I made it! Despite the storm at home, my 10 pm flight from Newark took off relatively on time with no issues or delays. The flight was a quick seven hours, three of which I spent sleeping. When we landed in London, we deplaned and took a bus to the Queen’s Terminal, where we spent a little over an hour waiting to get through customs. However, because it took so long to get through, our bags were missing by the time we reached the other side. We had to go to a baggage help desk to find out where they were, and they told us that the bags had been removed from the conveyor belt and were somewhere on the floor. This was mildly concerning, but we found them and were definitely grateful to have our possessions back in our hands.
We spent a few hours after getting through security waiting to meet up with some other girls who would be living in the same building. The four of us then took a taxi to our flats, where we were greeted by CAPA employees and we were given some more information, including our International Student IDs and our Oyster cards. At that point, I got into my flat where I met my first of four other roommates. The flat is quite nice, and I got a nice sized room to share with its own bathroom and plenty of space. The bedrooms and bathrooms are all downstairs, and upstairs is a modern kitchen, a large sitting area, a dining table, and best of all- a balcony that connects with the two other fourth floor rooms.
After getting unpacked, taking a quick nap and a much-needed shower, I went to Sainsbury’s right across the street to pick up some groceries and toiletries. Later, another roommate of mine- who also goes to Pitt- and I ventured out to explore Camden and to find a bite to eat. We went to Pret a Manger, which is a fresh salad and sandwich café. I got a chicken and avocado sandwich and a grape and elderberry soda, which was interesting tasting.
To end the night, we wandered the streets of Camden and found a bunch of cute restaurants to try and a handful of souvenir shops to check out. As we made our way back to our flat, we stopped for a beer at the Oxford Arms Pub, which we drank outside while watching a soccer game on the TV.
Ultimately, day one has been exhausting and relaxing at the same time. It’s great to have time to get both my bearings and my rest. Tomorrow starts orientations at CAPA, which will also be the first time my flatmates and I attempt the Tube. I’m sure the coming days will bring plenty of more exciting stories to write about and reflect on, but in the meantime, thanks for reading!