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How to combine study, tourism and a little shopping!.
I wanted to visit London, or rather England outside London. Not so important exactly where but I had already been to London several times and it was difficult to imagine what to do there for a whole week. So Des’s suggestion to spend a week at his house near Cambridge turned out to be a timely one, and it was somewhere to go to improve my English.
The town of Ramsey, where they live, is a nice place, with many winding streets with houses with gardens – some well-cared for and some not. In the town centre there is a church and a couple of shops and restaurants. And that’s all. Therefore during breaks from lessons I enjoyed visiting more well-known tourist places.
I chose two hours of lessons per day because the purpose of the visit was not only to learn the language but also a little tourism. If I went for a whole day, for example to London or York, then the lessons could be moved to the previous or the following day. The timetable was flexible. Because Ramsey doesn’t have a railway station Des drove me to the nearest station and picked me up.
During the week:
I spent some time in Cambridge, travelling there on the rail-guided bus.
I spent a whole day in London (it takes an hour to get there by train), climbed to the top of St. Paul’s cathedral and took some great photograph; then for £50 I had my hair cut on Fleet Street, a couple of steps from the cathedral, and accepted compliments from the employees there. The tea at the hairdresser’s, from a real teapot, was good. Shopping… the abundance of shops on Oxford Street was pulling me in and it was impossible to resist… I’m a weak-willed woman.
I went to York for a whole day. It was surprising that on the map of Great Britain York is shown as somewhere in the middle and yet it only took an hour and twenty minutes to get there by train. York is a famous tourist city where everything you might want can be found: historic centre, cathedral, river and even city walls which you can walk along.
Apart from tourism I managed to improve my language skills with pleasant chats with the Buckley family during breakfast and lunch and while watching TV in the evenings. I even managed, for the first time in my life, to watch Mama Mia with Meryl Streep in the title role.
I listened to a choir of 60 policemen, who were giving a free concert in Peterborough cathedral.
And I learnt many new, interesting, details about life in England.
Some advice for future visitors: buy your train tickets earlier over the internet: the system is the same as with planes – the earlier you buy, the cheaper the tickets.
Thank you Des and Margo.
Pleasant travels everybody.
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