This year, the second and the third classes of High School at the Marcelline Institute had the idea to go on their school trip to England. After months of work and time dedicated by our English teacher and the ones in England for its organization, we – students of the second A class – together with all the other students departed on April 24 and spent one week in the beautiful town of Bournemouth. The choice fell on this town, well -known for its schools and study trips, to give us the opportunity to practice the English language.
To further encourage the students to speak as much as possible in English, we were hosted by some local families. —They were all very welcoming and nice. Many of us had never been to England before, so it gave us the opportunity to learn a lot about the English culture and different family traditions. The houses we stayed in were traditional English houses and quite different from the tyrolean houses. —
The students attended language courses in the morning for five days. The established program included the development of some activities in the afternoon like the visit to the Jurassic Coast, the bowling game and the small trips to the cities of Portsmouth and Bath.
MONDAY: Jurassic Coast
It is a 95 miles (153 km) long beach in the south of England. We spent an hour and a half on the coach from Bournemouth and, as we arrived, we had a little walk. There were stairs from the path to the gravel beach. The water was fabulous! We also took some pictures and watched the geologists at work. This coast, in fact, is one of the most popular for its Jurassic fossils. —Luckily we had good weather! As we all know the British weather is not very good because it changes very quickly during the day. It still was quite cold and windy but when the sun shone it was warm. —
We restarted to walk towards a little fishermen’s village, where we had a short stop. We got on the coach and returned back home.
TUESDAY: Bowling + Movie
The bowling alley was in the northern part of Bournemouth and we went there by a line bus. Due to the changing weather, the alley is a meeting point for the British population; that’s why in the alley there were also a little restaurant and a lot of games for children and adults.
We spent there about 2 hours and then went back to school, where we watched the film: “The Martian”. It was a really good movie and we found it an alternative way to spend our time together.
Portsmouth is a town in Hampshire and it was and still is one of the most important ports for the Royal Navy. Most of the city is located on an island. We visited the HMS Victory, a vessel built in 1760 and rebuilt in 1803, used in the fleet by Lord Nelson during the battle of Trafalgar. At the end Nelson was killed and the Victory had the task to bring his body back to England. The HMS Victory was also used in the Baltic Sea to stop the Russian fleet and to maintain the Swedish supplies. After this it became a depot ship and was anchored in Portsmouth.
In this city we also visited the municipality museum that depicted the history of the town. It was interesting since Arthur Conan Doyle lived here and many were the objects that portrayed his stay. The life of the ‘50s was depicted, as well as other interesting things. The last important monument that we saw was the Spinnaker Tower, owned now by the Arab Emirates.
We had also a little time for shopping then we went back to Bournemouth.
THURSDAY: Russell Cotes Museum and Hengsbury Head
In the morning we visited the Russell Cotes Museum, that is hosted in a villa on a cliff in Bournemouth. This museum is an art gallery, but was also a home. In this building we have found a lot of beautiful paintings and the rooms were perfectly preserved. We stayed also in the curate and green garden.
During the afternoon we took the service bus and went to the beginning of the path that leads to Hengistbury Head; it is a sandstone headland in the countryside in Dorset. In 1990 it was recognized as a Local Natural Reserve.
The nearest settlement is Christchurch, we reached it by ferry. There we had some free time and finally headed back to Bournemouth.
During the last day we had all the afternoon free and did a lot of shopping with our friends. We spent a great time in the many shops in the centre!
SATURDAY: Salisbury Cathedral, Stonehenge and Bath
The Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary is an Anglican cathedral in Salisbury. It’s one of the most important examples of Early English architecture. The church was built in only thirty-eight years, from 1220 to 1258. That is why it has a single consistent architectural style, the Early English Gothic. The main tower reaches 404 feet and dominated the skyline in the early thirteen hundreds. There was only one big change in the construction of the cathedral made in 1790 by the architect James Wyatt. He replaced the original rood screen and demolished the bell tower which stood one hundred meters north-west of the main building. The enormous bell strikes the time every fifteen minutes.
According to the legend the Bishop of Old Sarum shot an arrow in the direction he would build the cathedral but the arrow hit a white deer that ran farther and died in the place where Salisbury Cathedral is to be found now. Before the years 1220 the city of Salisbury was situated a few miles away from the actual city on a small hill.
