This Post is About Heather Exploring London for a Few Days
I’m here! It’s absolutely beautiful in England. It rained for the first few days of being in London, and again when we left for Lancaster, but honestly, I expected it and am even learning to embrace it. My hair loves that I’m not torturing it every day by blow-drying and straightening it- there’s just been no reason to waste the time when I’m going to get rained on anyway.
So we stayed in a hotel in London for IFSA-Butler orientation and sat in conference rooms for a little while each day learning about things like safety in the city (Don’t catch flying Gypsy babies) and how the government works and why it works that way (Lord Tavern spoke to us- he’s a member of the House of Lords and very knowledgeable). We also learned more about the services that IFSA-Butler provides for us. It feels very reassuring and I totally trust my program directors to take care of any problems I could possibly have (and no, I’m not required to say that, but I feel like you as a reader should know it).
We had a lot of free time to explore London. Me and some of the friends I’ve made since being here spent a lot of time wandering the shops at Covent Garden (The huge new Apple store)
We went on a scheduled walking tour of Covent Garden, Leicester Square [pronounced like the name Lester], and Picadilly Circus. We stopped and watched a street performer (he was pretty funny but he talked too much) for a while so we didn’t get to go all the way to the river- the big tourist places. We ended our tour at the Criterion Theater where we watched a production of 39 Steps which I knew nothing about going in, but it ended up being quite funny. It’s impressive because it’s a play with a cast of 4(ish) so everyone is switching roles mid-scene.
Then I realized there was a good chance that my friends from GWU who had been studying in England all year were probably back from Winter Holiday, so I met up with one and we did all of those things that I missed the day before. We walked down to Trafalgar Square
And down the street to Big Ben
and Westminster Abbey and then across the bridge to see the London Eye. It’s closed for renovations, but it was still pretty cool. Then we walked along the river as the sun was setting. Because it was dark, I don’t have any more really good pictures, but we saw the Millennium Bridge and the Globe (I didn’t realize it was nestled right in the middle of a bunch of buildings. I had always imagined it out in the middle of nowhere) and St. Paul’s Cathedral. We were making our way to a church service that night with another one of my GW friends at St. Helens Bishopsgate. I took my first tube ride and was surprised by how well lit and comparatively clean it is.
We had Pizza Hut that night, and the waiter was teasing us about our accents (I think he was just flirting to make a good impression/tip though because really he must hear a million American accents a week working in central London)
So I’m on to discover a new city that is much smaller, and much more “real England.”