Four days in London – Part I

In this blogpost I want to share my impression of the British capital – London. In November 2013 my girlfriend Michaela had to attend a conference in London. I decided to go with her. The first two days, when she attended the conference, I explored some parts of London on my own.

About my Equipment

I took my Nikon D600 with the Tamron SP 24-70 F2.8 with me. As I described in my review about the lens, it is a very good choice for an all-around lens. So I had much fun with it in London. Also I took 1 spare battery and two 16 GB memory cards with me. I stored all my gear in a Sony Alpha shoulder bag, which I bought some years ago when I used a Sony Alpha 200.

And now I want to show you my impressions of the trip. The first picture shows a shot taken out of the plane window. Actually this isn’t Great Britain; these are mountains in Austria after the start at the airport Salzburg. We arrived at London very late and had a very long journey to the hotel in the Docklands near the London Excel Convention Center, so I started with my photo tour on the next day.

London - Day 1 (1)

Day 1 – Docklands and the inner City

The day didn’t start very promising because the weather was not the best. Grey sky, and very cold.

London - Day 1 (2)

After walking with my girlfriend to the London Excel Convention Center where the conference took place, I started with a walk in the Docklands. Around the Convention Center and then around the Royal Victora Docks next to it.

It turned out that the weather was well enough for some nice photos and I had the chance to take several cool reflection pictures. I have also seen several planes flying over me as the London City Airport was not far away.

After I finished the walk around the Royal Victoria Dock I took the DLR train to Canary Wharf. I didn’t take many pictures there due to the bad weather and decided to come back the next day.

I went back to the DLR station and took the train to Tower Gateway. The inner city of London was also uncomfortable due to the weather wherefore I haven’t taken many photos that day.

It got late and I had to drive back to the Excel Center to pick up my girlfriend. Then we went back to the hotel for dinner.

Day 2 – Docklands, Canary Wharf, Greenwich and the London Shard

The clouds were gone, the sky was blue and it was warm! Well, actually it was very cold again, but the sun was rising and a nice photo day was ahead of me. After escorting my girlfriend to the Convention Center I took some photos of the scenery in the beautiful morning light.

I went to the DLR station and took the train to Canary Wharf. After I arrived I took my camera out of the bag and instantly a police officer appeared in front of me and asked me what I was doing there. I had to think a second about what was happening and then I replied that I am only a tourist from Austria taking photos of the impressive skyscrapers. The police officer explained me that it is not allowed to take photos at ground level from entrances etc. and I had to point with my camera upwards to avoid getting into troubles. So I promised to do exactly as ordered and he walked away. Here are some of the results. What a thrill!

After Canary Wharf I took the DLR train back to the convention center to meet my girlfriend for lunch. In the afternoon my first destination was Greenwich. Upon arrival I took a look at the sailingship “Cutty Sark” and walked along the Thames to the National Maritime Museum and Greenwich University. Greenwich is a really nice place for a photo walk. After exploring the Campus of the University I went through the Greenwich Park. Sadly I was a bit in a hurry, because I had a ticket for the London Shard, so I hadn’t enough time to explore the Greenwich Observatory. But I wouldn’t have seen much of the observatory anyway because restauration works took place.

So I went back to the DLR station very quickly to take the train to Tower Gateway. As there were nearly no other passengers, the train arrived exactly on time wherefore I had enough time to go to the Shard via the Tower Bridge. I took some quick pictures on the way and arrived just in time at the Shard. The skyscraper is 310 meters high, has 87 floors and a viewing platform on the 68, 69 and 72 floor. After passing the security check you take two elevators to reach the viewing platform. And I have to say that the view is really amazing, especially at sunset!

I spent nearly one and a half hour enjoying the view and after spending some pounds in the gift store at the viewing platform I had to leave and drive back to the Convention Center. I met my girlfriend, took some evening shots of the scenery and then we went back to the hotel for dinner. We had the house burger and it was delicious… and way too much.

So, these are the first two days of our London trip. Hope you enjoyed viewing the pictures and I will continue the travel report later this week.

Cheers

Tom

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