This weekend we went to the two big markets that happen on the weekend: Notting Hill and Camden Town. Both markets are very popular, very crowded, but also very different. Rain was in the forecast for a majority of the weekend, but we wouldn’t let that stop us from going out.
Saturday – Notting Hill
The market opens around 7:00 am, but we started out late in the morning hoping some of the clouds would break. The walk down Portobello Road was crowded and dangerous at times, as cross traffic is still open. You just need to remember to look right-left-right instead of left-right-left. Oi!
The shops and stalls seemed to line the road at least a mile long. The stalls were part antiques, part flea market, and part farmers’ market. We walked the whole thing, with the rain pouring in and out through times. The sun managed to peak out for about 10 minutes at one point. But as we were heading back to the Tube station, the rain had started to come down in a steady downpour.
We awoke to steady rain Sunday morning, but this wouldn’t stop us from heading to Camden Town. For some reason I really enjoyed taking the Tube today. I was impressed that we were able to transfer to a couple of trains quickly. I can imagine living in London without car.
Camden Town has a more youth and fashion oriented appeal. The majority of the crowds there remind me of my record store days. You can see several goth clothing stores and music shops along the streets. Most of stalls in the market areas deal with clothing, jewelry, and accessories. The food court area in one portion of the market offers a variety of tasty looking dishes easily served in an aluminum tin for your takeaway pleasure.
We stayed in Camden Town for several hours before heading off to a more touristy endeavor – The Victoria & Albert Museum (aka V&A).
The Tube station stops near the bottom section of The V&A. A long walk down a tunnel takes you to an underground entrance.
The V&A has both a mixture of old and modern art. Heck, they even had an exhibition for Kylie Minogue! We didn’t go see that exhibit or the surreal exhibit as they cost extra. But the rest of the museum, like most of the British museums, was free. We were able to view the amazing Raphael Cartoons – for which I was chastised for taking the photo below. Luckily I was able to say it wasn’t of the cartoon themselves but of the archway. Otherwise I probably would have been chided even further.
The museum was impressive. I will need to post other photos once we get home. The internet connection here isn’t bad but it isn’t that great either. Plus some of the photos really need work. I hate taking photos in museums, as they normally have low lighting due to the nature of the work being displayed. I was able to take a few photos, like the one of the idiot leaning on an exhibit below while trying to admire other art before him. More will follow once we are back in the states.
The last stop of the day was at the world famous Harrods. We walked around a while looking at many things. This is one large department store that has many brands available. But it isn’t really my cup of tea. On the lower floor you can find a small memorial to Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed, the son of the store owner Mohammad Al-Fayed.
We didn’t much after Harrods as our feet were dead tired after walking all day.