My friend and I stayed at West St Leonards, me and my friends at our "graduation", me beside a police box, my favorite candy! Sour Patch Kids, the school I went to, me and my friends posing for a pic!
I went to Hastings in the summer 2013 with my friend Sophia. We traveled with EF (Education First) to visit England to have a good time, meet new people, shop, experience living with a host family, learn about the culture and traditions, and of course to learn some more english!
We stayed in England for three weeks. We spent most of the time in Hastings but we also visited London, Brighton, Oxford and Chertsey to visit Thorpe Park.
Hastings was a really beautiful place with old houses and streets, some really cozy shops, and very nice stone beaches. We liked it a lot and visited almost every corner of the town.
One thing that I found very interesting was the food we got to eat for lunch. Here in Sweden your school serves you lunch but in Hastings we had to bring our own in little bags.
Our host family made our school lunches every day, and we got almost the exact same food each time. So the typical lunch we got were two sandwiches, a bottle of juice or water, and a small bag of chips. It actually wasn't that bad but don't think I'd bring that kind of food to school everyday. We ate the lunch we got for two weeks but after that we got tired of it and bought our own food.
So, on the left we have the lunch our host family made for us, and on the right we have the food I bought when I got tired of the lunchbag. We were going on a trip so no, I didn't eat the candy for lunch...
Since Hastings is located by the shore it is not weird that the town is known for fishing. Almost wherever you go in Hastings there is always a fish shop, a fish restaurant or a giftshop with fish themed souvenirs.
They have a lot of boats, fishnets, and fishing sheds everywhere. There is also a famous aquarium named Blue Reef Aquarium, which I went to when I was in Hastings!
Hastings is one of Britain's oldest fishing ports. Boats have worked from the beach in front of the ancient town for over a thousand years, supplying Hastings with its basic industry and main tourist attraction.
So, I think it's safe to say that Hastings value their fishing a lot.
Did you know that England has a scandalously large amount of people who lack health insurance? It's up to 46 million and still growing.
When I visited Hasting I noticed a lot of things that were different from my own hometown, Varberg.
For example, me and my friends got a map that we were supposed to follow to find different objects or places and then take pictures of them. We couldn't really figure out the map so we decided to ask a couple of people for help (since we didn't want to bother the same people all over again just because we couldn't read a map properly...).
Everyone we asked were really helpfull and nice towards us. They either pointed out the direction or they lead the way! No one seemed to be bothered by helping us, they just thought it was nice and fun.
Anohter thing I also noticed was that a lot of the people in Hastings (especially the seniors) had really good manners and didn't curse.
One time when I was on the train a young girl cursed really high and almost everyone on the train turned around and looked at her with a confused and irritated expression. Some people also told her to mind her language.
Before I stepped off the train I noticed a sign beside the doors. Just like normal trains there are rules that you can't smoke or sometimes take your dog on that sertain coupé, but here they hade a sign wich said that you weren't alowed to curse.
Catcalling... Oh there was a lot of catcalling...
I got a lot of comments on my appearance. Some were harmless and some were very sexual. For example many guys just ran up to me and told me I had nice legs, long beautiful hair or a great body. Of course these comments were positive but sometimes I just say thanks and walk off. If someone screams someting at me I don't reply, I just walk away.
It was a difference between the catcalls in England and the catcalls here in Sweden. In England there were a lot more catcalls but they were a bit nicer than the catcalls I've gotten in Sweden.
On the west side of Hastings you can choose to stop at the exquisite Bodiam Castle, a typical medieval fort with square walls, round towers and surrounding moat.
I actually went to this place with my host family when I was in Hastings. I really loved the setting and there were a lot of ducks. We brought bread and fed the ducks, which made them jump like crazy.
During May Day a lot of fun things happen! I'm going to write about two of them.
The Jack in the Green Festival
This festival is celebrates the start of summer. in the 16th and 17th centuries people made elaborate garlands to compete wich one had the biggest and best. The garlands were so big they covered a man. This costume became known as Jack in the Green, the May Day character.
A lot of fun activities are held during this festival, like ceilidhs (an event with Scottish or Irish folk music and singing, traditional dancing, and storytelling.), church servieces, erowing Queen of the May, and all kinds of musictraditional and contemporary.
On Bank Holiday Monday, at least 1000 costumed participants join "Jack" with his Green Bogies to the sound of drumming, raucous chanting, jingling bells, clapping sticks and Morris dancing.
At the culimanation of the procession, the Jack symbolically slain to free the summer so that it can return and warm the land.
Bike1066 May Day Run
Bikers all over the country join this event! It is UK's biggest free-to-attend-one-day biking event, which takes place in Hastings East Sussex.
Around 40.000 bikers attend to race around Hastings! Starting from Locksbottom at 8.30 am, finishing in Hastings seafront around 11 am.
During the last Ice Age, around 14 000 BC, st clement's caves were formed. These caves have had a fascinating part to play in the history of the area.
St Clement's caves have sered as a home, a hospital, an air-raid shelter and a ballroom. The caves have also been visited by everyone from The Rolling Stones to royality.
One interesting thing is that no one really knows how the long caves have been used by man. Researchers continuue to try and discover clues to their early past.
Today you cna get guided tours with bloody storys of the smuggling along the sussex Coast during it's heyday back in the 17th and 18th centuries.
In September 1066, William the conqueror landed in England at Pevensey with around 7000 troops and cavalry. He marched to Hastings and organized his forces.
On October 14, William led his forces out to give battle. After his victory at the Battle of Hastings, William marched to London and received the city's submission.
On Christmas Day, 1066, he was crowned as the first Norman king of England.
French became the language of the king's court and it also blended with the Aglo-Saxon tounge and gave birth to modern English.
Hastings is a welcoming and energetic town on the south coast of England.
It's an art and cultural hostspot, a place for independent artists, musicians and traders. Free festivals and events run throughout the year, perfect for media and journalism students looking something to capture and record. Annual literary and illustration festivals also provide opportunities to meet and be inspired by world class artists.
In Hastings there's a lot of old buildings, cafés and shops. It is really beautiful to walk around Old Town in Hastings, maybe sit down on a nice café and munch on an ice cream sundae, or eat traditional fish n' chips near the shore.
I find it's pretty similar to my town Varberg in Sweden, which is also a town near the shore.