Saturday, June 25, 2011

First full day - 6/25

Today was the first full day in London for the study abroad students and faculty. The agenda called for an orientation meeting to follow breakfast. Then, while the faculty met to go over some ground rules for conducting classes, the students grouped up to go out across London on a photo scavenger hunt.

At breakfast, I enjoyed a traditional English Breakfast (with one modification), but it wasn't to the liking of many of the students. A traditional English Breakfast consists of eggs, bacon (English "bacon" is basically thin slices of cooked ham), sausage (think grilled polish sausage links about the diameter of a quarter and the length of a dollar bill), baked beans (like pork and beans without the pork), grilled potatoes (today was actually hashbrown patties a la McDonald's), and tea. I substituted coffee - because I like coffee better. Sorry - no picture. I forgot to snap one.

After breakfast, we had the orientation meeting for the students. Here is a picture of the orientation meeting where the students received their travel passes for the London Tube (the subway and bus system) and other good information.


After the orientation, the students went on their way to search out the scavenger hunt items to take pictures of. It is an opportunity for them to explore London on their own and get used to using the transportation system. Many of them find other things too. For example, one group stumbled across a religious parade. Others took time to enjoy Hyde Park, and found some English teens who just found their (the study abroad students) American accents fascinating!

In the meantime, the faculty had a meeting to review policies and to discuss classroom management. Of course, we also found time to chat about the fun things WE want to do, too! One of those things is to explore the gastronomic delights that a cosmopolitan city like London has to offer. That is, we are going to try out a lot of different kinds of restaurants. Now rest assured that this isn't going to be a blog only about food. However, dining is an important part of the cultural experience here, so it will creep in to the postings at times. In addition, when you see my picture below, you'll note that I obviously enjoy food, so it should come as no surprise that food will be a part of this blog - along with the academic, historical, and general interest elements coming later on.

Here I am, enjoying a pint of cask ale before we head off to the restaurant.


We ate at a Thai restaurant. I really enjoy spicy curry, the break out in a sweat while you eat kind of spicy, so here is a picture of that!



After dinner, we all headed to a great little pastry restaurant that serves truly decadently wonderful desserts. Well, after the first couple of bites of heaven, I remembered to pause long enough to take a picture.


I couldn't resist the lure of another, yet wonderfully different delight, so I brought it home as a nightcap. I'll add a picture of it tomorrow. Too much of a good thing here might be too much!

Anyway, now it's time to head to sleep (while the students are out enjoying their first taste of London nightlife!). We are headed to Hampton Court Palace tomorrow. There will be plenty of pictures from there, I expect, for your enjoyment in tomorrow's posting.
 

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