One of the main parts of the building is the central spire. It is the tallest in England, it is 404 feet high and weighs 6,400 tons. People can visit the tower, but only with a guided tour. They have to climb up 332 steps and from the top you have a beautiful view on the whole city and the surrounding countryside. Outside the cathedral there are a lot statues dedicated to different Saints. The entire inside is built in the Early English Gothic style of the 13th century. There we can also find Europe’s oldest clock brought there in 1368. Originally it was situated in the bell tower, now people can look at it in the northern part of the church. In the middle of the corridor there is a new designed baptismal built in 2008 and it is made of hand-wrought iron. The water in it is running all time and it reflects the whole inside building of the cathedral. In Salisbury Cathedral we can find the largest and oldest set of choir of the country built under King Henry III. It is all original except for the front rows which were replaced in the 17th century. Behind the choir at the east end of the cathedral there is the Trinity Chapel which was built in 1225. The chapter house, built in 1263-84, is a beautiful example of the Geometrical Decorated style. Along the wall there are more than sixty reliefs of scenes of the Bible. In the east wing we have the English Gothic cloister which is the largest in England. It was used as a prison during the 17th century. In the library, many are the precious manuscripts, including the Gallican Psalter of the 10th century.
Magna Carta (Latin for “Great Charter”) is one of the most celebrated documents in English history. At the time it was the solution to a political crisis in Medieval England but its importance has endured as it has become recognised as a cornerstone of liberty influencing much of the civilized world.
Only four copies of Magna Carta dating from 1215 have survived the ravages of time and Salisbury Cathedral is proud to be home to the best preserved original manuscript. Elias of Dereham, priest and steward of the archbishop of Canterbury is thought to have brought Salisbury’s copy of to Old Sarum in the days following the events at Runnymede and it has remained in the Cathedral’s care ever since.
On our way to Bath, we saw also Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument built with rocks. We didn’t see it properly, but we were anyway happy to get a glimpse of it, and to take pictures.
We arrived in Bath at lunch time. Our guide, took us to different parts of the city, and told us the story of it. He told us that the city, was founded by the Romans, who built a temple and the baths. Bath was a SPA that became popular during the 17th century, because people thought that its springs were curative.
We saw the Bath Abbey, because it was near the baths. It was founded in the 7th century and it became a religious centre. Then it was re-built in the 16th and 12th centuries.
Most of the buildings in Bath are made of the Bath Stone and the dominant style is the Georgian.
After seeing the baths, our guide showed us the Victoria Park. Once, it was closed, but now it is open to the public. This park leads to The Royal Crescent. Here, the third class had the honor to introduce the building.
The Royal Crescent was built between 1767 and 1774 and designed by the younger John Wood.
He designed the great curved façade, with 30 houses. A lot of people lived or stayed in the Royal Cresent since it was first built, over 230 years ago. Some people, that stayed in the terrace, are commemorated on special plaques attached to the relevant buildings. The street near the building is today called “The Royal Crescent” but its original name was “ The Crescent”. People added the adjective “Royal” after Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, had stayed there, at the end of the 18th century.
After the presentation we went to see The Circus.
The Circus, originally called King’s Circus, was designed by the architect John Wood, the Elder, even though he died before finishing the building. His son, John Wood, the Younger, completed the building.
John Wood the Elder wanted to recreate a classical Palladian architectural landscape for the city. On the facades three styles are used: Doric, Roman and Corinthian.
In 1800 the Circus residents used the central part of the open space as a garden. Now, the central area is home to a group of old plane trees.
During the Bath Blitz of 25/26 April 1942 a bomb fell into the Circus, destroying several houses. These have been reconstructed in the original style.
After this, we could go and eat something, because it was well past lunch time and then we had our free time until 5pm. At 5pm we had the meeting in the main square and went back to Bounemouth.
SATURDAY – SUNDAY: Our trip home
We spent our Saturday evening at the school because we had to wait for the bus that then took us to Stansted Airport, in London. It was a long night but we had a lot of fun. The school offered us a pizza, we played darts, billiard, table football and a few of us rested. The bus came to pick us up at 11:00 pm. We all tried to sleep during the 4 hour journey. Once we got to London we waited for the check-in to open (4 am). The teachers gave us our boarding passes and after having checked- in our bags we passed the controls. We got on the plane around 6.15 am. The flight was on time and there was a very smooth landing once we got to Verona. In Verona, a coach picked us up and drove us back to Bolzano. It was very nice to meet our families again and share our experience with them.
This was a beautiful trip that all the students really enjoyed. The group was always on time and participated actively to all the excursions and the activities organised. This school trip has allowed us to have a full immersion in the English world, to practise our knowledge at school, during the activities… and in many other situations. Schools organise school trips in order to complete and verify the language level of students, to feed our minds, to unify the class group, to socialize with new people and bond with new people by creating friendships that could last forever. We think that the real goal of field trips is this. This trip was very well organised, therefore we would like to come back and maybe stay there more time instead of just one week!
(c) 2ndA and 2ndB