This is a summary of the awesome London Monopoly Trip we did on October 11th 2014!
This wonderful day started on an early Saturday morning. We all met at Highfield Interchange as early as 7:45 to be able to spend all day in London. Everyone was happy and excited, even those who overslept a bit (no names given). I think there were around 46 people so the bus was almost full! Some of us had been to London before (I’ve been there once), but for others, it was going to be their first time.
The trip took us no less than two hours and we were dropped off at Hyde Park corner. The ESN committee gave us tickets for the underground to travel unlimitedly during the day and every team got a map and a big ESN flag. We also got a list of famous places we could visit to collect points. The goal was to collect as many points as possible together with our team. To prove that you had visited a place, you had to take a group picture with the ESN flag in front of it. On the paper we got, there were also instructions on how to get “bonus points” - for example "find something at Harrods for less than 1 pound" or "take a picture on top of a double-decker bus". My group, “Team Chouchou”, was ready for the challenge and we couldn’t wait to get started!
The first thing we did was ask for permission to access the top level of the nearest double-decker bus, and the first point was collected within a minute. Then we started our London day with a lovely walk in Hyde Park. We visited Kensington Gardens, Princess Diana Memorial Fountain and my favourite: The Rose Garden. So beautiful! We also took the opportunity to sort of climb a tree in Hyde Park… Or at least one of us did.
Then we decided to take the underground to Marble Arch and to the famous Oxford Street. We spent some time in a souvenir shop and experienced the feel of the extremely crowded street. We strolled down the street with our flag until everyone suddenly became hungry. We ended up at the nearest coffee shop, Prêt à Manger and had a lovely lunch together. Since it was my birthday, and Vic's birthday had been just a couple of days earlier, everyone sang "Happy Birthday" at the café.
After lunch, we kept on walking to Piccadilly Circus where we took another group picture with the ESN flag. Then we visited some other well-known places such as Leicester Square, London Eye, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and many others. We visited so many places and took loads of pictures! The funniest picture is maybe the one where Simon participated in a street act near the Big Ben: Thank you so much Batman!
At the time of writing this I do not know which team won. But that’s not what matters most. The main thing was to have loads of fun, and I am convinced that everyone had a lovely day together with their teams. We jumped on the bus as the sun went down and the light decorations turned on at Harrods - London is very beautiful at night too. With happy memories (and tired feet) the driver took us back to Southampton. This was a day that we would not forget soon. And it all happened thanks to ESN’s wonderful organisation! Thank you, guys!
Written by Malin Sjoberg
Malin is an Erasmus+ exchange student from Linköpings University in Sweden. She is currently studying Engineering at the University of Southampton and just moved into a fantastic international house with four other people. She arrived in Southampton just a month ago but she says she is already in love with the city: ‘This is going to be a fantastic year that I’ll never forget!’ (Malin).