London Photo Diary

On a mid-November day, I boarded a flight that would take me to the other side of the world, literally. Finally, I was heading to Europe. After years of dreaming, wishing and fantasising, I was on my way. This trip was a lot of firsts for me, and when you get to the ripe age of 23, you come to learn that experiencing something for the first time comes few and far between. I guess in a way, it makes you appreciate the present a lot more. 

London was my first and last stop on my three-week journey. It was also probably the place I was least excited to visit. I guess when you compare London to Paris (a place I had dreamed about visiting since I was five) and Italy (food, enough said), it does seem a little lacklustre. As per usual, however, I was wrong and London truly captured my heart. For a place that everyone told me was going to be cold and miserable, I found neither of those things. In fact, one of my favourite days in the city was spent walking around in the rain. 

I took the train into the city from Heathrow after a scenic flight looking over the city sights. London is the first place I've travelled to where I already had a good idea of the geography and cityscape thanks to films, television shows and pop culture. It was strange seeing the iconic buildings from above, drinking a glass of wine underneath where Bridget Jones lives, walking along the Millennium Bridge after it had technically been blown to smithereens by Death Eaters in Harry Potter. 

One thing that movies, photos and tv shows can't encapsulate is the beating heart of a city, or the vibes if you will. I knew as soon as I stepped off the train at Aldgate East Station, that London was special. In fact, it looked like the London I had always pictured in my mind's eye. Cool air, cobblestoned sidewalks, posters for indie bands peeling from brick walls.

I could write a million words about what London means to me, but for now, here are some of my favourite images from my time in the city. Keep a look out for my Paris and Italy photo diaries too!

travelCarolyn West