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Impressions of London

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(a letter to my friend Galina)

Dear Galina!

Here I am in London on a fine summer morning. Have you received my post-card? I hope you have as I posted it at the airport as soon as we landed.

I’ve never before lived in a big city, so London is a new world for me, and I’m going to find out more about it. What I have already learnt is that London the capital of UK is the largest city and the greatest port in the country. It is situated on the river Thames. The Romans founded London about 2000 years ago and called it Londinium. Since that time London has continued to grow in size and prosperity. About nine million people live in London in its four main parts: the City, Westminster, the West End and the East End. The very centre of London is Trafalgar Square. You can see there Nelson’s Column with the statue of Admiral Nelson on the top. It is a monument to Admiral Nelson for his victories in the war against Napoleon. There is also the National Gallery exhibiting all schools of European paintings from 13th to the 19th century. The most magnificent building in London is St.Paul’s Cathedral built in 1675-1711 by famous architect Sir Christophor Wren. The Queen of UK has her residence at Buckingham Palace. At half past eleven there is the most colourful London ceremony – changing the guard there.

All the principle streets of London lead to the City. The City is the home of the Bank of England and many other big offices. Between Monday and Friday nearly half a million people come to work in the banks and offices. Only five thousand people live in the City and at weekends it seems empty. Three buildings are the heart of the City: the Mansion House where the Lord Mayor lives, the Royal Exchange, the Bank of England which the Londoners call “the old Lady of Threadneedle Street”.

I have already visited the Tower of London. It is now a museum, but it was a fortress, a royal palace, a state prison and even a Royal Low.

The Tower is guarded by the Yeomen-Warders, the famous “Beefeaters”, dressed up in traditional medieval clothes. They tell the visitors about the Tower, the famous ravens of the Tower – the symbol of it.

Westminster Abbey is another famous masterpiece of architecture. It is more than nine hundred years old, a church built in Gothic style. Westminster Abbey is the crowning and burial place of British monarchs. It has its world famed Poet’s Corner with memorials to Chauser, Shakespeare, Milton, Burns, Dickens, Rudyard Kipling and other leading writes. Only a few however, are actually buried there.

The Houses of Parliament are near Westminster Abbey. The Houses of Parliament is the seat of the British government. The clock tower near it is Big Ben. And I can’t but also mentioned the Queen Victoria Memorial which stands in front of Buckingham Palace (the residence of the English Queen). A statue to W. Shakespeare in Leister district and a wonderful monument to Lady Godiva. She protected Londoners from large taxes.

When you are tired of looking at places of interest you can rest in one of London’s beautiful parks: Hyde Park with Speaker’s Corner, Kensington Gardens with the Statue of Peter Pan (a boy, who never grew older). And yet Regent’s Park with the largest zoo, St.Jame’s Park where you can feed birds and animals.

Big red buses … London policemen … Buckingham Palace… Notting Hill Carnival … W.Cherchil monument – these and some other things you can find in London.

I’ve been in London for two weeks. There are still many places to see and many things to do. Parting with London will be sad for me as I have come to love this wonderful city and its responsive people. I hope I’ll come to London once again.

With love your friend Oksana


Exercise 1. Give Ukrainian equivalents for the following:

- to be situated

- prosperity

- residence

- guard

- Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters)

- magnificent

- colourful

- unique

- to call

- to find out

- to rest


Exercise 2. Give English equivalents to the following:

- отримувати

- рости в розмірах

- перемога

- архітектор

- шедевр

- церква

- в’язниця

- провідні письменники

Exercise 3. Agree or disagree with the following:

1. London stands on the river Thames.

2. The French soldiers founded London 3000 years ago.

3. The population of London is 3 million people.

4. The very centre of London is St. Jame’s Square.

5. The residence of the Queen of England is situated in Downing Street №10.

6. The City is the business centre of London.

7. London has the unique Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park.

8. Only about five million people work in the City.

9. Yeoman Warders tell the visitors of the Tower and about the Tower’s famous black birds the ravens.

10. The Houses of Parliament is the seat of the British Government.

11. There are only men’s clubs in England.

Exercise 4. Answer the following questions:

1. Have you ever been to London?

2. Has London always impressed the newcomers?

3. London is a cultural centre, isn’t it?

4. What places of interest are there in London?

5. What does Trafalgar Square look like?

6. Where is the National Gallery? What is it famous for?

7. What do you know about St.Paul’s Cathedral?

8. Where is the residence of the Queen of UK? What ceremony can one see at Buckingham Palace?

9. What is the City of London?

10. What can you tell us about the Tower of London?

11. What is Westminster Abbey famous for?

12. What parks are there in London?

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