During the summer of 2008, I was presented with an amazing opportunity. I was nominated to participate with the People to People Organization. I got to travel to the United Kingdom for a month. There was about forty students and five teacher leaders. We also me Mr. Bartholomew Preston, our Scottish guide for the entire trip.
For our first day in London we watched the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. A group of guards walked down the road to the palace. The two main guards on duty were then switched. After that we went to the notorious Tower of London. We walked the castle grounds and explored the towers. We also got to see the crown jewels. Also in London, we got to watch a play in London’s West End. The London Eye was my favorite part though. Its one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen.
Our next stop after England was Ireland. While there we got to visit Blarney Castle. We all went to the top to kiss the Blarney Stone. Its said if you kiss it, it will give you good luck. We also visited a family farm. They showed us how to make soda bread, and an old Irish dance. We helped herd their sheep in the fields and go to the bog. A bog is like a big mud pool. You have to be careful though beacause if get too deep, it may take awhile to get back out. The las thing we did was go to Waterford Crystal Factory. We saw how a piece of crystal is made and detailed. We saw some small pieces that came with a huge price.
After Ireland we headed over to Wales. We visited the beautiful Cardiff Castle, The place was so nice, and was also very big. Each room in the castle had its own theme. For instance, one room was set up just for children. There was a great collectionof books and toys. The walls were painted with old fairytale characters. Also in Wales we met the Full On team. They are a group of Australlian and New Zealanders who do activites especially with the People to People program. We split up into groups and made our own teams. We did some activities and later repelled down the castles towers.
Our last destination was Scotland, and it was by far my favorite. The first night there we stayed in a hostel. The next day we left the hostel and went into Edinburgh. The Scottish Family jewels and the Stone of Destiny are kept at the Edinburgh Castle. The chapel there, Saint Margaret’s chapel, is the oldest building in the castle. We later went to Loch Ness. We took a boat out on the lake and looked for Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. We didn’t have any luck though.
This trip let me experience new things. I saw how other cultures lived and worked. I was able to see how things worked compared to how they are done here. I got to experience the many different types of people and animals there. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience. I’ve learned so much from it. I hope to continue traveling and experiencing new cultures. I am very grateful that I got the chance to do this. Its something I will never forget.
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