Thursday, 17 February 2011
I had to leave Mark at the Natural History Museum, but not before I snapped some photos of the beautiful building. It is such an impressive place, and just massive. I usually spend ages in the Science Museum, and don't get to spend a long time in the Natural History Museum, but they have lots of animals, insects, and a giant dinosaur in the front hallway!
On the other side of this arch is Trafalgar square. I usually only see this arch from a taxi, because you can drive down the centre of the Mall and see it. It really is impressive, and has HUGE gates. Maybe I should take a taxi down there just for fun? Probably an expensive jaunt, but it is an impressive structure!
This man on a horse I think is part of the Horse Guards. I saw him leaving from the Admiralty forecourt, and was lucky enough to catch up with him in St. James Park, where he was stopped. Everyone was in front of him, taking photos. His white horse didn't turn out so good in my photos, because of the settings. I think they are often stationed outside by the Centopath, and maybe the man was out for a trot through the park?
This is a building I had never seen in my entire time in London, mainly because I spend time on the opposite side of it (Trafalgar Square). It is the old Admiralty building, and has a beautiful copper roof. I quite liked the large forecourt in front of it. Next time, I will have to go visit it!
I had some time in the morning, so I got to meet up with Mark, who I met back at Waldsee, summer camp in 2004. He is studying in Germany now and came to London for a week of sightseeing. We met in Westminster, so were hoping to go visit the Abbey, but it was closed in the morning for an unspecified reason, which was a shame. Mike and I tried to go once, but we couldn't find the entrance, which is what this is a photo of! Everyone was there taking photos because we couldn't get inside. Maybe it will have to be on my photo list for my next visit to London. It's VERY beautiful I think!
This is quite a random photo I took on the way back to the station - it is apparently the College of Arms. It has beautiful gold leaf and iron works on its gates. I wish I knew what it actually housed, Tim thought it was where they created coats of arms for families and such.
This is quite an interesting bridge, but quite a bad photo of it! It was a photo I took while I was right next to the bridge, so it was difficult to get any perspective. Apparently when this bridge was opened, it closed right away because it oscillated badly and people got scared! I have never been across it, but after Tower Bridge, it is the best looking bridge in London!
Apparently the Shard is set to be the tallest tower in London. I have no clue what it is meant to be, but apparently,it will be quite large. According to Wikipedia, it is the Glass shard, because it will be surrounded in glass, and is going to be the tallest building in the entire EU when it opens in time for the 2012 Olympics, which is a convenient time for it to be completed! I would like to see it on a nice day and see if it looks any better in the sunlight, and when all the scaffolding is off, and the cranes are gone!
Someone decided that it needs to be very expensive to gain access into St Paul's Cathedral. I have been inside before, and have heard it is beautiful. Sadly you cannot take photos inside, so I didn't see the point in going in, but I took some from the outside. I think it would have been better farther away, and in better weather, but it was still good to get some shots of a lovely building.
Mike went off to work on Tuesday morning, and I did the morning commute in with him. I ended up taking quite a lot of trains, and went through 49 tube stations in total! By the time I had dropped my suitcase off, I went to St Pauls, as it is a place I hadn't been in a long time. I didn't realise what a nice place it was, and has some lovely buildings and arches, which is why I took this photo. I'm not sure where it lead, but I saw some office type buildings beyond it. It must be a nice place to work!
I was so happy to have seen planes during the day landing at London City Airport, but it was even better to see one land at night. The airport is all lit up (obviously) at night, but you get a great view of Canary Wharf and the Dome as you descend onto the runway. I have never flown into the airport, but I sure would like to see that view from the plane!
I had really wanted to see the dome all lit up at night, as I had seen it from the DLR on Saturday. It was my final night (Monday) and I still hadn't seen it. We happened to be at a random DLR station - I can't remember which, and as we came up the escalator, I saw the dome in the distance!
