I have arrived safely in London! My flight got in on Wednesday morning and I left the airport in search of the City YMCA, my home for the next four months. I’ve only spent one day and one night here so far, but it seems nice enough. I have a single room with a bed, a desk, a sink, and some drawer and closet space. At first it appeared that the view from my window wasn’t that nice, but once I took a closer look I realized I could see both St. Paul’s Cathedral and the London Eye from my room!
After getting set up in my room I decided to go look for St. Paul’s as I knew it was nearby. After quite a bit of walking I had to conclude that I had gone the wrong way and must have missed St. Paul’s. I stumbled upon some old ruins though that turned out to be what’s left of the London wall. The wall used to extend around the center of the city and in the great fire of London in 1666 the wall prevented the fire from completely destroying the center of the city. I think it’s incredible that there are ruins like this throughout the city, when I was in London in August we saw ruins that remained from the Blitz as well.
I eventually gave up on my search for St. Paul’s and instead ended up on the London Bridge. Apparently London Bridge has existed in different forms for almost 2000 years. At one point it used to have buildings and houses built along it, however in 1212 the bridge caught fire on both ends and everyone in the middle died; kind of gives new meaning to the children’s song London bridges falling down. From London Bridge I had a great view of both the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.
On my way back to the Y I managed to find St. Paul’s! Apparently St. Paul’s is the center of Occupy London so there was a lot of people camped out all around it, nothing too exciting going on though! It’s quite beautiful even with all the people camped around it and I’m excited to actually go on a tour later on. It is one of the few buildings that did manage to completely survive the Blitz; apparently Winston Churchill did everything he could during the Blitz to ensure the Cathedral wasn’t destroyed.
I started work today, which went pretty well. The office is nice and it’s only a 5 minute walk from the Tower of London. I walked by it on my way home just to take a look and I found out there’s skating there until Sunday, so I might check that out over the weekend! Sorry there are no pictures with this blog, like Malawi I still don’t really have great internet and they were taking forever to upload!