The next morning consisted of (to be honest) not much. I went food shopping for a few necessities that I forgot (ziplocs, notebooks, etc) and got a little more familiar with the neighborhood. For our first long trip through the tubes, we followed our Professor (a demonically fast woman for her age) through the Tube to the Kew Gardens station and then gathered to make sure everyone was there... except they weren't. Of our group of twenty-something people, four were missing. A call made to a fellow student revealed that the missed the stop, which was strange considering the NAME of the stop was Kew Gardens (which is loudly announced upon arrival) and they were on the same freaking car (on the Tube) as our Professor.
Kew Gardens was amazing with one small exception: we had a small assignment to do (just find out where some plants were from, find out why Kew Gardens was made, etc). While the assignment was small it was sufficient to divert some of my attention from the plants though it should be mentioned that diverting my attention is not difficult at all to do.
First we went to the Temperate House...
|Lots of glass...|
We then made our way to the Waterlily house, where our group was to meet one last time before letting us do whatever we wanted. Of the houses, the Waterlily House was my favorite (even though it consisted of one small room) because besides being stunningly beautiful...
|... imagine the game of musical chairs you could play on those things!|
Next stop was the Palm House...
|Lots of glass... defended by flowers and gargoyles!|
Finally we headed toward a nifty little thing they had at the Gardens: a treetop walk. You got to walk along a bridge-like thing above the trees for good viewing. Along the way, we passed a pagoda, which was apparently a gift to a King.
|8 out of 10 highly trained experts agree that this is not a phallic symbol.|
Finally, on our way back, we came upon a tram... with a wedding party inside. I didn't realize what was going on until some elderly gent raised a glass of champagne toward us as the tram rode off into the distance. It was weird. There were no other noteworthy reports of that day... except that we stumbled upon a peacock. Steve tried to take a picture of it but it was scratching itself... for 5 minutes. After it relented, Steve claimed his prize (the picture, not the peacock).
Long story short, after that we went home and collapsed.
But the orientation was not over...
... to be continued...