After the seven, almost eight, hour flight to London I was feeling cramped and nervous. I had yet to see anyone with an AIFS luggage tag and while waiting in the customs line I only saw asian students going to another program.
Once I got through customs/baggage claim it felt like the tunnel of love walking through all of the families waiting outside of the secured zone. I searched the crowd hoping to find a sign or person that was from AIFS and I finally spotted an AIFS representative. I went up to the younger looking man and told him I was with AIFS. He responded, but I honestly thought he was speaking a different language. Umm...bollocks.
I finally understood his directions and I came to meet him behind the guard rail. I met a few other people from my program, but the majority in our flight arrival group were going on the Salamanca trip. After about 2 hours we finally went outside to meet our fancy Mercedes coach that brought us to the hotel. At this point we still had not received a room because other guests were still checking out. Most of this day is pretty blurry to me. I was exhausted and cold and had no idea how to get anywhere.
After a quick nap my roomie and I explored the area close to our hotel went to the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum. Later on in the day we met up with a few other people in our program and took the tube(subway) to Leicester Square for dinner.
London was starting to become a great experience and I couldn't wait for the next morning for our 3 hour tour of the city.
We started the tour early in the morning and visited all the major places of central London. I took over 400 pictures alone on the 3 hour tour, but I will post a few of my favs.
St. Paul's Cathedral
After the tour we were dropped off in Covent Gardens to explore the rest of the city. My friends and I stayed here for about 2 hours then took the tube to the British Museum. At this point most of us were really tired so we saw the Rosetta Stone and walked over to the Impression Room and sat for almost an hour. Afterwards, we REALLY wanted to ride one of the red buses so we found one and hopped on.
For a while we were riding around the city, then most of us in our group fell asleep. After the jet lag and busy day of walking we were like zombies on the bus. It probably looked odd seeing a bunch of students sleeping with their heads bobbing around on a city bus. We got to the end of the line and took the bus back to a tube station.
It was my goal for the night to find a place that had fish & chips. Didn't matter where or how much, but I needed my frickin' fish & chips. With a slightly larger group we made our way to a place called Waxy O'Connors close to Picadilly Circus. The door of the Pub made it seem like a hole in the wall, but it was an underground pub that went about 2 stories deep. I found my fish & chips and feasted.
After dinner another girl and I broke off from the group and took the tube further east to King's Cross; the station where Platform 9 3/4 is set. When we got there we could not find 9 3/4. There was also a mother and daughter there looking for it. We finally found a train attendant and he directed us to another area where there was a cute little set of the platform.
Our night ended after we got some ice cream in Leicester Square and went back for a few hours sleep before our 6:30am flight to Malaga.