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Saturday 02nd 04 2011 08:21:47 PM

Pictures and words by Andy Main

Open London 2010

I’d never been to London before; well I had been in the sense that I’ve rushed about barely catching flights and getting crushed in the tube, but here was the chance for a proper visit. After my presence was requested to handle some client training, I figured I had to take advantage of the opportunity, go do some touristy stuff, see some of the sites of the City and take some great photos. I arranged that the work stuff would fall on a Monday and was all set with two days to wander the capital’s streets. My first wanderings were not very successful, but I eventually stumbled on my residence for the weekend - the highly recommended UCL student’s hall of residence.

Next day I headed for the iconic Houses of Parliament, the Thames and the South Bank.

As I wandered along enjoying the sights and sounds of London, I was especially impressed with the London Eye.

 

I loved the Covered markets where I bought a great lama burger and a very nice piece of cake then found I was completely lost. I reckon this is one thing that is severely lacking in Edinburgh (the covered markets, that is, not the feeling of being in a maze).

 

I got along to the Tate and wandered around taking in the art on the walls, this got me inspired and excited; shiny surfaces, extreme contrast ratios and juxtaposition of man and man-made make some great snaps. I kept on along the South Bank and, on arriving at the very impressive City Hall, found an intriguing queue.

 

Being British, and having no idea what it was for, I decided to join it and try to get inside for a few photos.

On entering I finally found out what all the queuing was about; I’d arrived on the right day for Open London, an annual event when hundreds of normally closed buildings throw their doors open and allow folk in for a look, AWESOME! I talked to the Open London chick, bought a programme and started off round City Hall.

The highlight, for me, was the amazing tilted spiral stair case.

 

I ended my tour of the South Bank by crossing Tower Bridge then headed for the Tower of London and to the two buildings I most wanted to photograph.

 

Ever since seeing a wide angle picture of the Lloyd’s TSB Building with a ‘suit’ striding down the stairs, I’ve wanted to visit. I went a bit overboard taking pics, so I’ve created a photo montage with a few of my favs.

 

 

Unfortunately the Gherkin was not open (hopefully next year), however I did get some nice shots of the exterior; I love the play between the sheet glass and the reflections it holds.

 

At this point I was feeling pretty broken with all the walking so grabbed a bit of food and headed back to the Halls. Due to my rubbish navigation, I got to see loads of the tube on the way back and flaunted the photography banned to try to capture its odd beauty.

 

After the epic day I’d had before, I took a more relaxed approach to my second day in London, grabbing more buses, sitting in more cafés and heading to some of the more touristy, but less obviously photogenic locations. Piccadilly Circus Trafalgar Square ect After a long wait I got to go up Tower 201, one of the tallest buildings in London, and while everyone else was taking photos from the windows, I was loving the interior views and again the strong contrast rations and shiny surfaces.

Also managed a vist to euston on my way back to the dorm, looking great after the refurbishment.

Great wee weekend vist and looking forward to next year, tranning on monday whent ok to :P

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