Week one has been kind of intense for me. I got sick but was still determined to see London. I find myself kind of feeling guilty for those days where I just wanted to stay in bed because I felt I was missing out on doing things. I keep having to remind myself that I am here for 5 months, not 5 weeks, and will have time to explore when my body wants me too.
I have been feeling better despite my constant exploration so far. While I have been posting the highlights on my Instagram, I have a more comprehensive photo album on Facebook. Just comment or tweet me if you want to add me and we can figure it out!
The first bit of exploration that I did with a small group of people was London proper. We had been in London for 3 days and never really felt like we were in London. In some aspects, I keep comparing my admittedly posh area (central London) to NYC, but that's a post for another time. We wanted to see some of the landmarks uniquely associated with London, and it's on this little excursion that I felt like I would hack up a lung, but that I also felt like I was finally in England.
|Buckingham Palace and me in one of my many 50 shades of neutral ensembles|
A short walk away is the world's favorite clock tower, Big Ben. We had no idea where we were going, so we just kind of followed the spire until we found it. I took the obligatory photo on the left next to the phone booth with Big Ben in the background. So London, vair posh. My friend took a nicer one on her real camera since all I have is a cell phone, but I have to say it came out pretty well. While walking in the direction of Parliament and Westminsters Abbey (yes we saw them, I have pictures but they're simply not as pretty as these), I noticed the gorgeous picture on the right where you can see the sun setting on Big Ben and the London Eye in the distance. I've ridden the eye before and cringe at how expensive it is, but I think I may ride it around the time I leave London as a proper farewell. It seems fitting.
The next day was a relatively calm day. We went to the British Museum because it was free entry. This museum is gorgeous, but I struggled with it. They have many exhibits on the Greeks and Romans, for example, which I see quite often at the museums in New York City. I found myself fascinated by the Egyptian exhibit and waved hello to the mummy of Cleopatra. They also had this really unique exhibit about clocks through the ages, some of which I am still convinced are not clocks. And even a money gallery that featured everything from coins to Harry Potter limited edition currencies and Disney dollars. I was a fan of those sections for sure. I am not the biggest museum person back home, but I want to change that in London.
Obligatory fish and chips happened on Thursday. We had different plans that involved staying outside but it was raining, so we wanted to be smart about it. As a vegetarian, I only got the chips, but they were so delicious. Baker Street, the street where Sherlock Holmes went on quite a few adventures, is less than a minute walk from my residence hall, so they have a lot of Holmes themed spots on the street ranging from hotels and eateries. It is quite cute. Plus, I knocked out a London delicacy to the best of my veg-head ability.
Thursday night involved a boat cruise where they take us around the river to socialize with other study abroad students. I can say I wasn't the biggest fan because
- it was absolutely freezing out and I was still sick
- a lot of people kind of grouped themselves based on programs and that was that
- I have never encountered a DJ that sucked so badly
On the boat cruise we went under the Tower Bridge, and I got the beautiful snap below. I got a shot of me with the bridge in the background, but my face is as red as a tomato because it was so cold, so I am sparing you (and myself) from having to look at it again.
|The Tower Bridge lit up at night.|
Classes start next week and I have a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday schedule with my earliest class starting at 1PM. I have to admit I am a fan. While I wish I had Mondays off, my class that day doesn't start until 2 so it gives me time to travel on the weekends and come in on Mondays and I have Wednesdays off to explore London. Plus Fridays off are always magical, especially since it is normal in America and a privilege here in the UK. I am currently pledging to explore a new neighborhood every Wednesday, but we'll see if that lasts or not! haha
Until next time...