The first day we arrived in London, we had just a few short hours to get as settled into our pretty small dorm rooms, shower (yay!), and meet our professors and classmates to go on our neighborhood walks.
|Home, Sweet Home|
This was our first look at the area around King's College, which is my home for the time being. As tired as I was, I was thrilled to get out and walk around to see what I could see. I was also really looking forward to meeting the people I will be spending my time with over the next few weeks.
Dr. Welsh, our professor, took us around the neighborhood and showed us really important things like where to do laundry, find baked goods, and eat fish and chips. She also pointed out neighborhood grocery stores and took us to the Waterloo Underground Station to purchase an Oyster card (this lets me ride the tube). After getting the necessities out of the way, she led us on quite a tour that covered the National Portrait Gallery, the Old Vic Theater, the London Eye,
|Close Up of London Eye|
|The Full Effect|
Big Ben and Parliament, the Thames, Liecester Square where we saw half-price ticket booths, Trafalger Square, and more! She even was kind enough to buy our whole group pizza for dinner at one of the restaurants on the Thames.
Once we finally got back to the dorm, a few of us headed down to Sainsbury (the local grocery store) to get a few items to help us make it through the night and next morning. Without even unpacking my suitcase, I headed to bed for the first time in 27 hours.
Saturday morning, the academia began with class meetings about syllabi and course requirements. Following that, we had program orientation and then headed out on our LondonAlive walks. My LondonAlive walk was called Along the Riverfront. Again, I headed out to the Thames, but we didn't just see all of the same things as the night before, which was nice. We also saw the Millennium Bridge (which was immediately recognizable to me from Harry Potter), the Blackfriars Bridge (which I knew about from my English major days at James Madison University), the Globe Theater (which is way smaller in person that I had imagined),
|Globe Theatre, complete with sprinkler system so a fire doesn't get this one!|
along with the Swan Theater, the Tate Museum of Modern Art (which I learned used to be a power plant), the London Bridge, Tower Bridge,
|Tower Bridge with some random people in front of it|
the Tower of London, and Borough Market (which was an open-air market that was amazing!). We ended the walk at a specialty cheese shop, where we made friends with the cheese lady. She let us try a few cheeses and explained the differences between them to us. It was surreal to stand in the chilly, slightly damp air surrounded by wheels upon wheels of cheese! I bought a few slices of Kirkham's Lancashire and Sparkenhoe Leicester to bring home for a snack later.
|One of my yummy cheese selections!!!!!!!!|