There’s this old saying that essentially goes: Every new experience you encounter, you have to share with as many as possible, so that your own joy from that experience grows even more… I don’t really know if there’s any saying like that whatsoever, as I just made that up, to sort of justify this whole burst of enjoyments and emotions we were left with after our expedition to the south of England. So without further ado, let us introduce to the delights that we experienced during one week in September, which we spent in some of the most beautiful places in Western Europe.
Getting off to a flat start - major aspect of our trip was the travelling by bus, which was a whole experience on its own. I think that everyone liked to think that they were appropriately prepared for this journey before it started. Unfortunately no one was really ready was for what was about to come the first night of our trip, I dare say. Noisy teenagers placing silly bets and flying a drone in the back seats, that’s what it was, to be exact. Some students, including myself, had to use the comforts of the bus alley floor to get the necessary amount of sleep, only to be able to function the next day. But every cloud has a silver lining. These difficulties didn’t affect our group though. I guess they even served as some kind of a ‘team building activity’, as we had a common downer to gossip about. Fortunately, not being able to sleep on the bus was balanced by the delights of the following days.
Valentýna Fuchsová, septima A
It took us exactly 10 hours and 27 minutes to get from Pilsen to the heart of Belgium, Brussels. What can I say, if you slept 4 hours in constant you were the lucky one, but experience has to be strong right. I'm not here to describe you our way tho, I would like to talk about the city more so let's start.
We began our journey just in front of Royal Palace of Brussels, traffic wasn't that bad so we have got chance to take some solid photos of that „decent“ residence of belgian rulers. Jokes aside, it was trully gorgeous. After a short stop for photographers and teachers to finally count us (I do get it, 66 adolescents aren't easy to maintain I know), we continued through the Brusells Park where we could obtain additional information about the history and the culture of this splendid francophone country from our patient and (sometimes even) funny guide, Markétka. She carried some special device with microphone so even the ones who cared more about their Instagram stories updates than the historiographical commentary did not have the chance to mishear her.
We followed her shortly to the centre of the city, for our next stop - Saint-Micheal Cathedral. What I like about French gothic buildings is that they seems more welcoming when you comepare them to the Middleeuropean cathedrals and basilicas. Ours tend to be murkier and angular. Then we had an opportunity to explore the squere of the city, Grote Markt, and its hidden caffeterias. It was welcoming pause I would say. With fresh caffeine rushing through our veins we were ready to visit belgian most known attractions, Mannekin Pis. Rumors say, there is his femine opposite somewhere in the city as well. We were greeted with Mannekin in disguise because there was some official visit in Brussel and they brought him costume according to tradition. So it was actually Tiger Pis.
Another walk in the city, we passed Mont des Arts, Palais de la Dynastie and Palais de Congrès and we were back where it all has started, right in front of Koningsplein. On our way to Bruges we made quick stay at Atomium, steel structure from EXPO 1958. Splendid view, what other can I say when I'm the aspiring architect right.
By the way we achieved international respect and admiration thanks to that exhibition. Golden Czech hands.
Natalia Motysová, septima A
After a half-day which we spent in Brussels, we moved to a beautiful historic town called Bruges. With a few other canal-based northern cities, such as Amsterdam, it is sometimes called Venice of the North.
The historical centre of Bruges has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. Bruges‘ most famous landmark is its 13th-century bell tower, comprising 48 bells. In the city centre you can also visit The Basilica of the Holy Blood or The Saint Salvator’s Cathedral.
Our visit of this historical city was made more pleasant with an evening light, thanks to which we all made a lot of beautiful photos. In the evening we moved to the local youth hostel, where we again recovered the necessary forces. And the next day new adventures were waiting on us.
Anna Školoudová, septima A
Our very first day in England was really exciting, because we visited the Leeds castle, which is located on the South coast near to Canterbury. The castle was extremely beautiful, because of flower exhibitions, which were there for an unknown reason (we didn't really quest after it). It means, that in every room there were tons of flowers lovely arranged and each room has its own arranger, who decorated it. I can say, that there wasn't a single room, where we would say, that the flowers destroy the atmosphere of the room or something like that. It all just seemed so stunning and also the smell was really good, so we stayed here for a couple minutes and just enjoyed the castle.
But the Leeds is not just about the castle itself, but also about a great wonderful garden, where we could find even more interesting things such as the Maze, where we lost ourselves for a while, but luckily we found a way into the middle (it was even better, when your friends where still somewhere between the trees) and we could slowly continue to the end, which was nothing maturer than a playground! The playground was just amazing. I know we're almost adults, but it doesn't matter, cause we enjoyed it like little kids. It was just something extra and we were so happy, that we could visit it as well. After that we didn't have much time, so we came back to a bus, where was our meeting point. We were tired, but really satisfied - the day was literally perfect.
