It has been a while since we’ve come back from Broadstairs. Nevertheless I want to tell you here what an exciting trip it was.
On July 10th we met at 4:45 in the morning at the Regensburg station. Our bus came punctually and we left Regensburg around 5 a.m. Our trip through Germany and Belgium to the ferry-harbor in Calais, France, took 13 hours. In Calais unfortunately the ferries kept us waiting for whatever reasons and it took until 9:30 p.m. when we were finally allowed to board the ship. Many of us had never seen a ferry before. They were surprised that a huge bus was allowed to travel by ship. On the ferry everybody enjoyed walking around and strolling through the Duty-Free shopping mall.
The drive from Dover to Broadstairs took us only 60 minutes. Hans Bauer, our bus driver, really knows his way around Kent. In Broadstairs all students were picked up by their host families and brought to the places they would stay for the next 7 nights. We were all happy to rest stretched out in our nice beds.
On the next morning everybody went to the KSE, the Kent School of English. Here the teachers and students met separately for all organizational work. The students had to take a placement test which set the groups they were taught in. After the first morning class we all met at the Clock Tower at the beach. Everyone received their food vouchers so they could stroll through Broadstairs and find their lunch meals in the different food shops. In the afternoon we were presented a video about typical English habits and rules and afterwards we met for a Broadstairs Quiz. The evening program was going to the disco and having fun together.
On Tuesday after morning class and lunch in downtown Broadstairs our bus drove us to the Westwood Cross shopping centre. Everybody was allowed to shop at their favorite stores. In the evening we met at the beach for a barbecue and for beach games like volleyball, boule, soccer, etc.
The Wednesday morning class was already something everybody had looked forward to. The English lessons in small groups meant that everybody got to speak and improve his or her language skills. After lunch break we met to drive to the city of Canterbury. There we got a guided tour through the old town centre and once more there was some free time to go shopping and stroll around. In the evening we met for Barn Dance in a nice pub. There was live music and lots of dancing and fun together.
On Thursday, after the morning lessons and the lunch time, we visited Margate, another town in the area. It is very different to Broadstairs. We went bowling there. In the evening time, after dinner at our host families, we went to the KSE for a culture quiz.
On Friday we had our last English lessons. We realized that the week went by very quickly. In the afternoon we all met at Wellesley House. This is a beautiful brick house which normally functions as an elite boarding school. Because the British had already started their summer holidays we were allowed to use all facilities of the boarding school. There were many options to choose from: archery, football, volleyball, tennis, arts and crafts, drama, table tennis or swimming. It was a lovely afternoon outside with lots of activities. In the evening the KSE-team presented their Cabaret in the Wellesley House.
On Saturday we left Broadstairs early to drive to London. We went to Greenwich to take the boat on the Thames River from there to downtown London. We went by famous places such as the Golden Globe Theatre, the Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, the Shard of Glass and many more. In the City of Westminster, directly at the Houses of Parliament, the boat stopped and we went out for a guided tour through the most famous part of London. We saw the Elizabeth Tower, the Westminster Abbey, Downing Street, Buckingham Palace and the Piccadilly Circus. Here everybody was allowed to stroll around the area in groups of three-five students. Of course everybody enjoyed the famous shops around there. When we finally reached the bus we were happy to rest our feet on our trip home to Broadstairs.
On Sunday morning, July 17th, our bus left very early to get to Dover quickly and to reach one of the first ferries across the English Channel. Our trip home went smoothly and there were hardly any traffic jams. We thought we would arrive at 9 p.m. but then – in the last hour – we got stuck in traffic after Neumarkt and so we only reached Regensburg at midnight. We were all happy to be at home again. But we also were full of great memories from our seven-day-trip to England.