Drawn by Light & Kew Gardens
Towards the end of 2014 I found out that there is a photography exhibition in London called Drawn by Light based on The Royal Photographic Societycollection. Considering what I knew of the collection’s content, I just needed to see it, I simply couldn’t resist.
So I tried to ask around to find someone who is also planning to go to London and I found out that Ettelwen really needed to see the orchids in Kew Gardens. Flowers aren’t exactly my cup of tea but I figured at least some of them must be edible, so why not. After a short discussion we bought plane tickets for the end of February and decided to find accommodation through Couchsurfing (that was her job).
The accommodation was somehow more complicated than we anticipated. While we waited for check-in on Prague airport we were notified that our host changed his plans and thus we have no accommodation and need to find something else. In the end we found some other host on Couchsurfing for the first two nights and rest of the time we spend with a nice New Zealand larper.
I’ve seen The Pencil of Nature Nature number 1 at the photography exhibition, I tried to impersonate a koala bear in chewing on an eucalyptus leaf, I’ve seen a lot of orchids and a few endemits (a plant that forgot to die out), and also some flowers under the UV light (how bees see them) and much more. For example a few London Walks. We’ve been in the Brunel tunnel (even the non-publicly accessible parts) under the river Thames, had lunch in The Mayflower, and went down to the river Thames river basin. I’ve been inside the Westminster Abbey for the first time (I never found the need to go inside before), I’ve also discovered Camden Lock and its little stores. I’ve even tasted mint sauce (I’ve seen it in Asterix and Obelix as a small child and I’ve been curious ever since) and had few ridiculously good pancakes from My Old Dutch.
All in all it was a very pleasant trip and once again it was more about discovering new places than revisiting the ones I already knew. But there still were places I simply needed to revisit… The British Museum, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum.
Add some local foods to all of the previously mentioned and you’ll almost have the whole picture.
The most frantic part was at the end: we missed the intended underground connection and in consequence we missed our train to the airport and the bus towards the terminal didn’t wait for the train, so the last hour was spent nervously waiting if we’d catch our plane or not. Fortunately the plane was delayed and it wasn’t even at the airport when we should have already boarded, so we made it in the end.
This was probably my most “light on equipment” trip ever. I had just the Olympus P-ES3 with one lens. I’ve bought this for my father years ago and this was my first opportunity to really try it out. To make it even harder (aside from a totally unfamiliar camera) I’ve decided to go for the square format – limitations are sometimes pushing me for better results. I’m not really sure it worked out this time, but I’ve tried.