A Trip To London

We started our journey on Sunday, November 26th , 2023 at Zakopianka parking lot, where we fought over the best seats on the bus which would become our prime means of transportation. When the dust settled, we welcomed our guide with applause and began our 24-hour journey. Our spirits were bright and we enjoyed our time listening to music, joking and watching a movie about George VI. We travelled half of Poland … Germany … the Netherlands … Belgium … (the latter two while completely asleep) … and in the blink of an eye we were at the France-UK border. We took a train trip through the marvel of engineering – the Eurotunnel – and soon we were fresh and ready at Greenwich Park in London.

We took many photos at the Prime Meridian and, after free time including delicious British breakfast, we set off on a long walk along Canary Wharf, watching skyscrapers hosting some of the world’s biggest financial centres, built literally on water. We saw the history of this district in the Museum of London Docklands. After a long awaited portion of free time, we explored the monument of the British as travellers and traders, known commonly as the National Maritime Museum. After another walk through Greenwich Park (never too many of them) and a bus ride to Croydon, there came the long-awaited moment of knowing in whose house we would be residing in the following week.

On Tuesday we took up a task of exploring one of the most historically important (and, in the eyes of many of us, most beautiful) district – the City of London. We started with a walk around the most iconic landmarks, including the Temple Bar Gate and St Paul’s Cathedral. After walking down the Millenium Bridge, we entered Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, where we became closer with the history of this immortal building. We had free time to buy souvenirs in there, with entire collections of fiction written in Shakespearean English. After a walk down the Thames, we took mandatory photos at Tower Bridge and entered the Tower of London. The fortress of tall ramparts with eye-watering views, hidden collections, armoury gathered thorough the history and awe-inspiring diamonds, crowns and ceremonial weaponry of the Royal Jewels collection, the Tower of London was a place of great splendour and one of the most memorable locations of the entire trip.

Next day, after waking up and experiencing the famous British weather, we headed for the one and only British Museum. It is not possible to put into words the sheer quantity of historical artifacts gathered (in more or less controversial ways) in the halls of this place: exhibitions from Egypt, Japan, Europe, Africa, Greece, Latin America, you name it, placed around the maze of this building. We then got on our bus for a long journey to Warner Bros Studio, calmly interrupted only by an exchange of musical tastes from the whole year (since Wrappeds came in just at that moment). Upon arrival, we entered the paradise of every Potterhead, seeing the entire process of making each of 9 Harry Potter movies, props, costumes and movie sets, experiencing scenes from the movies in real life and seeing an enormous model of Hogwarts. Positively tired we returned to our families, to be welcomed by a warm meal, much needed on such a cold day.

On November 30th , we set off to the royal residence of Windsor Castle. In there we saw St. George’s Chapel, though it was more akin to a cathedral, with beautiful stained glass windows and carvings in stone and wood. After that we were lucky to experience Changing of the King’s Guard, and, after entering the main palace of this stronghold, we saw halls blooming with opulence, handmade ceramics, decorated armour, paintings of royals and the gigantic Queen Mary’s Dollhouse. After that, we were allowed free time in a shopping mall, which let us buy consumable souvenirs exclusive to Britain. Our next point were two museums in South Kensington: the Natural History Museum and the equally famous Science Museum. We split in two groups, each exploring one of the museums for two hours. The group in the Natural History Museum had an opportunity to see many interesting exhibits, including, but not limited to many stuffed or reconstructed animal species – terrestrial and aquatic, mesmerising skeletons of ancient creatures and an entire exhibition about human evolution. The other group visiting the Science Museum was able to see the most important milestones of the development of human technology. There were displays showing vehicles, steam machines and planes,  an enormous hall dedicated to medicine, amazing interactive space for playing with our senses and summarised history of the entire Coronavirus pandemic in one place.

On the last day of our trip, we said goodbye to our families with tears in our eyes, ate last beans and mushroom and embarked on our bus for possibly the most active day of the entire trip. We started at Westminster Abbey, with its stunning sculptures and carvings. Continuing our walk down Parliament St, we entered the National Gallery, with innumerable paintings of famous artists, the most notable collections of van Gogh’s and Monet’s oils. We then went on a walk down St James’ Park, bewildered by unusual birds flying in the branches of trees. Afterwards we took photos at the gates of Buckingham Palace and took the Tube to Piccadilly Circus. There we spent our free time glutting ourselves with the iconic food from China Town and, after buying the last souvenirs, we started our journey back to Poland.

We were travelling back the same way for another day and we were welcomed on the Polish border by stunning winter weather. This trip was an unforgettable experience, with many memories of places, jokes and lovely families who we had spent our amazing quality time with.

Joanna Stupka and Kasper Gut-Słaby, Class 3F