Wednesday Nov. 26. London
Leaving the oppressive humid conditions of Singapore behind us, our troupe landed at Heathrow Airport, the largest in the world, at 5.15 a.m. The 13 hour trip held no surprises for those familiar with the long haul and the newcomers to overseas travel dealt with it all very well. The coolness of a London morning of 2 degrees was wonderful! Our guide was there to greet us and Bob and Bob (driver and guide) took us through an introduction to this most famous city in the world. Liz was in at Buck Palace as her standard flew above the turrets and we tried to see if she was up having her breaky. It was only 7.00 a.m. and the city was beginning to wake up. Around we cruised the familiar place names of Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, over the Thames via Lambeth Bridge, the Tower bridge and Tower of London all these were excitedly photographed by the group. Our guide was very aware of the danger of sleep taking over so we were on and off the bus into the cold air….an excellent move to keep my charges awake. One stop was very special as we were taken to the garden behind St Paul’s Cathedral. One of the most beautiful structures in London, it was a joy to take in the view of this building.
The next step of the day was to keep the group awake fighting off jet lag. We couldn’t check into the hotel until 2.00 pm. So we stored the cases in the luggage room and took off for the British Museum. I had designed a “Treasure Hunt” covering some of the highlights of the British Museum. Working in their transit groups of 5 – 6 the kids were just wonderful. Despite the lack of sleep and obvious exhaustion, they enthusiastically they themselves into locating the artefacts on the list. Many of the BHS kids found the artefacts they had researched in their Stage One History course in the term one unit they completed on the museum. It worked really well and everyone won a small gift from the gift shop. At last we were able to check in at the hotel and a shot shower was heavenly. It was 3.00 pm and the group’s first encounter of the London Underground was every bit the challenge I predicted. It is not easy to direct 32 people through the system when most were unfamiliar with its workings, However no one was lost or left behind …phew! Covent Garden and it markets and entertainers awaited and after a long day/night/morning (what time is it anyway????) The keen shoppers had a field day. It had been a huge day and with the group having a shared meal at the closest Pizza Hut it was time to trek back to the hotel. Everyone was in bed by 7.30 !!!!