The second day in London began the real programming provided by IES Abroad, and brought a host of new adventures to share. I slept well and woke up refreshed. I finished the episode of Top Gear I had been watching the night previous and as such never got out to breakfast. I regret not having breakfast, not because I was super hungry but because it was an opportunity to try food, and I passed it up. At 11 o’clock we met in the lobby of Chapter House and walked over to the IES offices in town.
At the IES offices we completed an orientation on safety here in London and learned some about how our class will operate here in London. One of the most important object lessons, water fountains do not exist in the UK like they do in the US. IES has a couple but for the most part I will be hard pressed to find them most anywhere else. This is a bit of a let down for me as I bring my water bottle everywhere, but I will manage. Also at IES we had lunch, finger sandwiches from Prêt A Manger. They had a wonderful selection including a cucumber and chicken salad as well as a turkey and tomato jam. It was some phenomenal food. There was a small and amusing incident where another IES student started a fire by mistakenly putting his cigarette in a trash receptacle. There was no harm done but we got a good chuckle.
From the IES offices we left on a bus tour of London. We had some magnificent sites and got to get out an walk for a bit too. St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Millenium bridge (amazing how fast they rebuilt it after the Death Eaters destroyed it), the replica Globe Theater and so much more. Our tour guide, Brian, was a wonderful man who had a good sense of humor and created a great rapport with us. We also drove down to Buckingham palace where we again disembarked and got some photos before walking through a park and some of the larger houses around. After this we again boarded our bus and drove back towards Chapter House, the days scheduled activities being through.
Being 16:30, it was not yet time to be done for the day, so I headed back out with Kelly. We took the tube from King’s Cross station to Leicester Square where we took a short walk down to Trafalgar Square. Here we took some pictures (not on the lion since we didn’t want yelled at) and then went spur of the moment into the National Gallery. There were some wonderful works of art in there, apart from just the building itself. We also walked to Westminster Abbey, took some more pictures and then found a wonderful little Italian spot for dinner. Osteria dell’Anglo was a very fancy restaurant and I felt underdressed, though we were fine. Kelly had the ravioli and I had rabbit with bacon.
On the way back to Chapter we walked to Victoria Station and took the tube back to Warren Street and sought out the location of 221 Baker Street in the current BBC Sherlock series. I got my picture with the little cafe outside but the actual number didn’t match the filming so we didn’t include the number in the photo. We also stopped at Platform 9¾ again and got our pictures taken with the trolley.
Thus the night was pretty much over, 20:30 and it was time to settle down for the evening. After some conversation and paperwork back home, I turned in and looked forward for the next day. I look forward to many more days here.
Martin “Mixy” McNichols
Until we meet again