Abroad Blog: London Calling

Hello from across the pond! It's your former section editor, Gabby, here currently writing from my flat in London. During the next four months, I'll be writing about things I experience throughout my time in the UK! It seems like forever ago, but just two weeks ago I hopped on a plane at LAX (with a dream and my parka) and found myself in the city of my dreams. I'm getting a little sappy with you guys early on, but I've wanted to live in London since I was 12 years old. And now that I'm here, I'm not sure I could ever leave.

My first two weeks here in London have been nothing short of amazing. First off, my flat is located in South Kensington - I'm five blocks away from Will and Kate's palace in Hyde Park. Here's the view from my kitchen window:

I've done so much in the short amount of time I've been here. I explored parts of Kensington and Hyde Park, took the tube for the first time and visited Parliament! However, the past few days have been so eye-opening I just have to share them with you all. 

Friday, my class took a trip to the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). The BBC is a huge organization; they house multiple TV channels and radio stations that span across dozens of genres. Some of their notable TV shows include Doctor Who and Sherlock! Being a huge Doctor Who fan, I found a TARDIS and took a photo with it. The BBC trip was so informative, too. I was able to learn a lot more about media in Britain and got a glimpse of what it's like to be in a building that generates local and international news around the clock. BBC occupies three buildings, all of which hold so much history. It was truly an amazing experience to see it all!

Following my trip to the BBC, Saturday morning a few of my flatmates and I went to the Tower of London. The Tower of London has a rich (and primarily dark) history. If you're a history geek like me, then you'll know that a few of Henry VIII's wives were beheaded at the Tower. What I really enjoyed about visiting the Tower was that a tour wasn't necessary, it was entirely self-led. I was able to explore certain exhibits and spend time in rooms that people were held prisoner in. To liven up the morbidity, my last stop was at the Crown Jewels - AKA seeing the royal family's wealth on display. Seeing the Queen's 530-karat diamonds on display made me really upset that I wasn't born a wealthy British female, but nonetheless I loved seeing the family jewels.

Today (Sunday), my roommates Maddie and Kim and I took a trip to Brick Lane. Brick Lane is in East London and it's a long block filled with street art, cheap food and thrift shops. We found an underground vintage market that sold vinyls for £1 (about $1.50 in the US!) We also found some awesome street art down a few of the alleys, so naturally, I had to take some photos with them:

Overall, my first few weeks in London have been absolutely amazing. While I'm definitely feeling homesick for California and it's beautiful rain-free weather, London has far exceeded my expectations. I cannot wait to explore this city further, and I can't wait to share it with all of you!

Image credit: 1, 2, 3

All other images belong to the author.

Gabriella Salazar is a junior at American University studying Public Communication and Marketing. She hails from sunny, sunny Los Angeles, California and her proudest moment is meeting Ryan Gosling at the Gangster Squad Premier in January 2013. She's a lover of ballet, wheat thins, food, music and cats; a hater of all things dumb and annoying--like traffic.

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