I'm not sure which came first - Camden Locks or Camden Market. Possibly the two sprang up together at the confluence of Paddington Canal and the Thames. The differential between those two bodies of water appeared to be about thirty feet - thus the necessity for building locks. By today's standards the locks are very narrow and it appears that the area has turned into a tourist opportunity, rather than a place for serious transport of goods. We took a canal ride here ourselves about twenty years ago, but today we came for the market. There are many wonderful markets in London, especially on weekends, and we read that this is one of the biggest. After about three hours here, we hardly scratched the surface and hardly bought a thing. But I could have done some serious damage here in my younger days! One shopping area used to be royal horse stables and the bric a brac that royals erect everywhere their gaze might fall was still impressive to see between the racks of clothing. The people watching was phenomenal. This is a mecca for Goth looking people who want to add to their piercings and tattoos. Once we walked past these temptations, it appeared that every nation that used to be part of the British Commonwealth, had sent representative samples of their clothing and handicrafts. And in other sections the selection of things to eat was also amazingly international. We especially admired the area along the river, where feasters sat on what looked like the back end of motorcycles, rather than conventional chairs. This gave them a great view of the river and us a great view of their backsides - tramp stamps and all. Some of the international food was definitely not all that authentic. The booth selling Mexican foods boasted of being halal, and as I looked at the faces of the proprietors, they looked a lot more Halal than Mexican. London is truly an international city and we really felt it at the market. I love to eavesdrop as I wander and it was the rare conversation that I could understand. Spanish and Italian were very common and various eastern European languages that I cannot distinguish prevailed. Another interesting sight wee the pedicure places, which featured customers sitting with their feet hanging into tanks where tiny fish were nibbling away their dead skin. My but that must tickle!
Our travels today were greatly inconvenienced by the fact that all three of the tube stations that serve our neighborhood were closed, as well as the trains that circle the central part of London. We had to take a bus about half an hour before we could get to a Tube station that was open. And of course, we were not the only ones trying to get on that bus. Some of the Tube stations are also under repair and we had to walk hundreds of stairs rather than using the escalators. After the theater tonight, we waved the white flag, boarded a taxi and took an $$$ ride back to the hotel. If we hadn't, I'd still be queueing somewhere rather than writing here.