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Studienreise 2015 - Class 4ABE

Day 1: Saturday 26th September 2015

We met at 10:30 at the airport in Basel, where we had to get through the check-in and then wait for our departure at 12:20. We arrived at Gatwick Airport at 12:50, local time. From there, we took the train to get to London and there we went to our hostel, which was near St. Pauls Cathedral. We brought our luggage to our rooms and went to Dr Johnson’s house, who is most famous for his “Dictionary of the English Language” (1755). We had a funny workshop to find out about why a dictionary was important and which words were included. In the 18th century a giraffe was called a “cameleopard” and a penthouse was defined as “a shed hanging out aslope the main wall”! Afterwards we had free time until dinner, during which we started exploring London. For dinner, the whole class went to “Ye Olde London” pub, where most of us had fish and chips. After dinner, we went back to the hostel. The day had been full of first impressions of England and especially of London.

Ursina & Johanna

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Day 2: Sunday, 27th September 2015

The day started out with a Full English Breakfast at the YHA Hostel St. Paul’s. Soon after, we walked to the Museum of London where we got an overview over the history of the area, ranging from the earliest settlements up to the London Olympic Games. We also listened to the very first presentation of the study trip by Nikolas, Philippe and Ivo about the Great Fire of London. After these insights we walked to London’s East End and listened to the next presentation by Natalie and Jana about the East End and Jack the Ripper. Lunch was individual at Brick Lane Market, and many took advantage of the restaurants there. After this, we visited the Immigration Museum, which was an interesting experience guided by a private tour. It was a special and unusual kind of exhibition that left everybody exhausted and tired afterwards. Luckily, we already headed back by that point, and wrapped up the day with one last presentation at Monument by Nicolas, who talked about the London Underground. The rest of the evening was completely free, and some groups had dinner in the general area of the hostel, or in other parts of the city like, for example, China Town or went to a paintball arena.

Alex & Nicolas

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Day 3: Monday, 28th September 2015

We had a long day ahead of us. Our first destination was on the other side of the Thames, across the Millennium Bridge: Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. After Gabriella’s presentation we were given a very interesting tour and got a glimpse of the stage construction for the next performance ("Measure for Measure"), and also looked around the museum. The theater looked beautiful. After that we took the tubes for the first time towards Green Park beside the Buckingham Palace where we listened  to presentations by Gauri about Queen Victoria and by Anastasiia about Buckingham Palace. Sadly we did not make it in time to watch the changing of the guards at 11:30, but we still got a glimpse of Buckingham Palace. We were then given an hour lunch break and most of us had a pic-nic at St. James Park.  After lunch we headed towards Westminster Abbey where we had another presentation by Johanna and Ursina and then a tour inside, which was followed, by one more presentation about Queen Elizabeth I by Michelle outside the Abbey. Then we went directly to Trafalgar Square, walking past 10 Downing Street (the prime minister’s house), and had the last presentation by Carlotta and Noémie. In the evening we had some free time. Some groups went to Oxford street for shopping while others went with teachers to watch a musical (‘Wicked’) or to the Globe Theater to watch ‘Measure for Measure’. We all had our individual dinners, which we quite enjoyed and arrived back at the hostel at 22:00 as usual. It was a busy yet fun day. The weather was surprisingly good as well (sunny with a slight cool breeze). All in all we had an informative and enjoyable day.

Gauri, Carlotta, Anastasiia

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Day 4: Tuesday, 29th September 2015

On Tuesday morning we left London and took a private coach to Oxford. The drive was through very beautiful landscape, but most of us slept through most of it. We arrived in Oxford and the bus dropped us off right in front of the hostel, which from outside consisted of a narrow, bright yellow door. The door led to an even narrower steep staircase, going directly to the second floor. The whole hostel was rather small, but cosy. After depositing our bags we went to Oxford Castle where Amanda held her presentation on the history of the 11th century castle. We also had a tour led by costumed character guides and had a great view of the town from the Saxon St George’s tower. After lunch we listened to Philipp and Sara’s presentation on the University of Oxford and then went to Christchurch College, which has become famous for being the film location for the Harry Potter movies. We then walked to other famous historic landmarks like the Bodleian Library and the Radcliffe camera, the Sheldonian Theatre, and the Bridge of Signs. After two more presentations on two famous authors Lewis Carroll and C.S.Lewis by Lisa and Kali we  split up into two groups: one went to Magdalen and the other to St. John’s College.

