02 May 2013

Sun is shining, On a boat and Pukkelpop 2013...

Cherry blossoms in bloom, trees growing leaves again and wait, what is that giant yellow ball in the sky? Spring is here in London. About time too.

London is blessed with sunshine. Everyone is out of hibernation and ready to play. First weekend out in the sun was an adventure. An adventure to see the Thames Flood Barrier.

Top Ten London describes the Thames Barrier as:
Huge barrier across the lower reaches of the Thames, just past Greenwich, was built between 1974 and 1982 to prevent wind and tides from flooding the city.

The barrier's design looks like shark fins or the "sails" of the Sydney Opera House. Impressive engineering that I learnt about, but failed to see.

Meeting a friend outside the O2 in north Greenwich - the bit of a walk turned out to be farther away than we thought...after first walking in the wrong direction until we spotted this sign:

Turning around - we noticed a boat at the dock by the O2- thinking a water taxi / ferry transport might be easier and fun, we investigated. Found out it was one stop to the barrier and a 20 minute wait. Tickets paid for off Oyster and travel card. A line of people was growing and the attendant told us to hurry get in line or we'll miss out. With that push, we didn't hesitate and joined the line. Walking down to the boat, our ticket wasn't checked and we were never told what boat we boarded. The wrong boat it happened to be. 

Fail! Heading back into central London on a sunny day I wanted to take a photo of the Big Ben or The London Eye (having not been close to either). The London Eye won, with a little Big Ben in the background.

Needing to kill time before the journey back up to North London, we wandered around the area and stumbled upon Udderbelly. A UK based live entertainment company. Run at Southbank Centre and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Their iconic upside-down purple cow venue - Udderbelly - is a sight to see. No acts on at the time, we enjoyed a pint soaking in the atmosphere of music and people chilling in the sun. 

Speaking of festivals...come August I'll be heading to my first European festival - Pukkelpop at Kiewit site near Hasselt, Belguim. 200 acts play on one of the 8 Pukkelpop stages during the three-day festival.

Pukkelpop is one of the biggest alternative open-air festivals in Belgium. Prides itself on its progressive music programme, with its "idiosyncratic blend of unforgettable top acts". Year after year Pukkelpop’s international audience comes to listen to a combination of successful contemporary bands, living legends and the most visionary alternative acts from all nooks and crannies of the musical landscape.

The major players head lining the three day festival are..da da da daaaa:
Eminem, NIN, Chase & Status, Duck Sauce, Fall Out Boy, Kendrick Lamar, The Prodigy, DJ Fresh and Franz Ferdinand. The anticipation to see them all increases in the 103 days to go. 

Summary of spring in photos part one.

Good times to come. The beginning of what is to be a fantastic S/S.