Saturday morning we met with our class for the first official classroom meeting. We went over our intinerary for the month--there is so much to do, all of it fantastic! I won't ruin any surprises by posting in advance where I'll be headed... you'll just have to come back and read about my adventures!
After a few more orientation and getting-situated things, I went with a group on a churches walking tour. We walked from our flats to the Thames, then along the river walk to Millennium Bridge. We crossed over to St. Paul's Cathedral, where we paused for a bit in the crypt; it now has a gift shop, restaurant, and tea room in addition to being the eternal resting place of important people.
From there we walked to St. Etheldreda's, the oldest church in England. It is quite quaintly tucked between two more modern buildings on a dead-end street. It looked as though it had lovely stained glass windows, although I couldn't go in and see because they were preparing for a wedding mass. Imagine, getting married in the oldest church in England!
I split off from my tour group en route to Trafalgar--they were headed for places I've been several times before--and ending up hanging around the square. Pride 2010 (the GLBT festival) was going on, and I went into that to explore a bit. There was a stage with live music, and people were everywhere (dressed in absolutely everything)! There were even some pople climbing into the fountains to dance!
I stayed long enough to participate in a mass dance to "Holding Out for a Hero":
After coming back to the flats, five of us decided to go out to eat and walk around. We had pizza in Gabriel's Wharf, which looks to have some cute shops and eateries. From there we walked along the Thames to a footbridge. We walked over toward Covent Garden, and we went through an alley to St. Paul's Church, which was having a cantata. We listened to that for a bit while walking in the church's beautiful flower garden--tons of roses in all hues, hollyhocks, and other cheerful blooms:
After a brief stroll in Covent Garden itself, we decided to head for Leicester Square to see if it was still mayhem for the UK Twilight premiere (disclaimer: no one in our group actually likes Twilight, but we figured we were close enough to check out the spectacle of it all). It wasn't, and so we just tubed home. Lots of walking today, but practically every street had something new and interesting to see!