London is one of my favorite cities, so after a late lunch and a walk with a friend I decided to try and make the most of my trip. I didn’t quite have the energy or time to head to one of the famous museums, but I did have my camera and thought it would be fun to try and take some pictures of the city. I headed North to the familiar Alexandra Palace hoping that the sunset and panoramic view of the city would be an excellent photo opportunity.
The picture doesn’t quite do the view justice. The sun was at just the right height to bathe the tall buildings of downtown London in yellow light, giving them a little glow. The high resolution image might look better, I’ll link to it once I get around to merging the photos together. Anyway, I like this spot and took a few minutes to sit and relax and think about life. From this point to the tall buildings in the background is about seven or eight miles, and Ally Pally is only in Zone 3 of 6 that the London underground covers. Quite a remarkable city.
I jumped on the Tube and headed in to the heart of the city, and by the time I got to my destination (above) the sun had set and my next photography subject was perfectly illuminated. If you aren’t familiar with the landmark above look at the image for a hint. This area is the equivalent to Times Square in New York, full of tourists and touristy places as well as plenty of stores. I’m just happy that I figured out how to make the colors of the bright electronic billboards reproduce so well with my DSLR.
This is a real sign that was located about 25 feet from where I took the previous picture. There was some road construction in the area, so I’m guessing that this sign used to say “Controlled Driving Zone” before some cheeky hacker got a hold of it. It made me laugh at least.
I also thought that I’d end my city adventure with a little nightcap before the last train home. A quick Google search showed that one of the best whisky bars in town was just down the street, so I ventured to check it out. The Athenaeum is a swanky building with hotel rooms and apartments for rent, and a whisky bar that boasts 270 different choices. I tried a few old single malt scotches that were excellent but then something else caught my eye. On the page of the menu with the American bourbon was none other than the elusive Pappy Van Winkle 20 year. If you are a fan of American whiskey, you will likely have heard of this. If not, I’ll fill you in quickly. This is supposed to be the best American bourbon you can find. Partly because of the recipe, and partly because it is aged so long. Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve has won numerous awards, including Best Whiskey and Spirit of the Year. This is the second most expensive whisky I’ve ever purchased (Port Ellen being #1) but I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to try a rare bourbon of this caliber. It was pretty good. Very well balanced, sweet and a lot of flavor. Although to be honest I prefer scotch. This is supposed to be the best bourbon in the world and it doesn’t hold a candle to the complexity and expressiveness of a fine Islay scotch in my book. To each his own.
All in all, my trip to London was a success. I’m always excited when I go in to the city, and always ready to leave when I’m heading out.