ahh happy New Years Eve! still wondering how this year flew by so fast. I still feel like I should be in high school, but somehow I’ve already graduated and survived 1/8 of my college career! woo! I’m it’s currently a little past 1 am here as I’m typing this, and as you can see I have been struggling getting used to the time change (I should work harder on that) BUT I am loving every minute of it! I have officially made it 4 days in the coolest city I’ve ever been and wow, I had some high expectations and it’s everything I ever imagined…. but better.
it’s been so busy and chaotic these past couple days, but I really have grown to love it that way. no matter how tired I was, I would come back to my hotel room so thankful that I decided to go explore and see what the city is like. our first night here I was so exhausted just from our flight (left Philadelphia at 9 pm, got to London at 9 am…. not much sleep to be had on that super comfortable and spacious airplane), but we decided to go and check out the tube station, which is similar to the subway system. although getting incredibly lost and riding the complete opposite way of where basically everything was located, we ended up finding our way to Big Ben and riding the London Eye?! so unexpected! I was so thankful I had that opportunity to see it at night too-it’s stunning!
like how cool is that?! so worth missing out on the extra sleep I could’ve had… who needs sleep anyways, right?
this program I’m studying with has been really great at giving us the perfect balance of organized activities vs. free time. we still have the freedom to visit different places, shop, eat at cool restaurants, etc that we looked forward to prior to the trip… but also see several different buildings and attractions I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do otherwise. the next day, me and my friend Ashley took the tube to Regent Street in the morning after breakfast. Regent Street felt like New York’s Fifth Avenue to me, but definitely a lot cleaner! we looked at some stores and had tea and cakes at a cute, little hidden cafe (just to at least try to give off the impression that we could be from London)! this has been my favorite morning so far because of how spontaneous it was. we had no plan of eating at this adorable cafe that tasted absolutely incredible! discovering little findings like this one makes traveling so fun to me, you never know if a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant could have the best food!
afterwards, we met back at our hotel for a tour of London that hit the biggest attractions. we were on a bus and had a guide pointing sights out as we rode along, and we had the opportunity every now and then to get out of the bus at the important stops to take pictures and have a better view of where we were! I’ve always loved these bus tours. sure, the tourists are the easiest to spot when they’re literally hanging over the top tier of the bus, snapping away at every little thing possible while driving by, but hey. they are incredibly productive, you hit the best attractions…. and you don’t walk! yay for no blisters from new shoes/aching feet from that pair of ankle boots you knew would kill your feet by the end of the day!
and yesterday, we hopped on our bus and made our way to Bath and visited the Roman Baths and walked around the town for a little. the town was super little and quaint, and what stood out to me the most was how all the buildings and shops there are all built with the same stone. whether they’re hundreds of years old or just recently built, they all look the same which was so interesting to me. following that visit, we drove about another hour and saw Stonehenge which I was so excited to see! although there was a minor torrential downpour while we were there, we got to take pictures of it and truly get an idea of what they look like in person. I obviously knew they were a decent size, but wow I didn’t know they were that big! it was so interesting to really get the chance to see one of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World.
afterwards we came back to the hotel and cleaned up, ate a yummy dinner, and now I’m attempting to go to bed so I feel somewhat well-rested tomorrow. I can’t wait for the rest of the days on this trip!!