Friday, February 2, 2007

Canal Camping in Camden

Thursday the 25th of January marked the first time I set foot in the city of London. I now love it very much.

I plan to tell a few stories from my time there, but for now I just want to make some introductions.

My hosts were Simon Tickner and his lovely lady Leslie. I met Simon in Miami last April where he was "worst man" in a mutual friend's wedding. I couldn't have had a better guide. The mutual friend was John Graham who happened to be in London the same time I was. More about that later.

Simon and Leslie live on a "narrow boat", a flat bottom canal boat moored in the central London neighborhood of Camden near Regents Park and the London Zoo. The boat was built in 1890 when it would've had no engine, instead being pulled by a horse on the bank, and the current main living quarters would've been and open cargo hold. It's since been enclosed and fitted with a steel body, given an engine, plumbing and electricity. There's a Chinese restaurant on the bank of the canal and a beautiful west facing view. More about the boat later.

I was offered the Boatsman's room in the back. The room measures about 10 feet by 4 feet and includes a bunk, and coal burning stove and not much else. And it was perfect. Every night, if I wanted a warm room when I put my head down, I had to go back and get the fire started in the stove an hour or two ahead of time to give it time to warm up in there. It was a little like camping in the middle of one of the most posh neighborhoods in London. I liked that a lot.

I spent most of my daytimes wandering parts of London in search of food and drink and art, and most of my nighttimes in the pubs of Brixton with Simon and his crowd. More on that later too.

For now I'll just say that I couldn't have had a better introduction to London, or better people to spend my it with. I'll be back.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wow, that's about a million times better than any of the stuff I recommended. I always wanted to experience one of those canal boats! Sounds like you had a great time!