Day 2: Mind the Gap

Day 2 is in the books!!! I took my first tube today and I minded the gap! The oyster cards are amazing. The tube system is so nice and runs so smoothly.

Today we had Orientation with AIFS (our study abroad company) and a guided sightseeing coach tour to all the major sites! It was such a fun day and when we finally saw Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, etc. I actually felt like I was IN London!!! It was rather rainy off and on and I am getting lots of use out of my trench coat. We walked around 5 miles today according to our phones... it is a walking city! I played tourist today and carried my camera and took pictures and several times exclaimed over the sites... tomorrow I will start acting less like a tourist and more like a Londoner. Dinner tonight was Mac N Cheese and fresh bakery bread- living it up!

Here are some pictures!

St. Pauls Cathedral

St. Pauls Cathedral

Tower Bridge

Big Ben!

Buckingham Palace

Victoria Memorial

Buckingham Palace

The Eye

The things you see in Trafalgar Square

National Gallery

I found the TK Maxx!!!!!! 
Our tour guide pointed out this old church that was heavily bombed during the Blitz Bombing of WW2. The Blitz lasted between September 7, 1940 and May 21, 1941. The German Luftwaffe bombed London heavily for 57 nights. More than 1 million homes were destroyed, 40,000 civilians lost their lives and the Royal Airforce sustained heavy losses. The reason for the bombing was to demoralize Britain and break them down. This failed- Britain rose above the bombing stronger than ever and never lost hope and faith in their city. Untouched by the bombing was the iconic St. Pauls Cathedral. Bombs fell around the cathedral but never destroyed it. On December 29, 1941, Hitler specifically ordered the destruction of St. Pauls. Winston Churchill ordered the protection of St, Pauls in every way possible. Many firemen lost their lives fighting the incendiary bombs but when morning rose, St. Pauls still stood- strong and majestic above the German fires. This was symbolic also of the British people who never faltered and stayed strong amid the destruction.
St. Paul's Cathedral rising above the fires and destruction
Here are the pictures of this small church we passed today. Even today, the remnants of the Blitz Bombing show on this stone building.

It was unbelievable to see the actual bombing damage. Reading about it just doesn't make it as real as actually seeing it. I can't wait to delve deeper into the research available about the Blitz bombing and London in WW2. 

Well, that is all for now! We are going out for dinner soon, time to find a London pub to get some real London food! 

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