20 May 2012

The Antipodeans visit Camden Market Part One

The Antipodean Man suggested on Friday night that we visit Camden Market on Sunday. He had previously been in 2000 with his cousin and her husband, but I had never been and it was something on my tourist bucket list that had been screaming to be ticked off for the last five years. Since it was such a huge day, I didn't think one post could really cover it all, so I'll be covering it over two posts, today and Wednesday.

When we arrived at Camden Town station, I stepped out and groaned. I'm not good with crowds and as per usual, hundreds of people seemed to have congregated around the station entrance. I thought to myself that it might not have been such a good idea to come here, but I soldiered on regardlessly.

As we walked up the high street, all nerves disappeared. There were a mixture of high street stores, but not the normal ones like New Look or Oasis, more like American Apparel and H&M, and market stores. It looked pretty funky and I was ready to get my shop on! We looked around the front of the first market - the appropriately named "Camden Market" (actually known as Buck Street Market) and waited for a friend who was on her way to join us. 

As our friend was running late, we walked further up towards Camden Lock - I didn't realize it was named because there was an actual lock there and was quite excited in a completely nerdy way to see a boat going through the canal lock. The Antipodean Man quickly explained how it worked and we watched the boat go through along with quite a few other people. I wonder if the man who operates the lock gets a complex? He had an audience all day long.

Once we crossed the canal, we entered in to Camden Lock Market, which was established in 1975 and was the original market and started it all. I loved the handmade craft, especially the leatherwork and The Antipodean Man loved the art and spent more than a few minutes perusing the photography stalls. We didn't have plans to actually go in any particular direction, so we stumbled on to the food stalls next and couldn't help breaking our healthy eating habits to demolish a rather large jam donut, although after discussion, we thought it really wasn't worth it as it looked a whole lot better than it tasted.

Our friend called just as we finished the donut and after meeting her at the tube station, we walked back up to Buck Street Market. We'd only seen the front stalls earlier as we didn't want to go in too far without our friend and having to repeat ourselves later in the day. I was really disappointed - Buck Street Market was not at all what I had expected, compared to the small section of Camden Lock Market, BSM was full of cheaply manufactured synthetic clothes and fake designer handbags. You couldn't walk past three or four stalls without seeing an exact repeat of stock, it was just like a mass produced chain store out in the open. All in all? A real shame....

I'll leave it here for now though, with a promise that it did get better! I'll be posting the second half of my trip to Camden Market on Wednesday, so I hope to see you here again then!

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