Iva Salivarová, septima A
After the first night with our host families we were eager and looking forward to our first impressions of London. The first thing for us to experience was a trip over the River Thames by a cable car link called Emirates Air Line. A very interesting fact was when I found out that the locals actually use it as a means of public transport. Afterwards we used a train to reach the Tower of London which happened to have a train station right next to it which goes by the same name. We even got the privilege to see the Tower from the inside and its hidden treasures such as the crown jewels or a magnificent sight of the Tower Bridge from one of the towers. Speaking of sights, when we were walking across the bridge we also got a better view of the newly built buildings like the City Hall or the "Gherkin". I don't know how to feel about the mixture of the newly built structures spreaded amongst the historical ones it has an odd but interesting feeling. Taking a stroll around the Globe Theatre which is associated with the one and only William Shakespeare got us to right in front of the Saint Paul's Cathedral. The building felt very sunken amongst the surrounding buildings so the experience was a little bit lackluster because you can't get a good view of it on foot. I actually had to look it up online to get a better picture of the building as the whole. The only thing remaining after that was getting back to our host families by the infamous London Underground or "The Tube" if you will.
Kristýna Bláhová, septima A
On Thursday we visited Oxford. The day had started as usual as the other that means breakfast in our host families, than meeting by bus at 8 AM and a long trip to Oxford. When we arrived we went direct to the university. There we had one hour for exploring the campus and experiencing the feeling how it is to study and spend time there. It was amazing not only because of being there but also because of realizing that it could actually be our future university. After it we went to the center, there we had two hours for shopping and enjoying the atmosphere of Oxford. Some of us had visited the highest tower in the town for great view on Oxford. It was quite windy up there but the view was worth it. At the end of the day we went back to our host families. For me was this day the one of those I had been the most looking forward to and of course I enjoyed it.
Kateřina Soumarová, septima A
The Seven Sisters - a series of chalk cliffs by the English Channel. That was our destination on Friday. The name is derived from the seven sisters, who had allegedly each house between the single peaks. Our journey from London took about four hours, but I'd say, that it was worth it. On our trip we spent most of the time in the cities (or in the bus :D) and this experience was something completely different. The view was incredible and I felt like I could stay there forever and just watch the endless ocean.
Unfortunately it was really windy, when we were there and we couldn't implement a long walk across the cliffs. We went out just for a while, still alert, so that the wind wouldn't blow us away and then came back to the bus and enjoyed the view from the comfort of our seats.
But then we had a one more stop on the place, where the wind wasn't so intense anymore and we could go entirely to the sea. On the seaside we took a lot of photos and some of us even tried the temperature of the water. Well, obviously, it wasn't too warm.
Hana Sadílková, septima A
And when we were finally fed up with the breathtaking views, we headed to Brighton that I personally found very promising and was really looking forward to.
It only took us a while to arrive to the city (compared to the hell we’d already been through). After a short break used by every individual the way they liked - some of us stayed by the sea, others took a chance of coastal fish&chips, we gathered for a routinal counting and then, naive and full of expectations, entered the beauty and mysteries of Sea Life Brighton. It’s such a pity I couldn’t appreciate this place as much as our tour guide or the teachers, but since I’m not very keen to sea life in general, I had my moment when touching a starfish and then disappeard into a giftshop. It couldn’t entertain me for more than two minutes as it was specialized for sea life. When I was later speaking to other students, we agreed this wasn’t the brightest side of Brighton. It definitely was yet to come, though.
Following programme was indiviudal again and I believe Brighton has so much to offer that none of us can say they didn’t enjoy last few hours in this university town. Cute bars and cafés on every corner, vintage shops, design shops, that’s what I’m talking about. I always caught a glimpse of something that I thought is the most interesting object I’ve seen since arriving, only to be attracted a few seconds later to something new.
We were leaving exhausted, broke and with a warm satisfactory feeling in our chests saying “This is not the last time I’m here.”
Kristýna Bednářová, septima A
Our last day in England we visited London for one more time. This time we were able to experience typical British weather, so we took our umbrellas and started out the trip. To the center of London we got by boat. We had good view on Tower Bridge and also on Tower. I really love in London - the diversity in architecture. The old historical buildings are right next to the new modern ones. After the boat we moved to the Trafalgar Square and then we continued to the seat of Queen of the United Kingdom - Buckingham Palace.
Later that day we arrived to Palace of Westminster with famous Big Ben. It was big disappointment when we found out that around Big Ben is scaffolding. But our guide told us this: To be able to see Big Ben with scaffolding is even better than without it because it is something special. It filled me with excitement, so I took as many pictures as possible.
The last thing on our schedule was big shopping but before this we weren´t able to leave London without the ride on London Eye. After a long line we got into one of the capsules and we enjoyed London from the bird perspective. After this there was a plan to visit Oxford Street but it was decided we would go into the shopping center instead. To be honest, I would rather see Oxford Street but I have to keep this wish for my next trip to London, which I hope will be soon.
Lucie Prošková, septima A