Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 12: Camden Market revisited and the nightly Thames on Fi-AH!

Ok, so here I write again, almost one week delayed... what can I say - being busy all day and exhausted at night. That's about it. I want to have this blog and I like posting on it, but I really need to work on my time management probably. The moment it turns into a burden I should rather stop, go on hiatus or shorten the posts. But I don't want any of this to happen, actually.

Last Sunday was amazing. It started rather slow with me waiting for Katja and Sarah in Camden as there had been issues with their train, but that gave me the chance to circle the area around the market. I actually thought that I am going to be late as I missed the bus and were caught up in a traffic jam later, so I texted apologetic messages without realising that there is no chance of getting a signal on the tube, but nevermind. It was better this way. I prefer waiting for someone than having someone waiting for me - so I can at least pretend that I am pissed in the end. ;)

What I did not know before is that Camden really is a real nice place to live, I would say and rather on the posh side even. Just one street above the market and you would not imagine it's there: nice, clean and quiet area, terraced houses (which is mostly the only kind you'll see - as far as I can judge so far as I have not been to too many areas north of the Thames except the central ones) with lovely front gardens.

And then again, right beneath the market - shabbiness. Not so pretty.

When Katja and Sarah finally arrived, it naturally was time to enter the fray again. Walking around the market, shopping (them, not me) and eating some chinese/japanese/whatever mix it all 4 GBP a dish.

After Camden, we had to say goodbye to Sarah und went to the oh so awaited carnival. Westminster it was - so I thought. So we went there first (Katja claiming right from the beginning that it must be Waterloo Station), saw nothing but the usual crowd, and decided to take the bus to Waterloo afterall. So far so good. Alas, the bus did not head to Waterloo, but these are the things you only notice when you are driving for a while already. When it then finally dawned on us - off we went, straight to Elephant & Castle and right to Waterloo via Tube, then.

Waterloo Station is rather big - an actual train station with the tube underneath. When we finally reached the Thames we knew we were at the right place: Little stalls selling food, clothes and schnick schnack, and trees beautifully illuminated with blue and white lights. We were just on time for watching the ending of a performance involving dancing and water(ing), but the highlight really was the parade.


It was pretty much a coincidence that we saw where
it started: We were just walking, wondering what else there might be, saw some weird artistic thingy and whoop, music and people in costumes. Unfortunately, others new what was about to happen, so we could not really see alot (some of the picures were taken with my hand held as far up as I could). While continually walking further, we happened to see the same part of the parade over and over, outrunning it again and again, until we finally found a somewhat enjoyable spot. The rather oldish guy right next to us was not as enjoyable as he tried to push us away so he could film the whole thing with something that looked like a mobile installed on something that seemed to be a bar with a kind of light - never seen it before; probably some failed electronic gimmick he still clings on. Nevermind. Persistent, and a little featherbrained he kept waving at the participants trying to motivate them to do likewise, but only achieving to equally weird them out as he did us. I just imagined this poor man's collection of tapes with a whole lot of weirded out people on them... oh my.

I actually intended to not really show any people on my blog, but I'll make an exception for these, as they must be well aware that their pictures are going to be taken when actively participating in a parade (I'm still trying to refuse showing children, though).  I remember one little girl in particular that was part of a group holding up colourfully decorated sticks, waving them rhythmically from side to side who was dancing all the time (contrary to the others). And I only do so probably because Katja saw and mentioned her as well.

Right when the last drumline had finished, we heard the first skyrockets cracking. With uncanny enthusiasm, a great amount of parade spectators ran - almost hysterically - towards the waterside just like they had never seen fireworks before. Admittedly, it was quite a stunning sight.

So the evening really ended with a bang when we tried to get to Waterloo Station again before the place was too crowded.