Our trip to England
Jak jsme se měli na naší cestě po Anglii, se dozvíte v článku, který pro vás Vítek Černý napsal. Jak jinak než anglicky 🙂
I don’t mention every place we visited in this article – it’s not a report. This writing below is about things I found interesting during the visit.
Places We Visited:
I woke up to the ubiquitous sounds of crunching crisps and whispering after sleeping barely three hours. That’s about what it was like when we arrived at Calè. In a nutshell, the journey to England on a coach bus was an experience I will remember. Comparing the coach to plane flights to England, flying is way faster and comfortable, but there’s a lot less fun. After 24 hours on a coach, reality distorts, and things get funnier.
Brighton and Hastings
Brighton and Hasting are similar to each other in many ways. They are both by the sea, hilly, and have strong LGBT communities. I enjoyed the towns mostly for the unique atmosphere of their historic centres. If I were to give a tip: Pay attention to the shops – some of them are indeed extraordinary. Often not only in their products but the prices as well, so keep your wallet ready and think twice before you buy anything.
There’s something in the shadow of the Arundel Castle that I enjoyed slightly more than the castle itself. It’s the town of Arundel, a small tourist area just next to the castle. As I later discovered, it used to be a market town, and a pretty old one — in 1086 there was already a population of a few hundred.
When I explored the city, I found a handful of tourist attractions and several cafés and groceries, three galleries and three bookshops.
I bought some cookies and went to the shops. Unfortunately, the galleries were closed, so I went only to a bookshop, the antiquarian one.
There were four floors of rather cheap books and, as I’m fond of philosophy, I went straight into the philosophy section. I had little time, so after about fifteen minutes I had to leave and ended up not buying anything. Nevertheless, it was quite a memorable experience.
National Martime Museum
I’d been to a few British museums before, and I liked them every time. Most of them have free admission and really a lot of interesting exhibits. Even if you are not so interested in the topics of a particular museum, it will keep you entertained. But how do they manage to keep you to do that? Well, there are screens everywhere or at least something you can press and touch. Also, there’s a kind of an emotional background to each section, which makes the experience more enjoyable and memorable. It’s not only stuff in glass with few words next to it.
To the National Maritime Museum. I deem British colonial history to be both interesting and useful to know and I really enjoyed the visit. I made it to India, i.e. almost to the end of my tour, when we had to leave.
Beachy Head and Seven Sisters
I’ve never been to any cliffs by the sea, so I can’t compare these to anything. Nonetheless, it was the best place we visited, in my opinion. Even though it was extremely windy, the place was lovely. I was surprised there were no fences. I wonder how is that possible. Crowds go there, and I guess some careless kids and suicidal people are among them. Although I must admit photos with fences wouldn’t be that good.
We were divided into groups of 2-5 students and lived with families for the four days while staying in Brighton. The families are kind of lottery: you can end up with a great family in a big house and taste the best meal you’ve ever had, or you can end up with a single mom in a basement (no offence) who doesn’t really care and taste the most ready-made meal you’ve ever had. This clearly an exaggeration but you know what I mean.
Things You’d Better Know
When we were in Brighton, we had English lessons in the morning. It was mostly just practicing (speaking, games, etc.), not learning any grammar. It should be noted that such seven-day trip does not substitute for your English lessons. You can practice, learn a few new things, but it won’t get the grammar into your head. That’s something you must learn by yourself.
Another thing worth knowing is that the outcome of this trip is mostly up to you. You can murmur a few words when you are supposed to, or you can actively seek opportunities to practice. That’s more important, given the amount of freedom we had in choosing how we wanted to spend our time at each place. Decide for yourself. Actionable advice: Try to order a meal by yourself (you really have to speak there, it’s not like in a supermarket).
The best advice I can give you is: Enjoy! It’s one of the rare occasions you can leave everything behind for a week and have fun with friends while exploring new places. Leave your textbooks at home and start a new semester a bit differently.
And finally, I’d like to encourage our teachers to organize these trips more because they are opportunities to see that a language is not only a tool for communication, but it is a tool that is actually useful as a bridge to a lot of great experiences and opportunities which are yet to come in one’s life.
Vít Černý (G3)