Spring Program: Day 12
No visit to the UK would be complete without a trip to London!
First stop of the day was the Houses of Parliament. The students had a guided tour around the corridors and chambers where UK policy is discussed and made. We hope the trip has inspired them for their debate in the Cambridge Union chambers tomorrow!
From ‘vote’ to ‘boat’… It was then time to hop on the Thames Clipper, a taxi-boat which took us down the River Thames. After seeing some famous sights from the water, we arrived at our destination: Greenwich. Not only is Greenwich home to the Prime Meridian on which all world times are based (GMT = Greenwich Mean Time), it also houses the Royal Observatory and Planetarium. After a fair bit of walking, it was lovely to sit back in the comfortable reclining seats and listen to the dulcet tones of Benedict Cumberbatch (the actor famous for portraying the modern Sherlock Holmes, and a bit of a national treasure) educating us about Solar Super Storms. Did you know the last geomagnetic storm was in 1859 (the year Big Ben was constructed), and resulted in the Northern Lights being seen as far south as Hawaii and Mexico? Apparently we’re due another one soon – yet another thing our students have learned to be prepared for during their time on a Reach program!
Venturing out into the daylight once more, students learned more about the legendary sailing ship, the Cutty Sark, which is also found in Greenwich. Reach legend and Blue Badge guide ‘Tricia was on hand to give the students some historical background on the famous ship and Greenwich more generally, as it is an area rich in maritime history. Students then had some free time to explore. Many opted to straddle the Greenwich Meantime border, with one foot in the East and one in the West (like Hyren, pictured)! Given that this was one of the less-demanding kinds of time travel, there was still energy left for a game of Ultimate Frisbee in the park.
Our delicious Italian dinner was enjoyed while looking out at the boats from above. We were lucky to be able to survey the Tall Ships Regatta currently taking place in Greenwich Habour. Full of pasta and ice cream and fairly spent after such a jam-packed day, we made our way back to the coach and arrived back in Cambridge at just after 9pm. We’re sure the students will sleep well tonight!
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