It's fair to say that I had been travelling a lot recently, with two weeks in the Caribbean and a week in Sarajevo immediately after. I was owed quite a bit of time off, so I had planned for a while to spend a few days in London. There was a time long ago when I remember saying I hated travelling to the city. But now...I'll make any excuse to make the trip down. It's one of those cities where you can just walk and walk with a camera in hand and just shoot. My plan was to visit some areas I had never really been and re-visit areas I had only been briefly.
Unfortunately the weather on my first day was horrific. It was the beginning of May and everyone was back in full winter clothing. Heavy rain in the morning really didn't get things off to the best of starts, and the rest of the day was that annoying constant drizzle that gets everything gradually wetter and wetter, and water all over your camera. Not the best conditions for a 20 year old Leica!
Still....my hotel was I'm the heart of Soho, probably my favourite neighbourhood in London. I love walking out the door and having everything you could possibly need on your doorstep. Amazing places for breakfast, quirky restaurants and great bars. They're all here. It was also a good base as I planned to visit areas east and west of Soho itself. My room was.....cosy! With literally not enough room to swing a cat! But it had everything I needed, and as I say, the room and location were perfect for me as a solo traveller.. It was also across the road from the hotel my girlfriend and I stayed at for my 30th, so it also brought back a lot of great memories.
Day two couldn't have started any better. Clear blue skies, calm (but cold) winds, it was such a contrast to the previous day. The plan for the day was to wander around neighbourhoods I'd never been, or only very briefly walked through. These included Notting Hill, a place I visited last year during the annual carnival. It's fair to say that is NOT how Notting Hill usually looks, it was weird seeing cars in the streets and the shops not covered in protective panelling. On the way there, I walked through Knightsbridge and Kensington. I got a bit carried away with trying to explore every mews I could find too. Most of them are really quaint, and looked beautifully multi-coloured.
My last day in the city ended how it began, cold, wet and windy. I've no idea how I lucked out on the weather on my second day, but I'm so glad I had at least one day of nice weather. I really struggled to get in the mood for any kind of photography. The persistent drizzle was back and really getting to me. Luckily, it did brighten up towards the end of the day, not long before I had to catch the train home.
Despite the weather, it was still a great few days in the city. It was probably the most amount of film I've shot in such a short period too. These are just some of my favourites.....
All images either taken on the Leica M6 with a Summicron 50mm f/2 (Portra 400) or the Hasselblad 500c/m with a Carl Zeiss T* f/2.8/80mm (Portra 800)