Just over 60 miles from central London (1.5 hours on the train from London Victoria) and on the north coast of Kent, Whitstable is a small seaside town mainly famous for oysters. The Whitstable Oyster Festival takes place here every year during the summer.
With its sandy and peaceful beaches, its 19th-century buildings and even a castle, Whitstable is a very enjoyable destination for a day trip from London.
2nd July 2005.
A string of concerts took place in 10 different locations around the globe. Watched by an estimated 3 billion people, it was defined the greatest show on Earth!
Someone from the London hostel where I was staying had a spare ticket for the “Live 8 screens area” in Hyde Park. I took it. The opportunity to be part of this huge event couldn’t be missed, and it didn’t really matter that we were not allowed into the area where the Live 8 concert itself was held. It was only a few hundred meters away anyway.
So armed with bags of crisps, snacks and drinks we went. And from 2pm until late night we watched world famous bands and singers appear on stage and deliver some of their best music (check out the line up here). The crowd sang and danced all the time, and the atmosphere was incredible!
For a non festival-goer like me, Live 8 London remains a great memory, and its upcoming 10th anniversary a good excuse to post this photo of my (now long lost) ticket!
My travel & photography blog has been suffering. I have been neglecting it. 2015 was supposed to be another year of extended travels. Instead, I have only crossed the border twice and only for short trips.
Things won’t change much any time soon. I start a new job on Monday and my travelling will only appear in the form of a very long daily commute. I am dreading it already.
But hey, crossing London from one end to the other on a daily basis, and using public transport, is not for the faint-hearted! Brave hearts are required: jam-packed trains, frequent delays, and the long time it takes to reach your destination, leaving you with little leisure time. Can YOU do it?!
Maybe I can use the commute time to write more about past travels, work on new features for the blog, and update you with stories of London commuters. How about “Stories from the London Underground”? (mmmmm I am sure someone has done it already, but this time it will be MY point of view!)
So suggestions are welcome!
In the meanwhile, watch this space: my Out Of Office Reply may not be On, but this blog will continue :-)
Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian bridge in central London and connects the two banks of the River Thames approximately from the Tate Modern gallery to St Paul’s Cathedral. Nicknamed the “Wobbly Bridge”, it is crossed by thousands of tourists everyday and provides great views of St Paul’s Cathedral from across the river.
As I captured in my photo, pigeons love resting on the bridge, giving an opportunity for some interesting photographs!
Have you ever heard of the Prudential RideLondon?
Ok, let me tell you about it. The Prudential RideLondon is a festival of cycling events that takes place in London and Surrey around mid August. The key events are the two main races: the London-Surrey 100 (open to amateur cyclists via a ballot) and the London-Surrey Classic (for professionals). It’s great to watch! Well, it’s not as popular as the Tour de France – yet! – but it’s a fantastic event.
Around 23,000 cyclists took part in 2014. I was going to be one of them. I had won a place.
Then things changed. And I ended up as photographer for one of the charities!
It all started with a series of emails and a portfolio submission. Then an email saying “Yes you are in”. A meeting in a pub on a Friday evening, with a printed brief of what the charity expected and a map of the allocated sites, sealed the deal.
Uh, and there was also a t-shirt to pick up.
And then Sunday 10th August arrived. The day of the race! The weather forecast was terrible so I packed up rain gear and a change of clothes. Then Wimbledon Hill, here I come!
The rest is history: six solid hours of sports photography, mostly in torrential rain, always looking for the best spots along the cycling route as it unwinded in the Wimbledon area, never taking my eyes off the road so that I wouldn’t miss opportunities. Soaking wet after an hour but not giving up!
Here’s the tired cyclist who is puffing after climbing the steep Wimbledon Hill.
There is a sprinter who whizzes past the crowd all focused on the timing.
Over there a mother with two kids who are trying to spot daddy in the group of cyclists that’s arriving. Their smiles as he cycles past and waves at them are priceless.
All my praises go to the cyclists who braved the adverse weather conditions and defied rain, wind and hurricane to take part in the race. When the sun finally came out, the atmosphere around was incredible!
I will leave you with some of the photos I took on the day. And a mention about the charity I did this for: it’s called Bliss and it gives vital support & care to premature babies in the UK.