I really had wanted to go to some Chinese New Year celebrations last week, when Chinese New Year actually was. I had wanted to go to Birmingham, but London is always the best. Mike and I were going to the cinema, to see the film Paul, which about a little alien, and very good. While we were waiting, we took a walk through Chinatown. I love how the colours have come out, and how all the decorations were still up! I thought I was exceptionally lucky that they were still up, with all the lanterns and lights. I even had time to pop into my favourite Chinese supermarket and buy some Pretz, my favourite Asian pretzel snack!
This is a photo that we took right after the one of me on the bike. Mike and I were biking by Kensington Palace, which is under refurbishment, and saw the sunset in the distance. It was so pretty, and especially with the church in front of it. My camera has a live view screen so I can take photos right into the sun! It never comes out just as good as it looks in real life, but I thought it was a pretty nice shot. It was a perfect ending to the day, and Mike and I raced our bikes to the next stop (blatantly to beat the joggers!)
Mike had promised me for Valentine's day that we could take the Boris Bikes out for a spin. I had seen them last time I visited and knew I wanted a go! We chose Hyde Park because there aren't any cars there. It was a bit of a hassle getting them unlocked, but you can pick them up and drop them off in lots of different places. I was sooooo excited about my Boris Bike...I love them! I had Mike take this photo of me near Kensington Palace, and Mike snapped the photo of the saddle by accident while testing my camera - it's a very arty shot!
Mike and I took the Boris Bikes (which was a bit of a hassle, getting them unlocked) for a ride around the park, as it is huge. There was this random sculpture, which was a big concave mirror. Apparently it is a hazard when the sun shines on it at certain times during the day! I used it as an oppourtunity to get a photo of me and Mike, which is so rare! It made me happy to have one with our bikes too!
Hyde Park is full of birds - swans, seagulls, pigeons and all sorts of ducks. There's tons of swans about the place, and people were feeding them, so they appeared quite tame...but I have heard swans can be very viscous! I liked these swans, they were right up by the edge where we were standing, and they were constantly preening. Their feathers looked quite fluffy! I got this photo of one of the fluffy-looking swans.
The ever present bench photo from where I took my camera out and about as Mike and I walked about in Hyde Park. We were walking to see if we could get a crepe, but sadly, the place had shut before we got there! It was VERY cold, but still sunny, so we decided to walk around to the nearest Boris Bike hire point and warm up.
Everytime Mike and I go some where that has boats, we always have a go on them. On Valentine's Day we went down to Hyde Park, which has the Serpentine Lake/River running through it. It is done very nicely, and there are lots of birds and people all around the lake. They have row boats and pedallos (boats you pedel) which looked so much fun we had to have a go!
Mike's house sits right between two of the DLR lines. It means that when he wants to go to work, he takes one line, and when we went to town we went on another. Becasue they are so new, and overground, they are very exciting and shiny. If you sit at the very front you can really see a lot, expecially becasue they have no driver, it is a completely automated system, which is pretty snazzy in itself. They have bars all along the ceilings of the carriages, mainly for tall people, so if i hang off of them, my feet don't even reach the ground! It's great fun, although usually there is not enough space if it is full of morning commuters!
The reason Mike lives in the Docklands, is becuase he works at London CIty Airport, which is right near there. On our way to the DLR station, we walk right over the bridge which gives a direct view down the runway that he uses. I was very excited to get my telephoto lens out and take some photos of the Embraer 90's (the BA tails) that he flies, as it was the first time I had seen them.
On Monday Mike and I did some driving through London, mainly through the Docklands and then through Peckham to pick up some stuff from his friend. It's not very often I travel overground in London, so I was very excited to see 'real' london from a car. We got some great views of Canary Wharf and the O2 dome in the sun!
On my Valentine's weekend trip to London, I was lucky because I got to go down in the afternoon on the Saturday. I got to see Mike's new house in the Docklands area. The Thames Barrier park is right by his house too, so we took a little detour there on our way to Tescos Sunday. It's been built to stop too much water being in the docks or something, but it is still quite an attractive way to stop the flow of water. It was pouring down with rain when we got there, and absolutely freezing, so this is probably the worst photo I could have got, but I was excited to see the barrier up close for the first time, even if I did get soaking doing it!
