I am writing this while continually sneezing and blowing my runny nose... I have quite the cold.
Today we took a guided tour of Egham, Staines, Eton, and Windsor - including Windsor Castle. It was lovely and I even did some shopping buying a curling iron and straightener so that my hair will now look presentable. I had so much fun!! My friend Phoebe and I had so much fun laughing our way through Windsor Castle and watching the changing of the guards. It was hilarious because everywhere we went it seemed the patrol guards were walking right behind us. It was awesome! We also saw some guards scratching their noses when they were supposed to be completely still - very disappointing.
We also got to see a parade of Eton boys (and by parade, I mean we were in the middle of Eton and they were walking in HUGE crowds to their classes). They are just wonderful with they top full suits with tails. So dashing. And I know I sound like I am talking about zoo animals in their natural habitat, but they were just so cute!! I know they are high school boys, but they were really very dashing.
Then tonight a bunch of us walked down to the local pub "The Crown" and had dinner. It was really fun, but REALLY COLD!!! I discovered I have been going off of London's forecast when in fact, Egham (which is where I am living) has very different weather. It was 38 and clear in London, while it was 32 and snowing (VERY VERY lightly) in Egham... needless to say I couldn't feel my toes and my noes. I was in good company because some of the other students are from Florida and Phoebe is from Australia... so we are not use to the weather.
Sidenote: I have been here 3 days now and I am finding little things I did not expect about English culture and my stay here...
1. The Brits LOVE orange juice!!! We have had it at every meal. Pizza from Domino's (I know, right?) served with orange juice or water, sandwich lunch yesterday with orange juice or water, lunch today was chicken and mushrooms served with Orange juice, water or lemonaid... what is that about?
2. My friend Phoebe is from Australia and I have actually started picking up her accent and she mine. So we will return to our respective countries, not with english accents, but with each other's accents... this makes us laugh.
3. I will only have classes on mondays and tuesdays and the rest of the week free to study or hang out. There is a motto in British Unies (universities) that students "Read for their degree," which means the professors lecture one hour a week, then you have a small group session another hour and then you read A LOT and research A LOT on your own... so wednesday and thursday I have committed to studying and that'll give me a three day weekend.
4. I think my waking up in the middle of the night is not so much due to jetlag and more to do with sleeping on a twin bed (which I have never done before) in a new place.
5. I am nervous about meeting new students on monday... I have put myself out there with the other exchange students and I really won't see them very often after this weekend... except Phoebe who lives on my floor... so I'll have to make a bunch of NEW friends all over again through classes
Alright... enough writing, here are pictures to enjoy. I'll have more tomorrow night because I am going into London tomorrow for the day. YAY!!
Where the magna carta was signed hundreds of years ago... it's in a neighboring town to my University
Me and the magna carta memorial
Eton town/school - the town really is just the school.
Swans in Eton on the river thames where the Eton boys will row in the spring.
part of Eton School
Phoebe and I at lunch.
Windsor Castle with a statue of Queen Victoria
Windsor garden with a frozen fountain... indication of the temp.
Prince Albert's (Queen Victoria's husband) Memorial. If the ornateness of this room is any indication of the love she felt for him... it was so beautiful
a bit of modern with the historic
St George's Catherdral. We couldn't take pictures, so I could only sneak a few. But King Henry VIII was buried there and I was SO bummed I couldn't get his grave on film.
the ceiling inside
the guard... he's so young.
A guard and a cop at the castle.
Not the same type of Hooters as home