Ah. The first day of classes. What joy, for the college student studying abroad. Actually, school wasn’t bad at all. The only class I had today was Humanities, and it was really interesting. I think I’m going to end up really liking this test. We had a quiz the first day and a reading assignment due, but I aced the quiz so I’m fairly confident in my ability in this class. We had chapel after class, and as a result we were done with “school” by noon today.
After classes, our sponsors had planned a scavenger hunt for us to get us more comfortable with the city and the Tube. I was in a group with Caroline and Lyndsey, and our team name was Spain. Each team had ten clues that they needed to follow to arrive at the same final destination. Our sponsors told us we should be done by 2:30, and then let us loose on the unsuspecting city.
Our first clue led us to King’s Cross Station, home of Platform 9 ¾. It was absolutely amazing for a Harry Potter fanatic like me. My whole group basically loves Harry Potter, so we were pretty excited about our first stop.
Next, we were sent to Covent Gardens to take a picture by the new Apple store. Covent Gardens is ridiculously huge, with tons of stores and lots of people everywhere. We had to get a random person to take our picture, which was kind of awkward, but so far we were feeling really confident about our group’s chances of winning.
I’m pretty sure the next stop was to Leicester Square. There, in the middle of the square, is a discounted ticket booth for shows playing in London. Our task there was to get one person in our group to do ten push-ups in front of the ticket booth. Well, one girl was wearing a dress and she opted out. I was wearing a skirt and I tried to opt out, but the other girl absolutely refused to do the push-ups so I was the lucky one that got to do them in a huge crowd in the middle of Central London. Lucky me.
Our next clue sent us to Piccadilly Circus, where we took a picture in front of the massive digital screens they have in the middle of the street intersection. I have to say though, the next stop was one of the coolest things I’ve seen in London.
Clue number five sent us to Harrods. Harrods is massive and amazing and beautiful and crazy expensive. We were supposed to go to a French bakery named La Duree to meet up with two of our sponsors who had a treat waiting for us. After eating our lovely macaroons, we went back through Harrods to the Tube. I promise you, the whole place was like a dream. The cosmetics center smelled beautifully of perfume. In fact, our group agreed that we wished we could smell like that every day. It was amazing.
By the next clue, we were starting to drag. We had done a lot of walking, and it was getting really close to 2:30. After taking pictures with Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and doing cartwheels in Green Park, we were REALLY tired. We headed off to our final destination, the London Zoo. The zoo is not on any map we ever saw, and we looked at plenty of them. We ended up guessing correctly where the zoo was, but once we got off at the Tube stop we literally had to walk like between two and three miles to get there. After walking all day, this was not a party.
We came in second place by ten minutes and reached our final place at around 4:30, two hours later than we were supposed to. It was fun, but not the last 4 stops.
That night, we really just stayed in for the most part. I got to eat Chinese food, which I had been craving desperately. But beyond that, we didn’t do much. Just rested our feet and prepared for classes the next day. I did however have an epic conversation with Josh about whether Ohio or Texas was the better state. I think it goes without saying that I won :)