Saturday, April 3, 2010

A damp day in London

Last Saturday I took a trip to London instead of Kew - the weather was forecast; and turned out to be - dull and showery - not the ideal for photographing flowers - and despite numerous tube lines being shut for engineering works, I started at Covent Garden Market.  I was a bit early - by the time I got there it was only about 9.45 and the stallholders were just setting up.  There was some sort of filming going on - I couldn't work out what, although some of the people being filmed where wearing London Wasps rugby club colours (they were singing "Jerusalem") so I assume it was something for the rugby club, but I couldn't find out what was going on.

From there I walked to Trafalgar Square - which is so much easier to walk around now it's partly pedestrianised. 
There is water coming out of this fountain, but the day was so dull it doesn't show up in the photo.

There were already lots of tourists in London, especially Japanese - I guess the currency conversion rate is good for tourists at the moment!

I love walking around London, I hadn't been "up" to London (I live south of London) for quite a while.

This is Tragalgar Square, London buses and taxis and all - in a brief lull from major traffic. 

The "other side" of Admiralty Arch at the top of The Mall leading down to Buckingham Palace. I saw some Japanese tourists standing in the middle of the road to get a good view! I wouldn't - not even on a Saturday when the traffic is lighter than weekdays.

From here I walked through Horseguards Parade (where they have Trooping the Colour in June) - and home for the beach volleyball I think, come the London Olympics in 2012...

I love the way The London Eye dominates so much of London's skyline.  I have been up in - round in?? it a couple of times - but last Saturday wasn't the day for it - ideally you need a bright sunny day to make the views best - but it is spectacular - I thoroughly recommend it if you get a chance.

Leaving Horseguards, I walked through St James Park (it was quite an exciting day as there had been some kind of "police incident" at the restaurant at the start of the park - the restaurant was all taped off and a police forensic guy in his blue suit and camera was at work.  I googled when I got home but it didn't seem to have made any news sites - I suppose it's such a common occurence that it doesn't always.

Once I got past the police tape, into the park itself, there was some gorgeous drifts of daffodils and it wasn't quite raining yet....

I walked through the park down to Buckingham Palace to find crowds and crowds of tourists - I had chanced upon Changing the Guards.  Feeling a bit like Alice in the A A Milne poem, I joined the crowds - I think the last time I was in London for Changing the Guards I was about 10 with my Mum and brother and sister... Unfortunately I couldn't get a very good view and the gentleman in front of me kept turning to talk to his daughter (teenaged) just as I was trying to take pics of the guards ..

This is one of the only really decent ones I got. Like I said, I was quite a way away, and the crowd was too deep to allow me to get into my camera bag to change to the longer length lens, which would have helped!

It started raining about this time so I left the crowds to it and was going to walk down to Westminster bridge but took the wrong road (too wet to get my map out, didn't want to look too like a tourist....!!) and ended up walking all round the outside to Buck Palace gardens till I got back to where I'd started -

I didn't want to come home without finishing the film off so I took the right road down to Westminster to take a couple of shots of the Abbey and Houses of Parliament

They've obviously got the builders in judging by the tarpaulin on the roof!  I had to stand on the corner waiting for the traffic lights to change to keep the buses and lorries out of my shot...

so that was my morning in London.  The rain had just about stopped and I couldn't be bothered to wait for a bus so walked back down to Victoria station to catch the train home.

The photos don't really do London justice due to the poor weather but it was a good day nevertheless.

I have got some more Kew photos to blog from the week before this, when the daffodils were truly gorgeous, but will come back to do that another day.
I don't know why there are such large gaps between the pics, sorry!


Lesley said...

Lovely pics and a lovely day out by the looks of it....
Lesley x

Cathy said...

Lovely pics, thank you!
I have always wanted to see London!
Maybe one day I will!
I love your idea of having a blog for your pics!

stephen adams said...

hi helen
ive just been looking for mentions
of the london wasps/help for heroes
viral, i had taken part in and came across
your blog,
here is the final video just in case your interested in seeing it
this was for the help for heroes
charity, and was shown at the st georges day
london wasps/bath rugby match,
best wishes
stephen adams