London, from Little Venice to Camden Town

 
Ecrit par Didier Vors - traduction Anne Reid

Through this balade we invite you to discover an ignored facet of the British capital, one which is resolutely far from the traditional tourist trails. From pastoral Little Venice to the eccentric Camden Town, take a stroll along the Regent Canal, which links these two completely different areas. This canal belongs to the Grand Canal Union, which skirts the centre London for 14 kilometers. This highlights the importance of these transportation routes in previous centuries.

There very own home is a boat, more precisely a 'narrow boat', a slender, narrow vessel, as it's name suggests. Perfectly aligned along the canal, these floating houses, mingling with passing boaters, make a beautiful symphony of colours which are reflected in the water. They are the new residents of the area.
Charmed by the place, with its shaded passageways, small gardens and arbours which smell sweetly of wisteria, they decided to make it their main home,. Although it is difficult to draw up statistics, this way of life attracts more and more Londoners as an alternative to the high cost of accomodation in decent housing.
Owing to such tranquility, it's hard to believe that we are still in London.

It is now time to leave Little Venice and to take a stroll for about an hour. On the tow path, we come across boats from Jason Trips or London Waterways companies which, depending on the day, are more or less loaded with tourists carrying out the same course as us, but on water!
In the distance is what seems to be a Chinese pagoda, with its bright red colour. A little incongruous in these places, it proves to be, in fact, 'The Feng Shang', a typical barge from Saigon which is now a restaurant.
Then very soon the cries of animals reach us, which indicate the proximity of London Zoo at the edge of Regent Park .
Still a few strides and silhouetted already are the old industrial buildings and Camden Lock, with its stone bridge and its splendid weeping willow.

A Motley Crowd, Diverse Wildlife

 A Motley Crowd, diverse wildlife, tat and all kinds of shops.
Kitchens of many fragrances, like a sort of international canteen. Welcome to Camden Town, the land of bargains!
Don't miss a visit to what is left of 'Staples', the vast stables left over from a time when boats were pulled by horses.
And then, your steps will inevitably lead you to Camden High Street. The hustle and bustle of the place contrasts strangely with the calm of the beginning of the walk.This is another universe we're talking about...
Here, we travel looking at the world around us as the decor is as abundant in the streets as it is inside the shops which rival this boldness and extravagance.
Faced with so much liveliness, it's hard to imagine that this area has settled down much since the times of 'Swinging London'

For blessed devotees of piercings, this is the perfect place to indulge your passion.
Further down Camden High Street you could leave a bit of your skin behind. Long before pioneering shops in our own country of France, here, for a long time, the tatoo has been given the freedom of the city:
Many Brits in search of a 'second skin' have devoted themselves to this practice for a very long time.
Industrial history buffs should pay a visit to the London Canal Museum, which will worthily inform them of the importance of these canals in the development of London.

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