It’s been a whirlwind of emotions over the last week. There was the excitement of first arriving in London, followed by getting physically sick, homesick, and then finally starting to settle in. Things started to go rapidly downhill after my last blog entry when I woke up really sick in the middle of the night. Unfortunately I caught a stomach bug and spent most of last Friday in bed.
I’m feeling much better now, but being physically sick always makes me feel a little bit homesick (even though I just arrived). I was missing my family quite a bit over the weekend, but I’m starting to get settled in now and into a routine. I did try and make the most of my first weekend in London though; I just took it easy as I was still recovering from the flu.
I decided to visit the Natural History Museum on Saturday and really enjoyed it! The Museum is located in this beautiful building in South Kensington that has stone animals carved into it’s exterior. There are dozens of exhibits in the museum, so I had to narrow it down to a few that I really wanted to see; the first one being the dinosaur exhibit! The whole exhibit is just filled with these huge dinosaur skeletons, it’s unreal to see them just hanging from the ceiling all around you! I posted a few pictures of them on my facebook page if you want to take a look.
I also went to a mammal exhibit; the whole exhibit is featured around a life-size replica of a blue whale, which as you can imagine, is huge! It’s surrounded by other life-size mammals and there are several whale skeletons hanging above it. I also went to an exhibit on ecology, fossils, climate change, the beginning of the earth, and human biology. I stumbled upon the biology exhibit; it was an interactive exhibit about how the human body works and was actually really interesting. I finished up the day by going skating on an outdoor rink just outside the museum. It was especially fun for me as I got to skate circles around all the Brits 😉
On Sunday morning, I decided to go to church. One of the things I discovered in Malawi was that no matter where I go in the world, there is likely going to be a Salvation Army church nearby that I can go to. London, of course, is no exception. The London Corps is located on Oxford Street, smack dab in the middle of the shopping district. The front of the church looks like a storefront, but once you walk inside it open opens up in the back. It is a nice church and the people are just as friendly. It’s nice to find a little bit of home in the middle of a place where I don’t know anyone.
I spent the rest of the day walking around London. I didn’t make a plan or decide what I wanted to see; I just did as I pleased. It was nice to just walk around the City and do whatever I felt like. I walked to Trafalgar Square to see the fountains and the huge Lions. If you spend some time looking at the Lion statues you’ll notice that their back legs look kind of out of place. Apparently the sculptor didn’t know what real lions looked like, so he just modeled their legs after the legs on his cat.
I walked up the canal in St. James Park and caught a glimpse of Buckingham Palace. What I find odd about London is that everything here is green. The park is filled with green grass and all of these blooming flowers. It looks nice, but out of place with the chilly weather. I left St. James Park and walked to Big Ben and then I walked the Thames River back to the Millennium Bridge, which I finally walked over! I’ve wanted to cross it for years, having seen it in so many movies!
I haven’t done any sightseeing during the week, but I have been spending some of my lunch breaks sitting next to the river by Tower Bridge. I’d love to hear from some of you! Feel free to leave a comment, send an email, or give me a skype call!