My 30th week in England was full of lovely weather (up to 20°!) and a certain feeling that my time at Derby High was slowly coming to an end. More on that later.
Monday was – surprisingly – a day off for me as all my lessons on that day had been cancelled in advance. So I met up with Ada, another volunteer for FORMAT13, drinking Costa-coffee, having a nice dinner and enjoying Derby in bloom (loved the flowers!). We also went to a lovely spot next to the river, one that hadn’t seen before so I was super excited.^^
As I said, this week was kind of dominated by saying goodbye to loads of people at Derby High. My U6-girls had their oral exams on Tuesday, L6 on Friday. And as I found out later, they all did very well. Thursday was the day when U6 had their “Leavers Service” at a parish church in Littleover. Loads of speeches obviously, one of them was delivered by the Head Girl who also was a student of mine. I still remember one of her many statements very well: “You can take a girl out of Derby High, but you can’t take Derby High out of a girl”. Oh dear, loads of tears … but it was a nice service, especially as they also sang a few songs together.
Even though the week had started with loads of sunshine, it got much worse for the weekend that I spent in Bristol, visiting Eva (another FLA from Austria) and her lovely family. One thing straight away: Bristol’s great, very different from most other places and very colourful, too. So even though the weather was sh*te, we had a brilliant time.
The first thing that strikes your eye is Bristol’s train station “Temple Meads”. It seems as if this stunning building was taken straight from a “Harry Potter” movie (see pictures below). 😉 After my arrival on Friday I had some time to stroll around in the city so I visited a lovely church named “St. Mary Redcliffe” which is located somewhere between the station and the city centre. Loved the ceiling … very impressive indeed. I also checked out Bristol’s “docks” (the harbour) and many of the city’s graffiti. Bristol’s known for its street artists, one of them becoming more and more famous recently: Banksy. If you’ve never heard of this gentleman you’ve missed some great stuff! By the way: Banksy’s identity is not known until this day, so people are in fact just guessing that he’s from Bristol.^^ Saw two of his original pieces … so I’m sold. 😀
Saturday was packed with sight seeing: Eva, her daughter and I started the day at St. Nicholas Market, then moved on to the city’s cathedral and Brandon Hill, a lovely viewpoint that provides you with a view all over the city centre. We then moved on to Clifton, the poshest area in Bristol. Its highlight is without a doubt “Royal York Crescent”, a row of mostly white and multi-storeyed buildings that are super expensive of course.^^ I’ve never seen anything like this before, it was just amazing! Not far from the crescent, we had a look at Bristol’s landmark, the (Clifton) Suspension Bridge. And last but least, we walked down Bristol’s “Christmas Steps”, a steep lane full of cute little shops.
After this very “demanding” day there wasn’t much left to see except for a famous ship called “SS Great Britain” that lies in Bristol’s Harbour (where she was built). It was the world’s longest ship in the mid 19th century and a passenger ship that was transformed into a museum. Unfortunately, not a lot of the interior is from back then, so it all seemed kind of fake, but on the other side you could “go down under” the ‘sea’ below a massive glass plate and walk along her massive hull and also see the propeller. As it says on the ship’s website: “To stop the ship from corroding the air under the ‘sea’ is kept as dry as possible by giant dehumidifiers. State of the art twenty-first century engineering safeguarding the future of state of the art nineteenth-century engineering!” Good stuff indeed.
So thanks Eva for having me! I’ve had a great time with the three of you!