Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip, that started from this small hotel...blah, blah, blah. You get the reference...I'm too tired to figure out the rhymes. Okay, so we head out today for a 3 hour tour...a 3 hour tour. (I couldn't resist that one last reference!)
The plan for the day was to head down behind Paddington Station and get on the canal system starting at the Paddington Basin
. We would walk along the water all the way to Camden Locks and check out the Camden Market. A 90 minute walk, my research told me. Off we go with comfortable shoes, toe sleeves, blister pads, moleskin...you name it. My feet are good. And really, it's only a 90 minute walk, right?
We're walking along the canal, through Little Venice, checking out all the canal boats, of which there are TONS! People live on these things! We're walking, we're talking, we're solving the problems of the world. About 2 hours into this walk we seem to be getting into more and more rural countryside. This doesn't seem right, I think. We're supposed to walk through Regent Park and past the London Zoo. I don't recall seeing anything remotely resembling those areas. But on the other hand, I haven't seen anywhere that the canal split...so it's not like we made a wrong turn. I didn't see ANY turns. So I did the one thing that I usually rely on Kier to do for me...I asked someone. Yup, I'll admit it
...I HATE to ask directions. Usually a guy trait, but one that I seem to have inherited from years of working with mostly men. We asked a woman which direction to Camden Market and she looked at us like we had 2 heads...each...and said it must be back in the direction from which we came. Although, she was far from certain...so what to do, what to do. We did turn around and we started to look at trail signs. Yup, novel idea, eh?? About 20 or so minutes of walking back we found a sign that said Paddington was 4.5 miles back. Still seeing no Camden signs we carried on. After another 3.5 miles we finally found a sign for Camden. It was another 2.5 miles away. Paddington was only 1 mile. Didn't make sense to me unless we started our journey going in the wrong direction?? Hold on there for just one minute...I am usually quite good with directions. We carried on. Right back to Little Venice and the point which would have been about 20 minutes from the start of our walk this morning. There it was...you wouldn't have seen it if you weren't really looking for it
. A fork in the canal! And only at the top of the walkway near the road, not on the canal, was the sign for Regent Park and Camden. By this time we had been walking for about 10 miles and maybe 4.5 hours. We need to make a pit stop so find a nice pub called "The Union" in Little Venice. After a rest and some refreshments we decide to carry on to Camden. What's another 2.5 miles when you've walked as far as we have? What is it...well, it's an opportunity to get realllllly big blisters on my foot is what it is. But more on that later.
We find our way to Camden Locks and wander through the Camden Market. My impression of the Market was a resounding "eehyn". Perhaps we would have enjoyed it more had we found it 5 hours earlier. What we did find, though, is that Camden Town is one freakin' busy little spot. There's not much in this place, but there's one thing they have plenty of and it's people. All shapes and sizes of people.
By now it's 5 pm and we've got theatre tickets for 7:30
. We have to pick up our tickets at Will Call and then grab a bite. If there's one thing that Fay and I do really well on holiday, it's find unique pubs to eat in. Tonight we found The White Hart which is advertised as "the first licensed premises in London". It was a great spot and just rockin' with the "after work-before a long weekend crowd". And it gave us an opportunity to try some different flavoured ciders. Well, I tried some and Fay stuck to her tried and true Pear Cider. We enjoyed a snack and then proceeded to the New London Theatre where we had just phenomenal seats. We were practically IN the show because the actors were back and forth across in front of us continually. It was off putting actually...when you no sooner cross your legs and get comfortable and an actor charges across the walkway in front of you, hooking your foot, which breaks your ankle while he falls all over and totally interrupts the show. Okay, so it didn't really happen...but only because we were on guard and snapped our legs back under our seats whenever they ran by. It was an excellent performance, although a little light on the music which would normally be required to classify this show as a musical!! It did bring a tear to the eye and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.
After the show it was home to our hotel. I was anxious to get a look at the total distance I walked today as well as to examine the damage to my feet. The total steps today were...drumroll please...33,049 and a distance of more than 22 kms. Not a wonder I have a few blisters!!
Tomorrow we're off to Brighton for the day. And with a nice forecast, it will be a good day for flip flops!!!