Philipp, Philippe, Ivo, Nikolas

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Day 5: Wednesday, 30th September 2015

On Wednesday, a beautiful sunny autumn day, we went to Blenheim Palace, which was a 40-minute bus ride away from Oxford. It is one of the most famous castles in Great Britain and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The land and the money to build the palace was a reward for John Churchill, who had won a battle in the region of the German village Blindheim and thus triumphed over the French in the War of the Spanish Succession. When we arrived Alex held her presentation about Winston Churchill, the British prime minister during and after the Second World War, who was born in Blenheim Palace. After that we took a guided tour through the part of the palace that is open to public. We were shown several rooms, that displayed the treasures and antiquities in possession of the current duke. Before lunchtime we also went to see the Winston Churchill exhibition, which was opened in early February, in remembrance of the fiftieth anniversary of Winston Churchill's death.
At lunchtime most of us went to the bistro located in the palace. There we could get typical British food like scones with clotted cream and jam or sausage rolls and we still had enough time to explore the huge parkland with the hilly pastures, the lake with the Grand Bridge, the Temple of Diana, the Rose Garden, Italian Garden and Water Terraces. enjoy the nice weather on a British autumn day We met again and got on a miniature train, which drove us to the Pleasure Gardens at the other end of the park. There we all took part in a little competition where we all entered a maze and the group that got out the fastest won. The boys won and got “Lifesaver” Peppermint for their achievement. We had time to look at the Butterfly House and the Lavender Garden before taking the bus back to Oxford. The day ended with going to Jamie Oliver’s restaurant “Jamie’s Italian” where we enjoyed a not only tasty but also funny evening together.
Nuria, Anh, Gabi, Kali

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Day 6: Thursday, 1st October 2015

On Thursday we had to get up quite early since we had to catch our coach from Oxford to Bath. The two and a half hour journey went fairly quiet because we were all very tired and used the time to get some rest. The coach brought us to the bottom of some long stairs, and we had to carry our suitcases up the stairs to where our hostel was located. At this hostel, the YMCA Bath, we had nice rooms of maximum four people. Having arrived in the hostel, Gabi and Nuria suddenly realized that they had forgotten their mobile phones on the coach and in Oxford, respectively. Gabi had to call the coach driver who was already on his way back, and that caused some trouble, but fortunately she got it back the same day; and Nuria's phone was found in Oxford and was sent to her by post. Another incident was Philip having to go to the hospital with an injured foot. In the meantime the rest of us had lunch individually and some first impressions of Bath. In the afternoon we all had a tour around the historic old town of Bath, a UNESCO world heritage site, with all its Georgian architecture and went to the Bath Assembly Rooms, where we listened to an interesting presentation by Anh and had some time to visit the building. Afterwards we walked to the Jane Austen Centre where Melina gave a very good presentation about Jane Austen, the famous author who lived in Bath for a couple of years. We then had a tour through the centre and learnt some more about Austen’s life and family, and we enjoyed the opportunity to dress up in Georgian costumes. In the evening went to The Eastern Eye, an Indian restaurant, and enjoyed some really good and sometimes hot food. After dinner, we could go out individually, but had to be back in the hostel at half past ten. We then had some time together in the lobby and in our rooms before we went to bed and fell asleep, looking forward to our last full day in England before we would fly home on Saturday.

Amanda, Jana, Lisa & Natalie

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Day 7: Friday, 2nd October 2015

It was Friday morning, the second but also last day we could enjoy in Bath and the weather was still incredibly amazing. We didn’t even have one rainy day in England! Before we left the YMCA hostel (Yes, the song is stuck in my head, too) we had a relaxing breakfast. No early walk to get our food in the supermarket next door this time, no crowded kitchen like in Oxford, but a nice breakfast prepared for us just like in a hotel. During breakfast we also got the grades from our presentations back. Afterwards we headed to the Roman Bath museum, where the Romans used to have their baths and socialize. We learnt from Claire’s presentation that the Romans built the spa bath at around AD 60 and called the place Aquae Sulis. Nowadays people still come here to enjoy a day in the very interesting and charming piece of architecture. Our last visit was to Bath Abbey, a very beautiful building right in the centre of the city. We strolled around inside for a little while and admired the colourful windows. Most of the windows had been destroyed during the Bath Blitz in the Second World War (in which around 400 people were killed), but luckily most of the Abbey was left undamaged. After that we had free time for the whole afternoon, which our group mainly spent shopping, which we really enjoyed. For such a little city Bath has amazing shopping opportunities from which we took full advantage! Finally our last evening before our departure back to Basel was spent one last time all together in a restaurant, laughing and talking all night, until we went back to the hostel to pack our things and get a good night’s sleep before we started our return journey the following day. Looking back at this week we had a fantastic study trip, amazing weather and lots of fun together.

Michelle & Noémie

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