We went with 15 students and our sons to London for 5 days . We stayed at YHA Thameside in southeast London. The weather was mild but it only rained for 2 days . The overground and underground are easy to move about in and the students got used to using it with a small map we had given them. The cultural side of our trip included a visit to Westminster Abbey, Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, the British Museum, Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the guard ,the Imperial War Museum,theTower of London and Shakespeare's Globe Theater . But there was also time for fun :shopping in Oxford street, Covent Garden and Harrod's . The students enjoyed the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland and eating in a typical London Fish & chips shop.

It was a great trip !

Régine BLONDEL & Beverley MILAN

Day 1 : Sunday, 16th December

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Our plane landed at 2:30(1:30 local time). After some searching, we found our bus and our bus driver. We went through London to get to the YHA Thameside where we stayed during our trip. The weather was mild but it was raining. As soon as we arrived , everybody put their luggage in their rooms.Then we went for a walk but night fell quickly. Dinner was at 7:30pm. It was fine. After some students went into their bedrooms and others stayed in the lounge to play billiards and talk. Beverley and I planned, in English, the next few days. Then we went to bed.

Good night !

Day 2 : Monday, 17th December

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Everybody was ready at 8 a.m. and after a copious British breakfast it was time to leave. The overground and underground are easy to move about in and the students got used to using it with a small map we had given them. The first visit was to show students the «Westminster Abbey ». It's the famous religious church in London where the British kings and queens are crowned and sometimes buried. The last coronation was Queen Elizabeth the II's.The poet's corner is the resting place of Charles Dickens and Haendel and a lot of other famous people.

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At 11.30 am we went to « Buckingham Palace » and watched the changing of the guard. There were masses of people. Then it was eating and shopping time. At the beginning of the afternoon, we visited the « British Museum », the biggest free museum in the world. The Parthenon sculptures can be seen there. However, since the 1980's, the Greek government has disputed the British museum's legal title to these sculptures. The British government claims that is their duty to display the sculptures for world culture and to affirm the universal legacy of the culture of ancient Athens.

Later in the afternoon, many students went back to the YHA to have a rest before dinner.

Day 3 : Tuesday, 18th December

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Today everybody was ready on time. We took the tube to Madame Tussaud's where we had an appointment at 10 o'clock. It was surprising to find many famous actors and actresses, queens and kings, sportsmen and sportwomen, singers still alive or dead ...the new president of USA and the new French president. The students had their photo taken with some of them.

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After lunch, we visited the Tower of London. It was built during the reign of William the Conquerer. It contains a very large collection of weapons. The tower was also a home to royalty. In another building, we saw the Crown Jewels which are used at the coronation . Then the students had spare time. They went for a walk in Hyde Park Winter Wonderland or shopping in Oxford street and Harrod's. At last, after a full day, we went back to the YHA in Rotherhithe for dinner and to sleep.

Day 4 : Wednesday, 19th December

In the morning, we woke up very early, had a quick breakfast and left at 8:30 am.

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We visited Shakespeare's Globe Theater. It was rebuilt after the great fire in 1613, in honor of William Shakespeare. It proved to be a very interesting building with a thatched roof, bricked wall and an oak framework. The guide explained to us that during the plays actors would join the crowd as the actors did in Shakespeare's time.

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After this visit, we walked along Thames and then we visited the Imperial War Museum that tells of wars in which Great Britain participated and especially about World War II. The third floor was devoted entirely to people's life during WWII and the Holocaust and the concentration camps. It was a terribly painful experience for the students. They were moved by the displays that they saw.

In the evening Beverley and I took them to a Fish and Chip restaurant. It was a very good idea that all of them enjoyed. It was our last night in London, so we went back to the YHA because the next day we had to fly back to Marseille.

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Day 5 : Thursday, 19th December

The last day, we did our last minute shopping at Canada Water shopping center.Then we went back to the YHA. We picked up our bags and took a bus to Victoria station where we met our coach. He took us to Heathrow airport. We had lunch at the airport and caught our plane back to Marseille in the afternoon.

End of our trip