Labenwolf meets Roman Britain: A Study Trip (July 2016)

 

The first meetings of the P-Seminar “Roman Traces in Britain“ were held in 2015. The whole trip took about a year to plan, and most of the planning except for the bookings of the flights and hostel were done by the students. As the title says, the trip was about seeing as much Roman history in England as possible and learning how Roman Britain worked. Before going to London, all the students prepared a report about a part of Roman history in the UK, so that everyone already had enough background information before the trip began.

The London trip of the English P-Seminar “Roman Traces in Britain“ started at the airport in Nuremberg on July 25, 2016. Our group of twelve people flew to London-Heathrow with a short transfer in Frankfurt. After arriving in the early evening, the group traveled to the hostel via the underground.



The hostel was called Generator and was close to the underground stop Russell Square. It was designed for many types of guests, especially teenagers. It had a bar with music, a common room to relax, and many places to sit for conversations or card-playing. The rooms aren’t fancy, but reasonable for their price. There were about five students per room. Breakfast was included in the booking, as well as a lunch bag on one day. The group was satisfied with the service, e.g. we got a fan for one of our rooms on demand.

After a day where most of the group hadn’t had much more to eat than the airplane snacks, we started the evening searching for food. On our way we passed the beautiful train station St. Pancras and bought food in the supermarket there.


For Tuesday, July 26th, we had planned to travel to Bath, a small town in the southwest of England. Our three-hour bus ride to the historic town started at eight o'clock at the Victoria Coach Station in London. During the ride, a few of us enjoyed the passing landscape, while others took a nap. At eleven o'clock we arrived at our destination. We walked through the city centre to the Roman Baths, which were built over 2000 years ago. It was astonishing to see how much of the original building is preserved. The museum offered us an audio guide, which informed us about the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House and many of the artifacts in the museum. We felt as if we were travelling back in time and it definitely was a highlight of our search for Roman traces in Britain.

 

For the remaining time in Bath, we split up in smaller groups and discovered the town. In addition to the Roman Baths, the town offers different attractions that some of us visited: the Circus, the Jane Austen

Centre and the Royal Crescent. Others just strolled around town, enchanted by its unique sidestreets, small cafés, and shops. After our great day in Bath, a bus drove us back to London in the late afternoon.

   

On Wednesday morning, we walked along the London Wall together. Our walk took us over the Tower Bridge and along the wall built by Romans at the end of the second century, into the courtyard of a hotel and along a busy road, where our informative walk ended. In total, the London wall is six metres high and 5 kilometres long, though part of the wall was added many years after the initial construction.

 

After the walk. we made our way through the streets of London to the Temple of Mithras, just to discover that it was closed for construction.

On Wednesday noon we visited the British Museum together, where we saw exhibits of Rome and ancient Egypt. There were many famous pieces on display, such as the Rosetta Stone or the bronze bust of Augustus. In the following picture, you can see the bust of Hadrian, who is famous for the construction of Hadrian’s Wall.

All in all, the museum was good, in spite of the huge number of visitors. During a short break after visiting the museum, a couple of members of the group bought food at one of the stands outside of the museum.

On Wednesday afternoon, we had a couple of hours of free time to go to Big Ben without the teachers, where we split up.

 

 

One group went to Oxford street, a huge shopping street, while the rest of the group went to Camden Market. In the evening a big part of the group went out to eat together. We all had a very exciting afternoon.

During our stay in London and Bath, we could also experience the culinary diversity of England. There was a takeaway just one street away from our hostel, where we ate tasty fish and chips several times.

 

Especially the snacks that we could buy for little money in every supermarket gave us fast energy during our activities: Jelly Beans, Jelly Babies, Crisps, Cadbury-Chocolate and cookies were very popular in the group. We got used to the British daily routine pretty quickly, which always includes a tea time. Even though there are more healthy ways of eating than the British way, we enjoyed all the tasty food in England.

The trip back home on Thursday, July 28 was similar to the trip to London, even though we were under more time pressure. Luckily, everything went smoothly. Our trip ended with a slight delay in Nuremberg on Thursday evening.

It remains to be said that the students and teachers all enjoyed the trip. We could see a lot of things that were new to us and we could also spend time discovering London on our own, which was fun for the whole group.

 

 

 

 

 

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