Happy new year ! I’m kicking things off in 2009 with a reminder for you to get off the couch and go to Hyde Park this weekend to experience the last few days of the magical winter wonderland …. (3 more days to go before the winter wonderland disappears into thin air and won’t return until Nov 09) In part one, it’s all about the lights and the big stuff like the wheel, the 40ft slide, the ice rink and other big stuff.
Ok, so here’s the situation. It’s new year’s eve, it’s freezing cold at 3 C, you’re in London and you happen to walk past hyde park corner and wonder what the lights and fuss are all about. There’s far too many people around you, you hear the cheesy winter 80’s wham blaring from the hot dog stands, you see the children laughing with their parents and beautiful strangers walk up to you asking you to help them freeze their experience in time…. what do you do?
Too late, that was last year. It is now 2009, the winter wonderland in Hyde Park continues but it’s only staying till sunday (4th January 2009) and you can either go there NOW…. or you can keep on reading and I’ll show you the sprinkles of magic those Germans have brought to our park. ( and then you can go there tonight )
Remember this guy?
I always wondered what happens after christmas, where do all the lights go? What do you do with the tree, how about the decorations…. left over turkey – hey what if I’m still feeling those wintery feelings? But it’s like sombre and it’s already the 1st of Jan, yet I still don’t want to go back to work … can I please, please , please just have one more night to make those holiday blues go away?
Yes. You. Can.
What is this German sausage business?
The german sausage is a beauty, it’s really, really long, chock full of flavour, bouncier as oppose to our chunky and chewy sausages here… and it tastes great! Anyway, the winter wonderland is packed full of all manner of fun ( and it’s free ) , it’s got an ice rink, small but real ice. It has a mini london eye (weee..) , it has a roller-coaster ( it really does ) , a giant 40 feet slide ( I have photos to prove it ) and it has an ‘authentic’ german market featuring more wurst, baguettes, crepes and beer than you can shake a stick at. Wunderbar.
Take a walk with me why don’t you?
For it may be a dark and cold winter night, but behind it lies truly wondrous things of luminosity and fervent fan fare.
London is a truly atmospheric place. With every season, the city seems to morph itself to suit the occasion. January is traditionally the coldest month of the year and it looks like this year ( wow, it really is 2009 already ) is shaping up to be the same. But it’s not a bad thing that it’s cold, because that means that everybody wraps up warm, german christmas markets get setup and you get surrounded by the bright flourescent lights and the sound of warm laughter. The energy of happy people is really an experience on to itself, naturally I had to capture this on camera, to try and freeze the moments and encapsulate that energy.
Are you feeling the buzz yet?
Let’s jump into the ice rink
It was such a beautiful new year’s eve when I took this picture. Everything was perfect ( including the freezing cold ) and the ice rink really came alive with abit of sparkle and magic. I mean just look at it. The lights coming off the monuments of fun, erected in the distance – almost like flares stuck onto the structures, the moody blue spotlights shine a kind of neon cool to the icy surface and finally, the people bringing the whole experience to life.
….. and you even have a maintenence guy trying to fix a chink in the rink armour. It’s winter wonderland indeed.
Or the merry go round as some people call it. I just had to do this one, it’s like one of the reasons why people invest in dSLRs: the long exposure. Actually this one was only a second long but gosh look at the lights coming off of that thing, it really was beautiful. I liked the fact that people actually stopped and just stared at it going round and round… ahh, why can’t it be like this everyday?
When I looked to my right, I saw this…
There’s the 40 foot slide! And to the left -though not very clear- are the lights coming off of the rollercoaster, let’s get abit closer…
….and there you have it, the glorious, glorious slide. Toward the left, you can actually see the people going up the thing. I think ‘Munchner Rutschh’ roughly translates to monster slide? I could be wrong, of course.
As I tilt the camera to the left, we have the BIG roller coaster. The lights, just look at the lights on that thing.
I almost forgot to mention this UFO spinner thing. I wouldn’t have thought that you needed me to fill in the words with this one, it spins and people stop and stare and marvel at the lights. Wooo…
Intermission, waiting for part two
I’ll have you know, I’m a very organised sort of guy. You’ve come to the end of the first act, think of it as the big opening with the car chase scene, the explosions and the excitement (anybody saw quantum of solace? ) , not much dialogue just plenty of action to numb your senses. In part two, things get abit intimate, we’ll step into the christmas market, we’ll have a look at the food on offer and we’ll have abit of conversation…