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Making Memories in London

Ballybay Guides and Senior Branchers had a fabulous trip to London. Here Jade and Aoife write about their experience:

We all met at 9am in Ballybay to get our bus where excitement filled the air. We loaded our luggage into the back, took our seats and the journey to London began.

After a small delay to our flight, we boarded the plane. Flying was a new experience for two of our girls. After around an hour in the sky, we landed.

After collecting our suitcases we made our way through the busy airport to the Gatwick Express. All 13 girls and four Leaders were looking forward to the days ahead where we would be spending our time in London.

We got on the Tube after the Gatwick Express, which was a new experience for the majority of us. We got the Tube to Belsize Park and walked to Pax Lodge.

We went out for a delicious meal in a nearby restaurant and then headed off sightseeing. We arrived at Trafalgar Square where we stopped to take photos. Buckingham Palace was our next stop. The flag above the palace was raised, which meant that the Queen was home.

After a long day of travelling and walking, we were all so tired and went to sleep.

At 8am, we had breakfast and then got our lunches. We got the Tube back into the city centre and hopped on an open-top bus tour. We all sat on the top as the weather was very warm and humid. The bus was a good way of taking in the city without having to walk around.

The London Eye was our next stop. After having our lunch, we joined the queue, which thankfully wasn’t too long. The view from the top was amazing. On the way back down, we got a photo of all the Guides, and also one of the ‘exhausted Leaders’.

Dinner was again delicious: we ate in a pizza restaurant not far from Pax Lodge. We returned to Pax Lodge where we participated in international activities with a Canadian and American Leader.

The next morning we attended the flag-raising ceremony where we were given our Pax Lodge pins. The Pax Lodge pin is a pin given to people who have visited Pax Lodge and it cannot be traded or bought.

When we got to the Olympic Village, we went into the swimming pool viewing area and watched people practising in the pool where world famous swimmers had swum during the Olympics in 2012.

We had a walk around the Olympic Village, which was nice and we had our lunch on some picnic benches. We got a group photo under the Olympic Rings.

Then the part we had been eagerly waiting for: shopping! We shopped in Westfield Shopping Centre, which was huge and had many top brand shops.

After eating there, we were ready to go back to Pax Lodge when our Leaders told us that we were going to see Aladdin in the West End. We were all very surprised as none of us had even guessed we would be going to a West End show.

The show was my highlight of the trip and for many others too. We made our way back to Pax Lodge and slept after another busy day.

We packed our bags and left Pax Lodge on Thursday. The trip wasn’t over as we still had to visit the Natural History Museum. The museum was very big and filled with interesting science, history and geography exhibits.

The Tube was very busy but we managed to fit ourselves and all our luggage on and get to the Gatwick Express.

We arrived back in Ballybay late in the evening. The trip was very worthwhile and is something we will remember.