London Recap, Week 1: The Queen Arrives
I seriously cannot believe how fast this week went. I had the chance to do so many things and I’ve been learning so much about this beautiful city and its amazing inhabitants. Here’s how my first week went down.
Monday, May 21, 2012
Left The Dirty Jerz for London. The flight was so-so, not really much to talk about, to be honest. I flew Virgin Atlantic, and it was pretty decent. Fell asleep before dinner so I can’t comment on the food, unfortunately—actually wait. I did have the bagel with breakfast and it was terrible. Sorry VA.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Arrived in London at 9:20 AM (which is like 4 AM US time, I only slept a few hours, so I was running on hyper-exhaustion and the “Scandal in Belgravia” episode of Sherlock. I got to BU’s flats in Kensington, unpacked my crap, and met my roommates. We had a walking tour around the area to show us our class buildings and a few meetings to get us acquainted with the building. For dinner that night, we went to The Queen’s Arms pub where I fell in love with Pimm’s and lemonade. The rest is history.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
We had a bunch of orientations and academic lectures where we got more acquainted with the country, its culture, the politics, and the program. We ate lunch at Billy’s Steak & Grill near the South Kensington tube station which was really cute. I had a burger & chips which really surprised me with how quality the ingredients were. After orientations and whatnot, we went down to High Street Kensington for some food/necessity shopping.
For dinner, we had a mixer at Bavarian Beerhouse, which honestly, was crap. The best part of the dinner was the German beer—and I loathe beer. It was a cheap, awfully-themed German bar, similar to a Hooters. The food was terribly mediocre and the service was nothing to brag about. They had not one German wine on the menu which I couldn’t get over.
We left looking for something exciting and we found this cute pub a few blocks away called The Old Fountain. Jenna and I tasted three white wines they had on the menu (my favorite was a South African Semillon and hers was a Rioja Blanco from Spain) and I hugged one of the bartenders, Ollie, who I found out liked Doctor Who (!!!!!). We bonded for like 3 minutes. It was pure magic.
After that, we made our way back to our flats and ended up going to a local bar, Archangel, and meeting three really nice Hungarian guys.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
No orientations or classes this day, which was lovely! We took a cruise down the Thames and saw all the major London landmarks from the river. I got to see Canary Wharf, which I was naturally freaking out about. Our tour ended in Greenwich, where we saw what was the Palace, the Painted Hall, the Royal Naval College, and the Maritime Museum. We ate lunch at the Trafalgar Cafe which had good, cheap British food. I had a BLT, tasting British bacon for the first time, and I have to say, it’s really not that bad! It definitely doesn’t taste like the magnificent American bacon, but it had a good flavor. It reminded me more of Canadian bacon than anything.
We had our Semester Kick-off party at Opal a Covent Garden later that night. It was a cute club, rather small and right outside the Embarkment tube station, but it had a great vibe. The DJ was great, playing a really solid mix of throwbacks (Backstreet Boys anyone?) and newer music. I requested “Call Me Maybe” because, um, hello? I love that song. And to my very pleasant surprise, he played it. So call it a successful night.
Friday, May 25, 2012
More classes and orientations, purchased my books, met with the internship people, etc. We did lots of housekeeping stuff during the day and I had to finish food shopping so we went to Whole Foods.
We went down to Leicester Square to go to one of a few bars (we were thinking either Tiger Tiger, Alphabet, or something new etc.). As soon as we got out of the Tube station, we started getting full on harassed and followed by “promoters” trying to get us to purchase their crap bs tickets to clubs. I was not having any of it. One guy even followed us 2 blocks into a Starbucks—like the f? What an ass.
Anyway, so we eventually ended up in a bar called Kink. By the time we got there, I had been fending off panic attacks so all I wanted to do was sit and sip my comfort drink (obviously, rum and Diet Coke, my one true alcoholic love). We ended up meeting these four really awesome East London-guys with cute/funny Cockney accents and a lot to talk about. They were so nice not sketchy at all—which was a relief after a night of being stalked/harassed/grabbed. We hung out with them until like 2am which was so much fun.
Saturday, May 26, 2012
tagged as: life, london, study abroad, uk, bu,
Day trip to Windsor Castle! I’ll finish this section tomorrow.