My trip to the United Kingdom

My mother and I left Nepal to come to the United Kingdom on October 24 for Tihar. I had previously never been to the UK, hence I was extremely excited. We flew with Qatar Airways. Our transit was in beautiful Doha. From Doha, we flew to Edinburgh - the capital of Scotland.

My uncle, aunt and cousins were at Edinburgh Airport to receive us. The cold breeze hit my face when we came out of the airport, and I realised that this was going to be a very cold trip. But when I entered their house, it was really warm, and I wondered why such an amenity was not available in Nepal.

On the 26th, we all went to the beach at St Andrews - the place where the Duke and Duchess went for their university education. It was so fascinating to see the waves crashing onto the shore and retreat again. I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially because Nepal is a landlocked country.

The next day, my family and I went shopping. The shops were crowded, but it was really fun picking out the outfits and looking for different types of clothes.

Finally, Tihar was here, the day we had been waiting for. We celebrated Tihar as in Nepal. We made different sweets and also the famous selroti. My mom put tika on the forehead of my mama (uncle), and I put tika on my cousins. It was really fun putting the tika and getting gifts.

The following morning, my little cousin insisted on going swimming. So my mother and aunt took us. The water was warm, so we didn’t feel like it was winter. It was really fun having a family member who was the same age as me.

My favourite sight in Scotland was the Edinburgh Castle. It is built upon an inactive volcano and is enormous. Inside the castle, there were dungeons where prisoners were held, the royal apartments where the royalty resided, many beautiful gardens and the great hall where dinners took place.

On the 31st, Halloween was celebrated in the UK. My big cousin dressed us up in scary outfits and did our makeup to make us look extra scary. After 6 pm, my younger cousin and I went out ‘trick-or- treating’. This is where you knock on people’s doors and ask for sweets in exchange for jokes. Every house we went to collect chocolates complimented us on our outfits and our makeup.

On the following day, we went to the Deep Sea World. It is a mini ocean. The structure is designed in such a way that we are under water, but we think we are on land. It was a very big surprise for me. There I saw many species of fish, and I also saw a shark.

Eventually, the following day we went to X-Tream. It is a very big trampoline park. First we went inside to get our socks. Then we went inside the park and did various activities. It was really fun.

The next day we went to the beverage park. It’s a really big park for kids as well as adults. Adults do yoga and jogging while kids play. There we played many games and also did some yoga.

The next day was a very big day as we headed from Scotland to London in my uncle’s car. It took us almost eight hours to get to London. The road was smooth. On the way, we stopped at McDonald’s for some snacks.

We reached London at almost 8 pm, where we rested at our relatives’ place. I and my other cousins played Lego, mine craft, roblox and many more.

The following day, we went to Greenwich. The place is special because the line running here represents the Prime Meridian of the world, which divides the eastern and western hemispheres of the Earth. The time measured on this Meridian at 0º longitude is the GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).

The following day we went shopping, and it was fun. In central London, we visited London Eye, or the Millennium Wheel, the Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace. When I saw the city from London Eye, it looked amazing, especially so because it was night time, and the city lights were dazzling. I also went to the Embassy of Nepal near Kensington Palace Garden.

The next day I returned to Kathmandu.

I thought no people would ever die from disease in London as the place is so clean. There is no pollution, and the people eat a balanced diet. But when I heard that Prince Charles and the Prime Minister of England, Boris Johnson, had also been infected by the coronavirus, I was really shocked.

I thought, how can a really clean city be infected? Now, I know that the coronavirus can spread from person to person. These days I’m at my home due to the lockdown. The only way that this can be maintained is by social distancing. We need to follow the government instruction and stay home, and not meet people or go to a crowded place. As a few cases of the coronavirus have been detected in Nepal also, we have to be careful.

Gnawali studies in Class 6, St Mary’s High School, Jawalakhel