Celsius, that is. Also, everyone drives on the wrong side of the road.
So, we have arrived in London! I departed from DFW around 4 pm on May 23 and arrived in London around 7 am on May 24. Minimal sleep was had on the flight. I did manage to get about three or so hours of sleep in, although it was extremely tight quarters. While in DFW, I had my first encounter with a Phi Lamb from another university! That was exciting. She saw the shirt I was wearing and told me that she is in Phi Lamb at Texas Tech and we bonded over that for a few moments. Upon arrival at London Heathrow, I cleared customs and picked up my bags and spent my first few pounds on water while waiting for the rest of our study abroad group to arrive from their various other flights.
We were all picked up by coach and taken to our lodgings in Bloomsbury. We encountered lots of traffic on the way to the hotel, and having drunk nearly 2 liters of water after our flight…I was never so glad to find a restroom in my life. But the drive through London was very interesting indeed. All of the buildings and streets are expectedly smaller, but what I found most surprising was seeing residential neighborhoods right in the middle of downtown-looking metropolitan areas. Everything is very quirky and cute and old-looking to an American like me.
After checking in at the hotel, we were given several free hours which I used to unpack, take a quick power nap and grab lunch at a cafe on the lobby level. Side note: power should be universal. Figuring out how to get my converter to work was a scary ordeal.
The group met up again at 5 pm London time to explore our little neighborhood of Bloomsbury where we will be staying for almost the entirety of our trip. We found some really cute places to shop that I will definitely be returning to, and we all stopped for dinner at a prepared-fast-foody kind of place. I had a brie, tomato, and avocado “toastie” and some of the best apple juice I’ve ever had. We also took took the tube for the first time. It reminds me a lot of the New York subway; in fact, this is one of the many similarities between London and New York. Except in London, I am regularly reminded that I am not in America because of the age of a lot of these buildings. It is so cool to see the old mixed in with the new. The tube is just as confusing to me as the subway was, but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it over the course of the next month.
Tomorrow we are taking a half-day bus tour of the city. I look forward to all the adventures to come this month! It’s 9 pm. Time for bed.