Great day today.
I slept in (although my cold did not go away with a full 8 hours, as I hoped it would) then went for a run.
I set out to do a short half hour run but when I got to the halfway mark I was almost at Primrose Hill, the only remaining portion of Regent's Park that I had not traversed. So I pressed on in spite of my decreased breathing capabilities.
Primrose Hill is just as beautiful as the rest of the park but includes, as the name implies, a hill. This is no small mound, like those things they like to call hills out in Western NY. It is about the same grade as Mockingbird Hill but at least double the vertical distance. Man did I hate myself while running up it. The view at the top was worth the pain on the way up. You can see an unobstructed view of the city for almost a complete 360°, although the best views are to the south. You could see the London Eye as well as a few other key landmarks. It was beautiful.
After returning to the flat I showered, had some food and did some reading for my Contemporary art class (the extra readings for my architecture class must be done at the library which is about a 20 minute walk from here, which is quite a pain).
Then I tackled laundry, which was quite a difficult affair. The machines in our building cost £4 to wash and £1 to dry. That's about $8 per load (and their machines are smaller than America's). So to reduce this fee my plan was to handwash my clothes then dry them in the machine. Well the handwashing went fine (although if I make this a regular habit then I need to do smaller amounts more often because it was time consuming and tedious). Then I put everything in the dryer. The dryer with no words or timer, just symbols that don't make any sense or seem to differ in their actual affect. After trying three out of the four setting choices and spending £3, I gave up and took my warm but still wet clothes out of the dryer. I laid an hung them all throughout my room with a fan blowing on them. This seems to work but does require turning clothes over and switching positions regularly. Ellie did laundry a week ago and had the same problem with the dryer. Maybe we'll just have to air dry everything, although our space to do that is rather limited.
So while my room was covered with laundry, Dawn, Ellie and I made our way down to the river for the Thames festival. It was quite nice and exciting. There were lots of people bustling about. All along the southbank there were tents set up including artists, vendors, food, live music etc. It was a very exciting atmosphere. After walking across the Jubilee Bridge and down to the London Eye (where all of the activities started and spanned to Tower Bridge) we made our way towards the Millennium Bridge. We were heading there to meet some of the IES kids (another study abroad program that UR participates in). They were on the bridge to watch the fireworks. We stayed on the river path, just below the bridge so we could have a view unobstructed by people. It was really nice to see the fireworks going off with all of these old historical buildings in the background. We were a little far down the river however. They were set off from barges in between the Waterloo and Blackfriars Bridges (which the Millennium Bridge is past). We still had a pretty great view but some of the lower ones were difficult to see, including the sperm ones, yes, they must be an international fireworks staple.
After the fireworks we briefly met with some of the IES kids (although sadly not Meaghan or Emily) then made our way back to the flat.
Now I really must go to bed, in my humid, due to the abundance of wet clothes, bedroom. Tomorrow I am going to the library before class then we have our field trip to St. Paul's Cathedral, the Globe and other things in that area (not too far from where we were tonight).