Friday morning, I woke and has a quick shower, then I went downstairs for breakfast. I spotted some food and things I hadn’t seen yesterday, so I gorged on toast and fruit and cereal and fruit juice. I used the ATM locator in my Cash Passport app to find a close ATM and got out some more money, for I was told we would be hitting the markets today – and I anticipated many unnecessary purchases. I then went to Boots for some shaving gear as I felt a little ragged, popped back to the hostel for a shave, and took the train north to Camden Town station.
There I met up with Chloe and Swang, and we walked down the road past a plethora of those cheesy touristy shops with knockoff Ray-Bans and Union Flag paraphernalia. We passed a sign saying Camden Town market, to which Chloe informed us that was NOT the market. Perplexed, we carried on until a sign on the left hand side of the road again said Camden market, which was the real deal. I didn’t get a lot of photos of the market, I was to enamored. There were also a number of things you were not allowed to take photos of, which I would have liked to.
Being from Dunedin and only really knowing the ‘farmer’s market,’ I was pleasantly surprised- nay, astounded, to seed the scanned of the Camden market. After a couple of floors worth of pop ups and shops, we went outside to find MORE. The food stalls were amazing, many offering free samples. Food highlight would be the Mac n cheese which I unfortunately did not purchase, in favor of halloumi chips with mint, yoghurt, and pomegranate seeds (which was fantastic, but a bit much, and made both Swang and I feel sickly). Inside, there was a store selling wallets made from leaves. They were coated in wax, but you could still see the leaves that made it up. There were also as number of stores which did painting. Either you could buy a pair of shoes and have it painted in any number of designs (ask of which charged the size of the shoe as payment, e.g. £42 for a euro 42 sized shoe), or you could have other clothing customised (such as hoodies or t-shirts), which were painted before your eyes.
The three of us continued into either the horse tunnel market or stables market, I forget the name. Again more unique shops, and we stopped to get our photo taken in a booth. None of us, even after reading the instructions, were ready for the first photo. The fish three however couldn’t have come out better.
Last of all was an odd store called Cyberdog – it was clearly not marketing to people like me, rather to rave enthusiasts. The whole store was bathed in UV light – everything glowed, and none of it was for me. It was an interesting experience, and we had a good laugh when we got downstairs to the sex store floor. There was also a bunch of interesting sculptures in there we couldn’t take photos of – but here’s one someone else snapped!
Back outside I grabbed some gelato and we caught the tube to King’s Cross Station, you know, where platform 9&3/4 is. The line was a but long so Swang and I passed on having a photo, but it is free to do (though the professional photo is available for purchase for a fee) – and you get to wear a house scarf and hold a wand!
We returned to the tube and went to Greenwich where one final market was. They again had some fantastic food there, which I declined with a heavy heart. We walked through the stalls (this market was much smaller than the other, but still housed some gems I made a note I’d like to come back for) and stopped behind a bar, where Swang and I googled and confirmed our accommodation in Paris. We are about an hour walk from where the bus drops is of in Galieni, but also an hour from the Eiffel Tower. So maybe 20 mins by bus. The only thing is that I literally know no French. I’ve downloaded numerous phrase apps to study on the bus tomorrow in the hopes I don’t appear as what I am, an ignorant foreigner.
We got a drink and sat for an hour before saying goodbye to Chloe and taking the train back to Waterloo, where we got off and went to the Horse and Stable, and shared a platter for dinner. We toddled on over to the bridge and took some night photos of Big Ben and the London Eye, and Swang tried to teach me more about the functions on my camera, and we parted ways.