Well, my title is a little deceiving since we have not actually started the studying part yet, but that is soon to come. Even though we have not entered a classroom yet I have learned so much already. This past Friday through Sunday, FSU has offered many tours to help us get to know the are we are living in, Bloomsbury, and London in general. I am so excited to be able to discover new aspects to this city and become so familiar with it.
We landed at Gatwick-London Airport on Thursday morning and then endured the longest Thursday of our lives. After only one hour or so of sleep on the plane, we were more than ready to take a nap on the two hour bus ride to London, but had to fight it with all of our might. I was very successful in staying awake for the remainder of the day and thoroughly enjoyed my nearly twelve hours of sleep that night. Even though I was a bit restless on Thursday, I tried to make the most of it and went to Covent Garden and ate Mexican food. Great first dinner in London right? Before I left for London, I was very fearful that Mexican food was not going to be a part of my life for the next few months, so you can imagine my relief when I saw a Mexican restaurant. After finally being able to eat a meal, it felt so wonderful to go back to our 17th century flat and conclude a very busy and exciting day.
The next morning I enjoyed a nice breakfast with Maddie at a little café called Eve’s on our street. I had a delicious bagel and a not so delicious bottle of carbonated water…note to self: do not just reach into a fridge and expect to pull out a normal bottle of water, make sure to check for a green label (carbonated) or a blue label (still). The café also thought that I ordered a cup of white tea so they brought a tea to my table which completed the English breakfast I was having (even though I could only take about five sips of the tea, hopefully will have acquired a taste for tea by the end of this trip). Later in the day a group of us decided to walk around and explore. At one point a lady walking down the street said “Tourists, get out of the way” in a rude tone, so I am going to make it a goal to not look like a tourist as soon as possible. After our encounter with the local, we walked to Trafalgar Square, and I got my first sight of Big Ben at night on this trip. We also walked around and saw Piccadilly Circus.
As I said before, I am already learning so much even though I have not even stepped into a classroom. FSU offered us a Bloomsbury walking tour and we learned about who lived in the flats near us and the history that has occurred in this area. One great thing about living in London is that you can take a spur of the moment trip to see, oh I don’t know, Buckingham Palace! Some friends took our first Tube ride of the trip to see Buckingham Palace, St. James Park and Green Park. Our location is so wonderfully close to everything.
Today, FSU provided an amazing coach tour to show us all of the sites of London. I have been on a tour once before, but it great to be able to hear what other tour guides think about and know about the areas you are visiting.
I just feel so blessed to be here and am ready to see what lies in store for our class. I know this is going to be such a great experience for us as class, as a student, and as a person. There is so much to learn, and I am ready to soak up as much as I possibly can!