Saturday, July 10, 2010

London/Venice

Little known fact: there is a small network of canals in London. Well, "network" might be a stretch, but there are canals, and they are very pleasant to walk along. This morning we got up at a very reasonable time, made it out the door around 10am and took the Tube to Camden (neighborhood-home of Amy Winehouse for those of you keeping track; we didn't see her). We walked through the giant Camden Market and made our way down to the canal for a long walk to Regents Park. There are long, narrow barges on the waterway, some motoring through with tourists, some which appear to be permanently moored live-aboards (nothing like the appealing houseboats on Lake Union; more like a claustrophobe's nightmare). The London Zoo abuts the canal and is part of Regents Park (you leave the canal- path at the warthog exhibit to enter the park). We walked through the park and came out on Baker Street (where Sherlock Holmes kept office space; we didn't see him) and planned on taking the Tube from there to somewhere else, but being as the entire Circle Line was closed, and the fact that I didn't notice that some other line went through some other station where we could have connected to the place where we were going but didn't, we ended up somewhere else where we weren't really going and didn't necessarily want to be. Navigating London can be a little complicated. We ended up back at the apartment around 5pm and I called my friend Chris (using my London cell phone, which h I hadn't used in over two years, but which worked just fine after I purchased a new SIM card from Carphone Warehouse) and we made a plan to meet him in the quiet neighborhood of Wapping, which is further east along the Thames, and where we could hit a few pubs I remembered from my previous trip here. We started out at a pub called the Town of Ramsgate which is a lovely, rustic spot with a breeze blowing in off the river, and ended at the Pride of Spitelfields which is in Shoreditch; Shoreditch is a bit of scene on a Saturday night, but we managed to avoid the boozers and clubbers and snagged a table in the pub, which somehow remained empty except for the giant cat sleeping on one of the chairs. From Shoreditch we caught a bus which dropped us off right in front of the apartment, and after a long if not particularly eventful day, it's time for bed.

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