BY KATIE PHILBIN
Last December the Gibraltar College AS Travel and tourism class, embarked on a trip to London as a part of our coursework.
The aim was to organise and co-ordinate an exciting, fun and educational trip, with £750 to spend per person. We were all very excited to go, and just as expected, it was magical.
After a few hours of travelling by coach and plane, we got our mystical oyster cards and headed down to Leicester Square to start our expedition; although fatigued it was just as beautiful as we hoped.
The lights lit everything up amazingly and there was so much to take in and learn about (Did you know it was common to duel there in the 17th century?) but before we knew it, it was time to go to Chinatown. We separated into groups and explored, absorbing as much of the energy as possible before it got too cold. We all found our way into restaurants to not only warm up but to also taste what Chinatown had to offer; we definitely were not disappointed, only saddened when we had to go back to the hotel.
After a good night’s rest we ate our breakfast and headed towards the Natural History Museum, which was within walking distance from our hotel.
This was one of the things I was most excited to visit. We learnt so much, about so much. My favourite was the dinosaur exhibition, but there was so much more to offer such as, an ocean exhibition, a ‘life in the dark’ exhibition, and an ice rink.
Again we explored in groups, but we all seemed to eventually gather in the café before we headed to our next destination, Madame Tussauds.
We ‘met’ so many people there, it was mind boggling to see how well the celebrities were crafted. It was funny to watch classmates say sorry to wax figures when they thought they were real people.
There were quite a few people that stood out; Donald Trump, Ed Sheeran, Amy Winehouse, Freddie Mercury, The Beatles and more were hits but Madame Tussauds really surprised me with a ride through history in a black taxi (it was a ride in the actual building) and giving us the chance to be a judge on the voice.
We had some food and it was off to the theatre to watch Aladdin.
Waiting outside we were tired from the day’s activities, however, walking into the theatre was warm and inviting, and then the excitement truly kicked in.
The genie was hilarious, making Robin Williams proud I’m sure, but it was truly magical when Jasmine and Aladdin flew on the magic carpet; it was as if we were travelling through the stars with them.
We explored Parliament the next morning, learning about the suffragettes and discussing not only Brexit but politics in general which was very informative, and something I thoroughly enjoyed.
I must admit however, it was the next attraction that was the thing I’d wanted to do since we started planning the trip, the London Eye. It was almost a blur for me as I walked into the pod.
It was the most built up in my mind and something I have wanted to do for years, as it always seemed to inspire me in an odd way.
Although loud and slightly overcrowded, I just listened to some music and took in as much as I could, and I’m sure everyone else did too.
The adventure continued with activities including the London Dungeons, a 4D cinema experience, and a very informative trip to the Gibraltar house where we learned about how Gibraltar is represented in London.
Of course we spent time shopping in Westfield, but I must say my true highlight was finding this quaint little Italian restaurant one evening with my new-found friends.
In all honesty I think we all did more than expected on this trip; we made friends, we gained more independence and we made memories, ones I think none of us will ever forget.
I look forward to the rest of this year, but I will forever look back fondly on this inspiring adventure.