I took part in #Project366 in 2012 and this is a flashback review of own personal favourites.
January- Trip to London and my favourite shot where the cranes and the Shard are rising into the air. February-One of the many spiders in our garden. March-Camilia after the rain. April- Ashley ready for bed. May-Monmouthshire-Brecon Canal, a lovely walk. June-One of favourite spots in Cardiff. Memories of my childhood. July-My favourite macro shot. Raindrops on the conifer. August– Oldest son and his son. September-My boys before the youngest went to Australia (news today that he’s now engaged to his Australia GF!) October- Ashley – cheeky monkey. November– Molly the cat! December-Last shot of the year!
Well they say to get some good shots you have to take lots of photos. I took 100 photos in 2 days.
When I got my camera battery recharged I got the photos I’d taken uploaded to my laptop. Hubby joined me and we reviewed them together.
The first one is of the Shard. It was taken from the top of the bus and we were moving at the time! It was taken at the corner of London Bridge Road and Tooley Street. The shot consists of the Shard, cranes, part of a sculpture on the corner and along with a lamp-post they all seem to be converging to a point outside the photo.
The second favourite is of Piccadilly Circus. Again taken from the top of the bus and moving!! I couldn’t quite get enough of the lights in at first and had to twist around in my seat and I fired off a couple of shots in the hope that I captured something useful. It may not be straight but I think it adds to its charm. I also think it’s ironic that there are busses in the top advertisement.
We rejoined the tour at St Paul’s Cathedral. The bus continues along to London Bridge – you know the famous story about this bridge don’t you? – then on to Tower Bridge. Tower Bridge is one of the most iconic bridges in the world and is even more amazing close up. On the way over the bridge you can see the ‘Gherkin’ the common name for 30 St Mary Axe.
The tour continued along Victoria Embankment and we got off the bus here as I spotted the Battle of Britain monuments. We rejoined the tour again and our next hop off was for Westminster Abbey. I had to select what I wanted to photograph as my camera battery was running out of power. We were also running out of time it was already gone 3.30pm and we had to get back to Victoria Bus Station so we could have a late lunch/early dinner before catching the bus home. So it was a quick few photos and hop back on the bus.
We got to Victoria just after 4.15pm, we found a pub and ordered some food and a beer. It had been a long day but so worth it, although we had both been to London before neither of us had seen so much as we had from the bus tour. One good thing about doing the tour this time of year is that the tickets last for 48 hours so you can always do the ‘bits’ you missed.
My only criticism of the tour is that both the red and blue routes go in the same direction so if you want to get to a specific spot again you have to do the full journey. It would be good if they did a clockwise and anti-clockwise tour.
I hope we will be lucky enough to win another trip to London soon. One night was not really long enough to catch everything you want to see.
Photos from this part :1) and 2) Close up part of Battle of Britain Monument, 3) London Eye and Big Ben captured together. 4) The Gherkin. 5) Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast. 6) Westminster Abbey
We rejoined the tour by walking back to Whitehall and the tour continued over Westminster Bridge and carried on to the theatre district and St Paul’s Cathedral. We made our second stop here.
I was quite surprised to see The Occupy London Stock Exchange (OLSX) protesters still there. (I’m not linking to them as I don’t support their cause).
In this area you can also get to the Millenium Bridge – a pedestrian bridge that was in the news when it opened for being wobbly. It feels very safe now! From this bridge you can see Tower Bridge and the Shard. You can also access the Tate Modern from here.
Here’s a selection of shots from this Hop off.
Long shot of Millenium Bridge
The Shard and Tower Bridge in the distance – taken from the Millenium Bridge
After a comfy night at the Hyatt Regency Churchill we stumbled down for breakfast at 9am. Plenty of choice, from fruit, meat, cheese, cereal, yogurt, pastries and the good old traditional Full English. I had fruit, yogurt and full english – set up for the day along with copious cups of tea!
Over breakfast we decided we would do a real touristy thing and join one of the Hop On/Hop off open bus tours. A quick check on the internet revealed that the ‘The Big Bus’ was the one to take if you want good commentary and a bit of fun. Big Bus Tours.Com
The tour has around 50 stops and you can get on busses with live commentary(red route) or recorded that you listen to via headphones (blue route). You can also take a river cruise and any or all of 3 walking tours.
We checked out of the hotel and decided to walk back to Victoria Bus Station and drop off the overnight case in the Left Luggage. A quick walk back up the main road to the Big Bus stop. At £27 each it seems rather expensive but we would only have traipsed aimlessly around all day and probably spent the same amount on the underground and busses. We hopped on and sat on the top open deck (oh a word of advice at this point… if you go this time of year wear warm clothes, scarf and hat as you are in the open and quite exposed to the wind!), the guide started his commentary and it was very interesting and funny. How they can make it sound fresh every time I don’t know – imagine having to say the same things day in, day out without it sounding boring.
The tour took us from Victoria through Belgravia and onwards to Marble Arch – you can get off here and get the blue route that takes you to Knightsbridge – Harrods and all the posh shops. We stayed on and carried on through Portman Street, Marylebone Road, Regent Street, Whitehall and Westminster Bridge. This is where we made our first Hop off to take a closer look at the London Eye, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament and Whitehall.
So here are a few photos from our first stop.
BIG BEN taken from the open top bus.
Big Ben / Houses of Parliament from Westminster Bridge
We got to London at 10.30am – gasping for a cup of tea,we stumbled into a little cafe near Victoria Bus Station. I checked Google maps and realised we were only about 1.5 miles from the hotel and it would be good stretch of our legs to walk along Gloucester Place and through Hyde Park.
We set off heading towards Marble Arch. Hyde Park was a buzz of activity despite it being very windy. There were joggers, walkers and cyclists all seemingly enjoying their time in the park.
We got to Marble Arch at about midday – a bit early to book into the hotel but we thought we’d go there anyway and drop off our overnight case. We were warmly welcomed at the Hyatt Regency Churchill and informed that they had rooms ready and we could check-in.
The hotel stay was a prize won by a fellow comper via Last Minute. Five star luxury – comfy room with breakfast and dinner included.
We dumped our bag in the room and had a cup of tea before setting back out to explore Oxford Street. Well we did go to Edgeware Road first as there is a Wetherspoons pub on that road (The Tyburn). Oxford Street was pretty busy and we eventually called it a day at about 5pm, we were both tired – having been up since 6am – and my feet were really shouting at me!
We headed back to the hotel to shower and change ready for dinner. We went down at 7.30 to meet up with our new friends. We had a really tasty dinner from the set menu and lots of laughs talking about competitions. We headed to a local pub for a drink but we gave in to tiredness at 10pm and headed back to the hotel.
I’ll tell you more about our Sunday in London tomorrow. Please stay tuned.
These photos are of Marble Arch (after adding a sepia effect) and London Horse sculpture by Nic Fiddian-Green