other way round. Many buildings had to be restored after World War II, because they were destroyed in the German bombings.
After our tour, we had some time to look around in Canterbury, before we went to play cricket. I was surprised to see that either I misunderstood something, or cricket in movies has nothing to do with the real cricket. It is not about hitting a ball through many gates, but like a British variation for baseball.
After playing cricket, we still had time to go to Tesco, so I also did the shopping for the return trip to Frankfurt.
We returned to Folkestone at 18:30. We had chicken for dinner. This was our last evening with Smith and Nathan, so we stayed up late to enjoy it.
12 May 2016
We learnt from our mistake that we should arrive in London early; otherwise we would be stuck in traffic for hours. So today was the only day on which we left Folkestone at 7:30.
At first, we visited the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. As we were waiting to enter the museum, I noticed that a complete Hungarian group was there. As I usually say, "Hungarians are everywhere."
After we entered, we got an audio guide, and entered the museum. We had so little time in there, that Mr Hrubeš, Kimia and I were late from the bus.
Later on, we parked our bus near Tower Bridge, and started to walk 4 kilometres to Covent Garden. We walked on exactly the same way as I went on with my parents in last July, so when we got lost, actually I navigated the class to Millennium Bridge. We soon arrived to Covent Garden where we split into groups again.
In an American fast food restaurant, we had lunch. After lunch, my group wanted to leave Covent Garden, which was prohibited. I asked Mr Chakiath for advice, who told me that we shouldn't leave Covent Garden. Luckily, I could convince Siena and Ewan to stay in the zone. I went with the two boys in a Tesco, although I didn't have to buy anything.
After we returned to the meeting point, the class walked through Trafalgar Square to the Parliament building, where our coach picked us up.
The dinner was pizza at the family. After the second Eurovision semi-final, I had to take a shower, prepare my luggage, download a film (from App Store), charge my devices and prepare my rolls by spreading them with pâté for the journey back to Frankfurt. As I usually say, "I won't sleep tonight at all." Luckily, by midnight I was already in bed.
13 May 2016
On this beautiful Friday the 13th, I woke up at 6:30. I called my mother, because she, my father and my smaller brother Olivér travelled back from Lisbon today, where they had spent this week.
I'm a bit superstitious, so I thought that if our bus wouldn't crash, the ferry would't sink, my parents' plane wouldn't fall down and my brother's train wouldn’t go off the rails (as he was coming back from his school trip from Erbach), then I have a really lucky family. (Obviously, none of these happened.)
Finally, we left our host family. We met the class at the bus, and we departed to Frankfurt. Surprisingly, there wasn’t any passport control, neither in Dover, nor in Calais. During the journey, I watched “The Martian” in English.
Pentecost was on the following Sunday and Monday, a long weekend was coming, no surprise, that we spent an hour in a traffic jam near Antwerp.
When we last stopped, there was a Burger King at the service area; however, half an hour wasn’t enough to get to the desk. We arrived back to Frankfurt one and a half hours late, at 22:30.
- Cologne - Köln
- thrice – dreimal
- sneak in – sich einschleichen
- host family - Gastfamilie
- "geezer" - Alter
- cliff – Felsen
- conquer – (ein Land) besetzen
- thus - damit
- prohibited – verboten
- coach - (hier) Bus
- superstitious - abergläubisch
Marcell Kiss-Rédey (9b, Schulreporter)