Students and teachers of Bhavan’s Varuna Vidyalaya had an incredible summer and they got to see sights they had up until now only read about.

For students and teachers from Bhavan’s Varuna Vidyalaya (BVV), Thrikkakara, it was a summer that will remain etched in memory for the rest of their lives. They got to spend it in the United Kingdom.

They were fortunate to visit well known landmarks like the historical Canterbury Cathedral, Greenwich Planetarium, Natural History Museum, Dover Castle, the giant ferris wheel London Eye situated on the banks of Thames, the home of the bard William Shakespeare and Cambridge University.

The 17-member team of 14 students and three teachers visited the UK recently, as guests of their counterparts in Gravesend Grammar School, Kent.

A similar contingent from the UK school had visited Bhavan’s Varuna Vidyalaya in October last as part of a cultural exchange programme between the two schools.

Summer in Kerala normally means temperatures ranging from 35°C to 40°C. They were pleasantly surprised to find that in the UK the summer temperature hovered between 15 and 20° C.

“It was an incredible journey through time and space at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. It is the home of Greenwich Mean Time, the Prime Meridian of the world and London’s only Planetarium,” said S. Sunitha, Principal, BVV, who led the group.

She found the civic sense and adherence to laws by the British, exemplary.

Bindu J, social science teacher in the group, got a first hand experience of what she used to teach her students in classrooms during the visit to the Peter Harrison Planetarium Royal Observatory, Greenwich.

“I stood astride the world famous Prime Meridian , where there is a time difference of four minutes on either leg,” she said.

English teacher Latha V. Nallur found the visit to poet Canterbury Cathedral exhilarating. This, she felt, would definitely add to her enthusiasm about teaching career.

Aparna, a student member of the group, will never forget the view from the London Eye. “The entire city of London can be seen from the height of the giant wheel. I also saw the Olympic stadia,”she said.

Sukhada, her team mate, was awestruck by the natural history museum, which is home to about 70 million wonderful specimens. The skeletons of extinct species — dinosaurs — were a treat, she said.

For Rahul, the Dover Castle on the south eastern tip of Kent was impressive. “We stood on top of the castle facing France. Due to mist we couldn’t see the island,” he said.

While Akash Nair found the opportunity to witness the convocation ceremonies at Cambridge University enriching,

Sneha had a similar feeling on visiting the Royal Pavilion at Brighton. The team was also privileged to watch “Julius Caesar” staged at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.