Without the alarm going off, I’d awoken at 6am bursting with energy. The previous night’s early bedtime had paid off. Heading for Willesden Green’s high street, I walked out into the crisp morning air looking for some fresh fruit and eggs for breakfast. Returning an hour later with the food, I’d walked to Kilburn’s high street and back. After breakfast and packing my cameras, I was London bound.
The air was a little damp as the rain was falling lightly, but nothing to worry about. I took the bus from outside the hostel, which runs straight to Oxford Street. I chose about 10 of my favorite London pictures and printed 20 x (5x7) prints for postcards at the camera shop. After a relaxing coffee I headed towards the city centre with camera in hand. From Oxford Street I headed south through the “adult industry orientated” suburb of Soho, through Piccadilly Circus, past M&M’s world at Leicester Square and into the National Portrait gallery @ The National Gallery. The Taylor Wessing photographic portrait prize was £2 to enter and I spent around an hour in there. The different styles of photos were interesting. Smoked Mackerel salad and a cappuccino were on the menu for lunch at the Gallery cafe after I purchased the book “iPhoneography”. As Trafalgar Square is in front of the gallery, I spent the next hour or so capturing different angles of the statues, water fountains and surrounding buildings. It was around 2pm and the sun was low on the horizon, making for interesting light effects. Needing to warm up my camera hand, with hands in pockets, I headed into an unknown park, Victoria Embankment Gardens, and ended up on the River Thames. I turned left towards Tower Bridge, and walked around 4km East along the river.
As I came across Tower Bridge the sun was setting which was ideal for longer exposure shots. I waited around taking a time lapse on my new camera (which didn’t work out) and twilight shots of Tower and London Bridges. 3 camera batteries and 700+ photos later, I was content with the day’s photos taken, so headed to a restaurant to chill out. GBK or Gourmet Burger Kitchen was where I had some olives, nuts, another coffee and a Kiwi burger for dinner, making use of their relaxed environment to chill while I waited for Macca to arrive into town. I took about an hour writing postcards before I ordered and ate dinner.
Walking around after dinner looking for a tube station, I arrived at Aldgate. I checked back on my message from Macca and he wanted to meet up at Aldgate East. What a coincidence… Perfect. I walked up the road about 200m and was there. Around 9 he turned up and we walked around taking photos. It was a cruisey night. We took the tube home around 11:30pm. It was London Underground’s 150th birthday 09.01.13, and I used it. Cool.
I arrived back at the hostel around midnight and played pool till 1:30am. We played doubles and we won 3-2. It was an excellent day, in an excellent city.