I woke up this morning with my feet a little sore, and unable to believe it’s already Day 3 of our adventure! Though I am all for the idea that Sunday is a day of rest, Jade and I joined a group of a few other students to attend a service at Wesley’s Chapel. She and I are both United Methodists, and Wesley’s Chapel of course is attributed to John Wesley, who was the primary founder of Methodism. The chapel was built in 1778, and is a classic example of Georgian architecture with its breathtaking stain glass windows and marble columns. Fortunately for us, the service itself was as lovely as the building. A large choir visiting from Wisconsin on their European tour sang several classic anthems. The two preachers leading the service were both women (yay for Methodists!) and both the prayers and sermon were fantastic. Of course, I think anything spoken with a British accent sounds fantastic, but that’s neither here nor there…
Here’s your Fun Fact of the day: Did you know that the flush toilet was popularized by a man named Thomas Crapper? Yes, friends, I am telling the truth. This was complete news to me until today, where we learned that underneath the chapel is an original Victorian era bathroom (circa 1899) that is actually gorgeous! However, above all of the toilets is a stamp that says “Thomas Crapper & Co.” Who knows, maybe this will be a Jeopardy! question someday. If you win, make sure to split the prize winnings with yours truly!
After the service and a look at the Chapel’s Museum, Jade and I grabbed some lunch at EAT, and made our way back to the dorms. Our mission for the afternoon? Buy a UK cell phone! This proved to be a bit more challenging than originally expected, but helped us to fulfill our 10,000+ steps/day goal! After being sent to 3(!) Carphone Warehouse stores (don’t let the name fool you – these phones are not meant for your car), we can FINALLY all proudly say that we own European cell phones. Though I am a little peeved, and you should be too… American phone companies = a giant rip-off! For 20 pounds (roughly $35), we each had a phone, a SIM card, and 20 pounds of credit for calls/texts since we opted for the “pay as you go” plan. Sigh.
After our phone success, we decided to continue shopping, since both Jade and Jessica needed new bags. After stopping at various places, we ended up at Primark, which was probably the most crowded and chaotic store I’ve ever been in. All I kept thinking when we were walking around was “HOW do people work here?!” Anyone who has ever worked in retail (myself included) and thought they had it bad should go to a Primark on a Sunday afternoon. Whew…
Soon enough it was dinner time and after a few tube rides and some clever re-routing on our part due to ongoing construction, we made it back to Waterloo, which is our neighborhood tube station. We stopped at the M&S to buy groceries, but ended up eating out at Gourmet Burger Kitchen, which had tasty burgers and fries and served Coke in glass bottles. My favorite!
We have to rise and shine bright and early in the morning as we’re leaving at 7 am to travel to Oxford and the Bodleian Library for our first official class. This is one of the sites I’m most looking forward to visiting, so I’ll be sure to post an update for you tomorrow!
Hope everyone is doing well,