As I’m writing this blog post from my London dorm room, I’m reminiscing about the first week I’ve had in this amazing city. After 7 hours of traveling, one lost roommate, and feeling like a freshman again, I can safely say that this is going to be the greatest summer I’ve ever experienced.
I arrived Monday and met with the other students in my program. I shortly learned that my roommate, Sam (a fellow DG at Penn State), would not be joining me the first night in London because her flight was cancelled. We took a bus from Heathrow Airport to Nido (check out my Nido blog here), the student living area we would be staying in King’s Cross. It’s fantastic because we are only a 5 minute walk away from King’s Cross Station, which makes it very easy to get around the city, and is a dream for any Harry Potter fan.
The next day, we joined the rest of the country in the celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The streets were packed, as everyone was eager to catch a glimpse of Her Majesty. Next to me was a little boy on top of his father’s shoulders carrying a Jubilee flag, when he shouted in his adorable accent, “There is a car, the crowd is cheering, and the Queen is coming!” After the Queen made her appearance and the crowd dispersed, we decided to explore the city a bit. We saw The Eye, Parliament, and so much more; it was all so breathtaking. The one thing that is similar about London and Penn State is that the weather is the very much the same; no culture shock there.
All of Europe is a state of excitement over the Euro Cup, and the other night, a few of us went to a local pub to watch the match between England and France. I have to say, it was such a cool experience to see everyone hanging out and cheering on England. It felt like I stepped into a movie (I must admit that I often feel like I’ve stepped into a movie many times since being here). It may not seem like it was that huge of an event, to be at a pub watching a soccer – oops I mean football – match, but it was one of those things that made you realize you’re in a completely different world.
Walking through Traflagar Square was also like a dream, although I did have some difficulty climbing one of the lion statues there to take a picture. Another amazing experience I had was the opportunity to be in the area where beach volleyball is being held for the 2012 Summer Olympics, at the Horse Guards, pictured below.
More posts to come, stay tuned!