London is rich in history and culture. And I think between my two class sessions today (a total of about 6 hours), we covered the vast majority of it.
Let me tell you that was dense 6 hours of my life. I learned a lot though.
Great Britain wasn’t always an island. There used to be a strip of land that connected it to the rest of Europe. It worked like a dam and eventually broke. Ergo, tropical island nation.
But, let’s not talk about school because that’s no fun. Education? Who needs that?
Today was an adventure (I get the feeling it will be for a while).
First, Lisa and I got up and went to Starbucks on the way to the tube station. On our way to the station, we managed to get all spun around. Thank goodness Lanna was there to help us with our directions. Anyway. We got there and it was rush hour. And, for those of you who have never been in a big city during rush hour, there are just people everywhere, going in every direction, coming from every direction. And the station was as crowded as I’ve ever seen it (like I have a lot of experience in my 5 days. Right). So, there were 5 of us and we got through the gates and down to the right platform just fine. When we got down there, we found about half of the other people we’re here with. The tube pulls up and people are packed in there like sardines. 3 of us squeeze on for the two-stop ride. When we got off, we had 5 minutes to be up at the top of the station. And I hate being late to important things.
Very few people were taking the stairs, and the escalators were also packed, so naturally, I chose the stairs. And the first set wasn’t too bad. But then there was another set. And I got to them and the words “oh man, that’s a lot of stairs” definitely left my mouth. But I started hiking up them with Zac and Lisa right behind me. About 10 stairs up, I realized why there was no one on this set of stairs: they’re terrible. I could feel the lactic acid in my knees. That’s not an exaggeration. It was awful. By the time we got to the top, I mostly just wanted to crawl up the stairs. And all the people who usually use that stop looked at us like: “Those silly American children. They will learn.”
After our trek up the stairs, we started our two and a half hour walking tour of the original city of London. Who knows that it’s only one square mile? I do.
After a break for lunch, we met to have out photos taken for IDs that will give us access to the building where our classes will be held. After pictures, there was an orientation session and another never ending lecture. Our teacher tried to go through all 2000ish years of Britain’s history in a few hours. It’s a very interesting subject.
But, what I really learned was that we never need to take the stairs, ever.