Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Take me to the Tower....

So after buying a new wide angle lens yesterday I had to have an outing... I was always going to have a day in London this week, and the forecast for today was the best - sunshine, a breeze, they said cool but it was perfect for lots of walking.. and there was LOTS of walking!

I headed first to the Tower of London (my membership runs to the end of this month and I wanted another visit to make sure I have had my money's worth!  Gorgeous skies, lots of green.
the wide angle certainly gets lots in...
 I joined a Yeoman Warder tour, I missed the beginning but rather than wait half an hour for the next one, just tagged on... he took selfies.. was just as funny as the previous ones I've been on.

 It may even have been one of the Warders I've been on a tour with before... he seemed very familiar
the White Tower, the actual Tower of London itself
home of the Crown Jewels
 so there was lots and lots of lens changing today, to get the sense of the difference between them.
the widest angle..

 Tried to take unusual angles too.
 loving the blue sky and wispy clouds

 insider the Armoury, with all the breast plates... reminded me of that scene in Bedknobs and Broomsticks when the empty armour comes marching on the German soldiers!

windy staircase inside the Beauchamp Tower
 500 year old graffiti carved into the walls...

 the Tower used to be home to exotic animals.  this wire monkey is quite exotic!!
 view of London from inside the Tower

 Tower Bridge

 the Gherkin

 the Shard over the other side of the river (my next destination)

so I walked along the river to London Bridge, this is the staircase up to the bridge to cross the road.  I love this!

 hopefully you can enlarge this to read all about London Bridge!

 underneath the Shard (leaning against something to stop myself falling backwards!)
 escalators down to the entrance to the viewing platform (no, I didn't this time, was doing things on the cheap today)  the cranes and things are to do with the Thameslink train works going on over what seems the whole of London still
 crossed the road to Southwark Cathedral...

Passed a cocktail bar with some rather strange seating outside... would have loved a sit down, but - places to go!

The catherdral was open, so for the first time I went in.  (I've only ever seen it from outside before)   -   I bought a guide (£1) which also allowed me to take as many photos as I wanted.   Unusual for a Cathedral, so I took advantage.

 it was an incredibly peaceful place, and every bit as beautiful as I have heard.
 gorgeous stained glass - the sun outside was making it shimmer, but I couldn't capture it on the camera, sadly.

 back outside, found this strange sculpture, with the Shard behind

 back over the river, we're off to St Paul's now.... more walking!

 this building looks like some kind of grill on a car engine or something

 here we are, St Paul's..
 and some great reflections

 Before walking round the outside of St Paul's I decided to head for the Millenium (Wobbly) Bridge to get some wide angle shots of the Cathedral...
 I always love to stop at these steel balls for reflection selfies! Got St Paul's in it too this time.

love how at it's widest setting the new lens starts to slightly distort the facade of the buildings  and gives it a curve it doesn't have!  (the next lens available after this one gives you a "fisheye" view... which is great fun but limited practicality (I had one once on an old camera)

 the "footprint" of the original (pre Great Fire of London) cathedral and the present

 Paternoster Square just off St Paul's, I love this Square.
and now you can play table tennis....

I hopped on a bus for the next stage of my journey...     Trafalgar Square
the Fourth Plinth.... a giant 'thumbs up' .... why???
from certain angles it looks rather different.... quite phallic let's say... no, I didn't take any more...
 the National Gallery ( quick trip inside, only to find a loo, didn't stop to look at any paintings!!)
One thing I have realised is that with the wide angle (and even my others) given the low sun (by now it was 4 or so) I need a lens hood to cut out the glare from the sun... lots of the pictures have sun flare spots...

 Admiralty Arch, close up, wide angle,  loving this new lens!!
 and from under one of the arches
 and the other side, on the Mall
Horseguards Parade, home to Trooping the Colour

 We're off to Westminster now, past the Cenotaph
 Westminster.  waiting for a gap in the traffic (ha ha, was just lucky with this one)
 the sun was really low now and causing me trouble with my pictures...
 wide angle back on...

 Westminster Abbey, but I am off to Buckingham Palace now on my way home....

 through St James Park

 Victoria Memorial looking sparkly and gold!
 HM was in, the Royal Standard was flying...
 coats of arms on the gates
and a final walk through Green Park to the tube for the one stop back to Victoria and my train home - got there just in time for a train, which was packed and I had to stand up half the journey home.... not what I wanted, but that's rush hour for you..

Hope you've enjoyed the day (it was beautifully warm in the end) and all the photos and playing with the new lens..  thanks for looking.


craftimamma said...

What a lovely tour of some of the highlights of London Helen. I thoroughly enjoyed your post so thank you for sharing. Some gorgeous photos taken with your new lens but I think my favourite photo is the very last one. I love the shot into the distance with all those gorgeous old trees with the evening sunlight filtering through and the long shadows. Just gorgeous!

Lesley Xx

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

What an amazing day you had. The first thing I noticed, aside from the wide angle lens photos, was how different it looked without the poppies strung all over it.

Many of these places I recognized from "hanging out" with you and a few others who take photos of London. You got some incredible shots, and the photos along the river looking back toward the tower bridge were superb.

You certainly put that new lens to the test. It's a great way to see what all it would do. I was in awe of all your shots and I love to see photos of that beautiful city. So glad I got to join you, and didn't even get tired doing it, either!

BTW, I'd never heard of or seen the Gherkin before. Here in the states, a Gherkin is a pickle.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Gosh, that first sentence should have included the word tower because it looks so much different without the poppies.

snazzyoriginal said...

What an amazing day and how much shoe leather did you burn! !!! Wonderful memories of lazy Sunday walks when we lived in London over 30 years ago with completely new views through your fab photos. Never been to Southwark cathedral so another new experience, isn't it so very grand. Like Lesley that last photo is the favourite, a regular Sunday haunt from so long ago captured so beautifully. Many thanks for allowing me to join you x

Kirsten said...

Fantastic photos, that new lens is excellent. Well done for cramming so much in, glad you had a good day.

sam21ski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sam21ski said...

Bloody hell, that was a ripe old tour of London, well done and thank you, even if it did send me a bit dizzy in places with those angles and curves, so of building were straight on one side and not on the other, very clever indeed. So it'll be a day of rest and feet up for you today then, really not surprised after your lovely day out, can't believe how much you packed in xxx

Chris Cresswell said...

Ive so enjoyed my virtual tour of London, Helen. I can't believe just how much ground you covered. You must be exhausted today! I love the photos of the Tower, and especially the views of London from the tower. I'm so pleased you had such great weather. So lovely to see the blue skies helping to frame your photos. A wonderful variety, your photos show just what a fabulous place Our capital is.

Neet said...

Thanks for taking me on a trip around London. You should get one of those pedometer things so you can clock up how far you walk - you must have done miles and miles.
I did enjoy all the photos but I loved the ones with the wispy clouds - the blue of the sky was just perfect for the photographs and your wide angle lens has given you so much pleasure I think it paid for itself in the one day with the amount of fun you had.
Thank you so much - a most enjoyable trip for me.
Hugs, Neet xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

I am so taken with these photos Helen! I haven't long come back from London and you have made me want to make the journey again! Chrisx

Diana Taylor said...

My goodness didn't you pack it all in - I love your photos and have really enjoyed the trip around London. That's a great lens you have, it certainly does the job doesn't it.