Well, I have finally made it to London!
A long & tiring trip but oh so exciting! Running off only 2 hours of sleep from a 6.5 hour flight, I started my adventure early Thursday morning.
We arrived at the hotel and explored a little before heading to a quick introduction orientation and dinner at a local restaurant. After dinner, we wandered over to see Big Ben & The London Eye (no big deal or anything...). It was absolutely breathtaking to see these landmarks live and in person; especially because they were lit up since it was nighttime. The architecture was so stunning!
After taking only a few (hundred) pictures, we decided to take "The Tube" (metro/subway) back to the hotel. Our advisor had told us we would never need to go out of Zones 1/2 when taking the Tube. Well, we missed our stop and having lived in DC, I figured that it would circle its way back to the stop again. Well, about 35 minutes later we end up in a deserted Zone 5 which was so far out of town with no one around and no one else on the Tube. Luckily, Amanda found a lady who was able to help guide us back on and tell us which stop to take. All in all, a quick 10 minute Tube right took an hour and a half. I guess you live & you learn.
Friday primarily orientation and learning about England & what school will be like in Manchester. One thing I have learned here is that the drivers are RUTHLESS. They do NOT yield to pedestrians & I am pretty sure they do not know how to use their brakes. If you're in the street and the light isn't green to walk, you will most likely get hit. Luckily for me, they have spray painted on the pavement to either "look right" or "look left" since it is opposite from what I am used to.
After orientation, we made our way over to the Tower of London. We made it just in time for the sunset and got fish&chips as we watched the beautiful pink sky glow behind this immaculate bridge. We headed back to the hotel to get ready to see Billy Elliot live! It was such a wonderful play & so cool to hear a play where everyone had British accents.
Today we started the day by going back to the Tower of London to actually tour the inside. We got there around 11am and it was sunny and pretty warm outside considering it was January. We stepped inside for about 10 minutes & when we got back out, it was cloudy, cold and windy! Crazy how quick the weather changes here. We continued by walking across the Tower Bridge & headed over to a British pub for lunch. After lunch we headed over to see Big Ben again, as well as Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace!
The weather ended up being great as the sun set, still a little chilly though. Although I think it is warmer here then the East coast back home now! I ended the night by meeting up with my cousin, Bryana for a little shopping & dinner! It was so wonderful to be able to see her, catch up, and hear how her experience has been so far.
Being in London so far has been so wonderful & eye opening. I have already learned so many things and have been able to tell so many differences compared to the US. The people in Central London definitely don't come across as "warm" & "hospitable" at first glance. If you accidentally run into someone & say sorry, they tend to not care and just keep moving.