Wednesday, January 19, 2011

To market, to market

Over the last week I've happily started making actual real people friends - ie met and interacted with people while nobody was drunk. Yay! Life is beginning to seem legit! Also I finally got around to seeing Buckingham Palace, which was considerably more ugly and less impressive than I'd expected. I will have to go back and revistit all the touristy places I've been so far though, this time accompanied by my bright shiney new camera.
I was invited out on Saturday night by one of my new Australian friends (so far the people I've spent most time with outside the Family have been Aussies. Irony plus) on a pub crawl run by a group who also do tours across Britain and Europe. And I have to say, despite being tacky and formulaic, the night was both cheap and honestly really enjoyable. I spent five hours dancing with a group of German students and got a free drink at every bar. I'm not exactly complaining.
So far though far and away my favourite place has been Camden. HOMIGOD. Salivate. There are no words. But I will try.
Basically Camden is a big ass suburb situated right on a canal that is pretty much entirely devoted to markets.

Most people enter Camden via the train station, but I walked in along the water (through the zoo), and it was absolutely stunning, despite the poor quality weather.

At the start of the canal there's an area known locally as Little Venice because of the sheer number of house boats. As I walked past these boats I met one man who lived there, casually chopping wood for his on-board wood fire stove.
I braved the crowds and went out on a Sunday when everything was guaranteed to be open, but apparently the markets are for the most part open and operational seven days. From all accounts it also has quite the night life, but I'm yet to experience that. The best way I can describe it in Sydney terms is this: Imagine if Newtown and Paddy's Markets had a beautiful British baby, then increase the awesomeness exponentially and you'll have some idea of how goddam awesome Camden is.
Camden Lock is kind of the heart of the different markets that take place all across Camden.

I spent most of my day exploring the Stables, and I can honestly say I've never seen so much leather in one place before ever.

Unfinished graffitti under one of the innumerable bridges spanning the canal. I'll never know what the person was sorry for. Clearly one of the great mysteries of my life.
While I was at the markets I became the proud owner of (amongst other things) a skirt that looks like the product of an unholy union between a circus tent and a hawaiian shirt. It's the best skirt I've owned since I was about 3.

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