Twenty-seven senior pupils and five teachers spent the October week in the Big Apple and the bright lights of New York didn’t fail to impress. Here, S4’s Claudia Naschef writes about the trip.
Finally, the day came when we were going to New York. The anticipation for this trip didn’t quite make the 13 hours of travelling each way worth it, but the sights and the unforgettable experience certainly did. The balance of free time and having organised, interesting things to see and do gave us all an insight into the everyday atmosphere of New York as well as the perfect tourist experience.
Some of the most memorable moments consisted of getting an official behind the scenes tour of NBC Studios, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and getting to see the incredible view from the Empire State Building. The bright vibrant lights of Chinatown and interesting live music and games played in the streets are enough to impress anyone, and that’s not including the brilliant food.
Having time to spend in Times Square after watching the wonderfully produced Broadway musical, Matilda, really put into perspective how huge the city truly is. Surrounded by thousands of people meant taking five minutes just to cross the street, though the slow moving crowds did make it easy to appreciate the massive lights and boards illuminating the Square.
On our first full day, we were treated to a tour by two guides who were witnesses of the 9/11 attacks - a man who was in the fire brigade and a man who lived near the Twin Towers - who told us all about their experiences when 9/11 happened and talked us through the meaning behind the huge memorial in Memorial Park.
Personally, my favourite part of the trip was going to see the New York City Library. The huge rooms wallpapered with books were incredible. The ceilings were painted with the most beautiful of images. It was brilliant to think that New Yorkers genuinely had the opportunity to stay in that place all day to read or work surrounded by words and thoughts of poets and authors dating back hundreds of years.
Overall, this trip was incredible; there were so many things that we were able to go and do that we would never have had the chance to otherwise, like walking along the High Line, seeing Grand Central Station and Liberty and Ellis Islands. I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to go, as I’m sure everyone else on the trip is as well.