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
On the drive back from Pill, there is Leigh Court, which is a big stately home now used for functions, proms and weddings. I've never actually seen people there, but I know you can walk through the woods surrounding the house too. There seemed to be a snazzy car out in front of the main building, which made it look like someone's house! I thought it looked great in the sunlight!
Pill is right on the River Avon. It is quite close to the city, but feels so much farther away. It's a very quaint little seaside place. When the tide is down, the boats are just stuck in the mud, but I got a nice photo of one still in the water. I think it's really pretty, and the light was just right :)
Ashton Court is very close to the little village of Pill, where Tim used to live and go to school. We figured it would be good to go have a visit, as I really haven't been there into the village, just mainly to visit Jon, who lives there. We had a little drive around, and found this lovely little viaduct (which I hope is different than a aquaduct), but I thought it was quite nice :)
This is the gate house at the entrance to the estate. It is the only part that you can see from the road actually, and I thought the rest of the estate would be similar. I was in the car, driving out, when I decided to stop (in the middle of the road actually) and stop and take photos. There was noone coming, so I quick jumped out and took some. While I was doing this, some mountain bikers wanted me to take their photo too! It was nice to be able to get this photo on my way out, when I thought I wouldn't be able to get any more!
In the middle of the estate is the big manor house. Tim says you can't go in it and it is just derelict now, but I didn't look in the windows to check. On the outside it is lovely and clean, I assume it is Bath stone but I could be wrong. It gets a full sun in the afternoon and looks really nice and yellow and lovely!
In Ashton Court, they have a bunch of giant redwood trees, which were a gift from somewhere, and they have quite a few of them. They are absolutely huge! I tried to get a few up the trees. Tim took this one of me, looking at the trees, which I quite like too. It's very dark, but quite arty!
I think these are some of my favourite shots of the afternoon. Tim and I walked through the woods, mainly to go around the main path, and just for a bit of adventure. It was unnaturally lovely for a February day, and the sun was really nice in the woods. I also found these lovely little snowdrops, which were everywhere.
The majority of the walk through Ashton Court is mainly fields, but there are one or two little houses, and on them, I found this gate. My love of gates and metal framework is quite known, and I love this one a lot. I love how they also had the woods encased in a nice little fence. I assume it was to keep the deer out, but it was still good for a photo!
On Saturday, I decided it really was past time I go out and take some photographs. I had planned a few places to go, but the first was Ashton Court Estate, which is quite near to Clifton, and is where Mike goes sometimes to go riding. I had never been, but I had heard it was a lovely place, and it was true! It is a beautiful park, for deer, golfing, walking and mountain biking! I dragged Tim along with me, and snapped these photos as we walked to the main house. Sure was nice and sunny! It's quite a big park, it took quite a long walk to get there. People were everywhere, walking, lots of families and people playing golf!
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
On Tuesday, Mummy came to visit and we went shopping down in Cabot Circus. I took my camera with me because I had a little bit of camera withdrawl, so I toted it along to the Quaker's Friar part of Cabot Circus, where there is an older building right in the middle of the all the newer buildings. I think it is now some sort of venue that you can hire out, for weddings and partys and such, but it's quite a nice stone building :)
Saturday, 5 February 2011
My parent's party that they were off to was an Arabian Nights party. I was busy preparing all the nibbles for the party, and when I turned around there were about 20 people in my hallway, dressed in traditional (and un-traditional) Middle Eastern dress. It was quite funny to watch Daddy dressed in his turban, sweeping the floor! It was quite funny! I had to snap a photo, just for evidence!
My parents were having a pre-night out party on the Friday, complete with me making a ton of hor-deurves (sp?) and lots of champagne, I thought it would be interesting to get my camera out and take some photos of all the glasses. I think they look really nice against the blue glass countertop! They didn't turn out quite how I thought they would, but I like the different textures of the glass. It probably would be really good to get me a nifty 50 lens, like Mike has, maybe he will let me borrow it! It will be good to get into MacroPhotography, I think!