I spent most of the first few days getting adjusted to the time change and orienting myself with campus. On Friday, I went into Central London for the first time for the GSE Welcome Dinner. We ate dinner at this amazing Indian restaurant near Liverpool Street. I think the dinner was the beginning of my infatuation with the city. We got to meet with the other GSE students who were studying at Westminster. They gave us tons of advice on going out and making the most of studying abroad.
After dinner, we explored all of what the Liverpool Street area had to offer. I really loved the area because it wasn't filled with tourists. It was very young and hip. I am definitely going to make my way back there a few more times before I leave.
The remainder of the weekend was filled with sightseeing. Saturday morning, we boarded a bus that took us to Oxford. While in Oxford we toured the university and the town. There was an ample amount of free time, which was great because I got to get a little shopping in. Similar to Middlesex, Oxford was further out in the English countryside.
Sunday morning, we took a tour of Hampstead and all of the signature London landmarks. I really enjoyed visiting Hampstead. The area was very quaint and charming. We even got to have lunch at the "Coffee Cup", a local cafe that the Beatles used to frequent. After Hampstead, we took a coach tour of Central London. The coach tour was a great relief, because it ended up raining for most of the day.
I am still adjusting to the weather. I always have to keep an umbrella and a pair of sunglasses handy! But I am not going to let a little rain stop me from going out and enjoying myself.
Now that, I've seen most of the signature London sites, I am ready to explore more of the real London.