Hello, everyone! This is my first post, detailing my times and adventures in London. At the current moment I am all settled in my dorm room and the internet service is fantastic, which is all I could ask for.
To start off, the flight over was, amazingly, smooth-sailing all the way through. I was a little nervous about flying out of Louisville as when I left it was foggy and snowing, but there were no issues with getting out on time. I met my friend Emily in Chicago, and we shared a connecting flight to Heathrow. I got next to no sleep, but just enough so I wouldn't fall asleep in the middle of the day today. Emily and I found our taxi driver (Ashton, the other girl who was supposed to share our taxi, missed her connecting flight,) and I was dropped off first, getting there around 7:15 a.m. Unfortunately, all the ISH people (the ones staying in the international dorm) had to wait until 12:30 to check in, and my and Wendy's room took a bit longer than that, since apparently the two people staying in our room up to today took forever to leave. But we finally got in around 12:45 p.m.
The taxi ride over was very interesting. London drivers, on a first glance, scare the crap out of me. Hardly anyone used their turn signal, and the roads are so narrow, it's a wonder that more people don't get into accidents. There was one car who nearly hit ours at one point. In between driving from the airport to ISH, I spotted one McDonald's, two gas stations (I refuse to even mention the prices I saw,) two ads for Wicked, and one Star Wars shop, which made me hope that there was a Doctor Who shop somewhere (you know how much the Doctor loves those little shops!)
Pictures will be coming later, since I realized mid-flight to London that somehow my camera had been turned on in my purse and drained close to 75% of the battery.
My room, which I'm sharing with my friend Wendy, is small but has its own shower and toilet, with two high beds with desks underneath them. There's hardly and space for clothes, but we both made them all fit in one closet and a small chest drawer. I'm very impressed with the restaurant in the basement of ISH, which has cheap prices and a good, healthy selection of food and drinks. I had a cheese and tomato sandwich with an orange and a bottle of mineral water, all for three pounds. The hours, however, are really short, but they're still do-able on my schedule.
Wendy gave me my copy of the orientation schedule for the next week, which all looks pretty exciting. We'll be meeting everyone tomorrow at the place where we'll be having our classes, Connaught Hall on Tavistock Square (a class building owned by the University of London,) to have a general informational meeting. We'll be going to the British museum, along with Windsor castle on Thursday. I am determined to actually see Henry VIII's grave in St. George's Chapel, as the last time I tried to, it was so packed I could barely walk through the chapel, much less find Henry and Jane Seymour's graves.
Amazingly, I have service on my iPhone without having to buy a separate SIM card, so while the costs will be a bit pricey, everyone feel free to call/text me if you want to. I should be up and running on my iPad by tomorrow too, so no worries at all about people not being able to get a hold of me.
There's not much else to mention at this point, since I haven't really had the time/energy to go explore around ISH, though I'll definitely be walking around tomorrow. Needless to say, I've arrived safely, and am anxious/excited to see and explore London for a whole three and a half months^_^