Thank you for following along on some of my adventures this semester.
I have now been over here on England for four days and it has been wonderful so far. But before I get to that, the best thing happened on the way over in that when I boarded a Virgin Atlantic flight that not only gave out really nice things (socks and a sleep mask, anyone?) but was almost completely empty! To give an idea of how empty: I counted the number of 8-person rows (two on each side and four in the middle) and there were sixty-five. Then the pilot said there were sixty passengers on the flight. That’s right, there were less people on the plane then there were rows, so I got my own row of four, which was so nice. Good movies were playing, too.
I arrived early on Friday morning and my uncle picked me up from the airport, saving me the trouble of navigating the tube with all of my suitcases.
I spent a few hours at their house in the north of London before catching a 1 o’clock train to Leamington Spa near Warwick University, where my cousin goes to school. Claire met me at the station (it was only an 80 minute or so train ride) and I got to spend the weekend with her, which was so great. She’s one of those people in my life with whom we can pick up right where we left off now matter how long it’s been. Right away we went to see her flat; I met most of her nine roommates through the course of the weekend; a little chaotic to say the least. We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring Leamington, which has many cute cafes and shops as well as a park.
I met a few more of her friends to see a movie that evening and then we rounded it out by visiting the house of a few more. I had to stay standing towards the end, trying not to think about what time it was at home! I ended up sleeping about fourteen hours the first night, but considering I’d been awake for about thirty-two hours that wasn’t too bad.
We spent the next day in Stratford-Upon-Avon, where Shakespeare was from. It was a very lively place along a river with many nice shops and places to see. We didn’t go inside all of the touristy things, but it was still an amazing place to be. We stopped at the Anne Hathaway tavern for a sandwich too; I love places like that and relaxing with something to drink. We finished the night with a house party of one of Claire’s friends, which was definitely a new experience for me! It was very loud, but I met some really cool people.
Back in London today, I ventured out to see again some of the places in London. I started with Trafalgar Square, which is always a lively place to be, then visited the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery, which are right off of it. I found the river after that and walked around the loop that passes the London Eye and the houses of Parliament. Familiar sights, but breathtaking nonetheless.
It’s been so wonderful to get used to the time difference in a familiar home of family. My other cousin, Alden, who has graduated recently with his Master’s, is around so it’s been great to spend time with him. My Aunt is currently in Africa but gets back this weekend, so it will be great to see her too.
That’s all I have for now! I will be here in London for the duration of the week before taking the train over to Paris next Tuesday to begin my program.
(As everyone says over here) Cheers!