Wishes Revised Leaflet - page 8

Reading & Listening
Describe picture A. Where was it taken? What
time of year is it? How can you tell? How do
you think the people feel? Why?
Look at the map. Which countries can you see?
Read the article. For questions 1‒6, choose
the answer (A, B, C or D) which you think fits
best according to the text.
Read the
last sentence in each paragraph. What is the
article about? Listen, read and check. What is
the author’s purpose?
Several years ago, my wife and I came upon an advertisement in a travel magazine for an
international exchange programme promising ‘the chance of a lifetime’. Not one to let such an
pass me by, but a bit hesitant about
taking such a leap into the unknown
I did some research and discovered that the programme involved something called house-
After much discussion, my family and I decided to, as they say, go for it. Consequently, we were
soon jetting off for a holiday in the Peak District of England while our exchange partners were
settling down for their vacation in our flat back home in Mt Vernon, Washington. The exchange was
for a month and the time passed quickly. To end our time away on a high note, we decided to travel
to Paris via the engineering marvel known as the Channel Tunnel.
Being on a fairly tight budget, we
opted for
a package deal which included round-trip tickets on
the Eurostar passenger train, five nights in a three-star hotel in Paris, Metro passes and
use of the Paris bus system. When the package still hadn't arrived after a week, I began to think that
perhaps our trip hadn't been such a good idea after all. Maybe it was a sign that we shouldn't go.
The tickets and vouchers eventually arrived and I
myself for having had such silly
thoughts. On the day of departure, with plenty of time to spare, my two teenage children, my wife
and I stood waiting eagerly on the platform at King’s Cross Station. At exactly 7:57 am, we boarded
our train and began our journey through the
county of Kent. About an hour into our
journey, an announcement, in both English and French, informed us that we were about to enter the
Channel Tunnel.
The Eurostar adverts had boasted proudly about the engineering
that was the ‘Chunnel', and
it offered to those travelling between England and the Continent. They had spoken
highly of the “lack of rough seas” and to me, a person who gets seasick very easily, this was a major
selling point. When all is said and done, however, I must admit that there were moments when I felt
quite nervous about travelling 50 metres below the bottom of the English Channel.
Inside the tunnel itself, there really wasn't much to grab my attention
– no posters or other artwork, so I busied myself studying the
occupants of
our carriage. Some calmly read novels or
newspapers; others quietly looked through business reports
and notes. I quickly realised, however, that most of my
fellow passengers were like my family in that they looked
excited and very happy to be enjoying such a
travel experience.
Our underwater journey ended as quickly as it
had begun. All of a sudden, we left the darkness of
the tunnel behind and
nosed out
into the light of the
pleasant French morning. The tracks being well-
built, we quickly
to 300 kph, the speed
of a Boeing 747 at take-off. We arrived in Paris' busy
city centre a mere 180 minutes after leaving London.
That journey, and indeed the whole time that we spent
on the exchange programme, have given us all a
yearning for
new experiences, and many wonderful
memories that we will cherish forever.
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