The Black & Red Swan

The Black & Red Swan

Hello friends,

Todays post is about an amazing swan we saw while touring around the United Kingdom.

The day started off touring around like most days do when you’re in a new place. It was mid-afternoon at this point and it was a bit chilly and windy! We were walking around in a residential neighbourhood and looking at all the old mansion houses – there were a lot of them! haha

Eventually we came across this really cool house. Not a stone mansion like we have been seeing, but probably my favourite house yet. It looked like a house out of the hobbit movies with a thick straw roof!

It intrigued us so we went up to it. The backyard/side of house was full of thicker brush jutting out in all different directions. We saw that there was a pond in the backyard and there was movement in it! We kept trying to poke our heads over the fence and between the fence to see what was back there. That’s when we spotted the swans. There was a couple white ones but then this black beauty appeared.

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This swan was the most gorgeous swan I have ever seen. Beautiful black feathers with a bright red beak. When it rustled its feathers and raised its wings, lush bright white feathers were revealed. This somehow amazed me even more. Such a beautiful animal.

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It was hard getting any clear pictures because the brush was so thick, but I tried my best haha because my mom fell in love with this little guy. All she kept saying was “take a picture take a picture” and I replied with “I’m trying!” haha it was a comedy show to see.

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Have you guys ever seen a swan that looks like this? Or one that isn’t white in colour? I would love to know in the comments below! πŸ™‚

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Until next time,

xoxo

Taking the Tube | London 2018

Taking the Tube | London 2018

Hello friends,

Before I start this story I would just like to say that all the photos used were taken in poor lighting and off my outdated iphone so disregard the quality – I needed some pictures to go along with my story however the tube is so busy and fast paced therefore I did not feel like possibly having my good camera damaged!

Also, if you didn’t know I had a facebook page where I share pictures and links to my blog anytime I a new post goes up! You can click the link to like and follow the page if you want! πŸ™‚Β https://www.facebook.com/phoenixraayphotography/Β 

You can also follow this blog by going to the home page and clicking the 3 dots in the top corner and hitting follow!

Now back to business!


Since I learned about London when I was young, I knew about the tube. I use to always think it was funny people called their bus the tube – little did I know how different it was from what I originally thought.

I assumed it was the same as busses, as some people do, but it is vastly different from that. Sometimes you are above ground and sometimes you are below! The cabs are large, but get filled up very quickly. My sister (who was teaching in Bristol at the time) told us that the tube was not even busy when we went on it and I thought – wow it must be claustrophobic in here when its rush hour!

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On the other side of the gates for the first time about to take the tube!

Once we got to the station, obviously we had to commence the mission on figuring out what ticket to get. Once it was all sorted we put that little ticket to use and ended up on the other side of these gates! I felt as if I were a local taking the tube and I am so happy we ended up doing this for a day instead of an Uber. (Good job sister telling us it was a must!)

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First glimpse of inside the tube!

So this was our first glimpse at the inside! Everyone had gotten off and we were the first on. The stop we were at was at the very end of their tracks so it had filled up more as we hit other stops.

We got off after 3 or 4 stops I think to another station where we had to hop onto a different train. It was quite entertaining trying to get to the other train in time so we wouldn’t have to wait for a long time haha the signs helped but there was a lot of people and it was all so new we became overwhelmed! Thankfully my sister was like – dudes its this way haha

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Mind The Gap! (and the rubbish! haha)

Finally we arrived where we needed to be to board the next train. Obviously I had to take the classic mind the gap picture! Because that gap is real let me tell you! If you don’t know where it is or how wide it is you could definitely get your leg stuck in it – ouch!

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Chilling at the station
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This man looked slightly too tall for the doors …

Within a few minutes the next train arrives and we wait for people to unload but you also have to get on quickly or the doors close! Once we were on we stood for a bit and then as people got off we sat down.

A couple stops after we sat down a lady with a dog came on. This dog was quite well behaved and absolutely loved my sister because she pet it once! Once you pet it, he became your best friend haha she was covered in dog hair for the rest of the day!

