The past week and a half has been a whirlwind. Orientation event after orientation event and then classes. So here is my not-so-brief low down:
1. FIE, my international school, did a great job with planning events. Some of them were boring lectures but most of them were insanely fun and a great way to help orient ourselves with the city. One of the events that really stood out was the bus tour. At 10:30 AM on Saturday, a coach bus met us outside our building accompanied by a guide, our visiting faculty from Elon, and a driver. We piled on and rode through the city, seeing The Tower Bridge, The River Thames, Buckingham Palace, and Big Ben, just to name a few. We stopped at a small outdoor shopping mall, climbed to the top, and spotted this view:
We also got a tour of Parliament and it was fascinating. The history and authenticity of it made me not want to leave. The entire building was so ornate, there wasn't a single wall without decoration or bust or oil painting. Unfortunately pictures weren't permitted or I would have thousands.
2. Classes have officially started but that doesn't mean that I have any less time to get around and find new places. I have classes Monday and Tuesday afternoons. That's it! I have no idea how I managed to get that but I'm going to take every advantage of it. All of my professors are awesome and understand that this is a study abroad experience and not just for studying. Traveling and exploring is part of most of their curriculums and so I have a feeling it's going to be a good time.
3. Hyde Park is one of my favorite spots at the moment. It's so full of life which surprised me being that it is the middle of January. Dogs run freely, the Queen's swans mingle with the people, and the ducks are so friendly. Especially today, which was a spectacular day with blue clear skies and a bright sun.
4. Kensington Palace was something at the top of my list and today we popped in. I have to be honest, it was different than I thought. It was set up more as a museum than a palace. There were different exhibits for specific monarchs, with descriptions of their history. However, unlike Parliament, they were recreated and not as ornate as I thought they would be. Some original furniture, knickknacks, and clothes were on display but some rooms were remodeled to look original. The best part were the gardens. They are so beautiful and in the spring I can see myself spending a lot of time there.
Some other things I've done this week:
I've done a lot in my first week and a half but there is so much more to do, so stay tuned!
xoxo Brunette Hazel-Eyes