from 28th of April to 5th of May 2013
When we arrived in London, my classmates and I were very excited and we were looking forward to meeting our host families. My best friend and I were also a little scared and we were wondering what our host parents would be like. Fortunately, they turned out to be one of the loveliest families I have ever met. When my roommate Angelika and I arrived at their house, they immediately treated us as if we were already part of the family. They were incredibly nice and hospitable and welcomed us really cordially. I must say that I liked them from the very first moment. In addition to their amazing kindness, they also had really great cooking skills. From what I had heard from my classmates who had already been to England, the English are known as terrible cooks and have weird eating habits. Luckily, this was not the case. My roommate Angelika and I very much enjoyed the meals that our host mother Claire prepared for us.
On our first day in Brighton, our teachers organised a scavenger hunt for us. We had to look for funny things and take photos of them, for example a person with their left sock in their right hand or a human pyramid. In order to get the photos taken, we had to talk to a lot of strangers in the centre of Brighton. It was a lot of fun because the people in Brighton are really open-minded, friendly and very helpful. Every single one of the people we asked immediately agreed to help us; therefore, it was no problem for us to get the photos taken.
On Tuesday, we visited one of the main sights in the city of Brighton, the Royal Pavilion. It was built by King George IV and its style was influenced by the King’s love for Chinese and Indian architecture. The pavilion is famous for being the most exotic palace in Europe. It was interesting to visit this fascinating residence and learn about King George’s extravagant lifestyle.
The next day, we went to see the famous Greyhound Races in Brighton. Our teachers and some of the students placed bets and luckily some of them won! We only saw two races but it was really fascinating to watch the dogs run because these dogs are breathtakingly fast.
On Thursday, we went on a trip to the cliffs called Seven Sisters. In my opinion this was the most beautiful day of the week. The scenery is incredibly beautiful and we took a lot of group photos, which was great fun. It was lovely to sit on the beach and enjoy the beauty of nature.
The most exciting day was definitely Saturday because on that day we finally went to London. It was hardly surprising that it started to rain a few moments after we arrived in the capital city. However, we had a really informative and interesting tour through the city thanks to Tom, our well-liked tour guide. He told us everything about London’s most important sights. After going on a river cruise on the Thames, we went to one of England’s most famous shopping streets: Oxford Street. The highlight of many shopping trips was probably a photo taken with a male Abercrombie model. Of course it is on my room’s wall now.
The next day, Sunday, was the day of our departure. My roommate Angelika and I couldn’t have been sadder about going back to Vienna. We were both gutted that we had to leave the beautiful city of Brighton and most of all, we were sad that we had to leave our host family that already felt like our own family. Our lovely host sisters Lily and Rosie were really sweet and told us that they don’t want us to go home. Claire and Phil, our host parents, wished us all the best for our future and told us to come back to visit them one day which we most certainly will!
All in all, visiting England was one of the most amazing and wonderful experiences I have ever had. The enchanting centre of Brighton with its narrow streets, lovely cafes and friendly, open-minded people and the kindness of our wonderful host family made me fall desperately in love with England. I am more than a hundred per cent sure that I am going to visit this country again one day.
by Helene Taucher