The dog was whimpering a bit though because the tube moves at the speed of light! It is extremely fast and loud, especially when you are underground. If you have super sensitive ears I would actually recommend wearing ear plugs! Another thing to keep in mind if you ever do venture onto the tube is give yourself a lot of time to get to the door before your stop. They do not wait for you if you are too slow! My sister would tell us to stand at the door when she knew our stop was the next one so we could get off quickly.

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Cute puppy that sat beside us!

As you can see, the tube was not packed this day, however coming from spacious Canada we all felt like it was! Not sure how you would even be able to get on and off when its busier!

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Proud father moment realizing he successfully took the tube!

At the end of our tube journey we were all relieved haha we made it to the centre of London! Also, if you are going on a long journey on the tube, make sure you have coins… you have to pay to go pee there! (Β£0.20 pence (GBP) to go pee = $0.40 cents (CAD)) Very different then what I am use to haha I had to break a bill so I could pee! The escalators to take you up from underground too are extremely steep so hold on – don’t goof around or you may be falling back to the bottom!

Overall, it was an amazing experience and would highly recommend anyone travelling there to try it out! Live like the locals! πŸ™‚

Have you ever taken the tube in London? If so, do you have any crazy/funny experiences to share?! πŸ™‚

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Until next time,

xoxo

Buckingham Palace | London 2018

Buckingham Palace | London 2018

Hello friends,

Todays post is going to be about my experience seeing Buckingham Palace in a torrential downpour! Not the best way to see it, but it was our only option!

We took the tube to get here which was an experience in itself so I will have a separate blog post on that!

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To get to Buckingham Palace from the tube stop we got off at, you had to walk on a path through this massive field. Everyone was in a bit of a rush considering the weather so we made it there in a timely manner! It was incredible walking up to these golden gates – even if we were getting soaked through to the undies! I remember thinking – how in the world am I going to get any pictures in this weather?! I did not want to get my camera wet!

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My dad and I went to this little food truck stand and I hid under the foot wide canopy by their service window trying to get some pictures. I got a few, but nothing amazing – I wanted to go get a better view! (Spoiler – you can’t get a great shot of the Buckingham Palace in a torrential downpour)

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These gold statues were so vibrant against the dark cloudy sky.

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Here we are now at the front of the palace. I enjoy going to these touristy places however, I don’t like all the people in my pictures! When we arrived at the front of the palace, I thought it was going to be larger to be honest! I was not disappointed or anything though, it was still incredible to see!

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When we moved our way closer I noticed all the curtains were drawn – I do understand that for privacy, but it must be pretty dark and gloomy in there! Also, I wonder if they have updated the inside of the palace to have insulation to keep the heat inside? Otherwise it must take a lot of money to heat that place!

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There were also guards with machine guns at every door! I knew she would have guards, but for some reason the machine guns surprised me – which they shouldn’t of! haha These guys were loaded with weapons!

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Now, this is a funny one. When we were farther away my family was debating whether this guy was real or a doll haha obviously he is real but he never moved an inch so he looked fake! I felt bad for the guy because it was quite cold outside, and he can’t even moved around to warm up! He was also probably getting wet because the rain was blowing around.

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I had to zoom up to the front doors because they were gorgeous! Look at all that detail and gold! I could not even imagine how much work it was to make those doors. The architecture of the Buckingham Palace was absolutely stunning.

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Even the light posts surrounding the palace had gold accents! So much gold and its all kept in amazing shape too where everything else surrounding it has been grown over with moss.

Now below is the famous London Black Taxi! I heard so much about these and seen them in all the movies filmed in the UK so I wanted to capture one on camera for myself! Everyone in London said they are very overpriced so it is better to uber around or take the tube – so we did just that. However, it was still extremely cool to see them driving around the crazy traffic in London!

London Black Taxi looking majestic with its headlights on in the pouring rain.

Have you ever been to Buckingham Palace or is it on your list of places to see? Let me know in the comments below and add in any cool facts you know about it too!

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Until next time,

xoxo