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Solo Female Travels - Part III

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
5,456 posts
29 reviews
Solo Female Travels - Part III

Day 3 - Friday

Got my off-peak day travelcard (as I did each morning after 9:30am) and stopped off at Regents Park. Made a leisurely stroll through the park, taking time to rest on benches, smell the flowers and listen to all the wonderful bird songs. Many times I simply people-watched and wondered what their lives were really like - does that sweet little old lady drink her daily tea out of china cups, does that mum get to push the pram through this lovely environment EVERY day (lucky her) - can I trade lives??

I passed by two charming little outdoor cafes in the park but kept heading toward the zoo. I had planned to go there, but felt more like exploring unchartered territory along the canal instead. Crossed a little bridge and made my way down to the towpath. Walked all the way to Camden Lock. It could get creepy if you were the only one on the path - maybe not the best thing for single females to do, I thought. When I reached Camden, it was not at all what I expected. I think I imagined a huge lot with some artisan stalls and everyone running around in goth-style clothing. Not at all. Being a Friday, it was fairly quiet with few people milling about. I really enjoyed browsing in the shops, especially Miniartworks. I was surprised to learn that there are separate "markets" in Camden and that much of it was inside. Stall after stall after stall - sensory overload. You can get everything from clothing to housewares, to your palm read. Walked down the street a bit and looked through the shoe shops. Finally realized I should get myself on a boat before I ended up wearing black, thigh-high platform boots (the serious kind) and a tattoo! It was not clear as to where to catch a canal ride, but finally ended up back at Camden Lock for the Waterbus. The ride along the canal was peaceful and relaxing - that is until one of the crew members initiated a cell phone call. We went by the aviary at the zoo, well-manicured lawns (& shirt-less young lads mowing those lawns), houseboats, through a dark tunnel and ended at the pool in Little Venice. There is also an Asian restaurant called Feng Shang in the bend in the canal. Red, Chinese-style architecture. I think it may have been floating(?). I was amazed at how quiet Little Venice was. After stepping onto dry land, I used my A-Z to find my way to Warwick tube station. Wanted to stay longer, but had to get to Chelsea Physic Garden for tea. Unfortunately, once I got all the way there, they had a sign on the door saying that they had closed early that day. I was disappointed, but one must be flexible. Besides, finding something else to do in London is never a problem! Meandered through the back streets (found a charming little coffee shop on a corner, but can't remember name or street - help me, please, I want to go back). Pushed my way down Kings Road without damaging the credit card toooo badly. Yet Muji is my weakness - lots of practical stuff I just HAD to have. Ended up at Peter Jones Dept. Store and tried to get an appointment for a facial, but too late in day. Shopped alittle and went up to the top floor cafe for iced coffee and the magnificent view. Overheard many locals at nearby tables complaining about their jobs. But what a nice way to end a work day - coffee with friends and a panoramic view of Londontown.

Shopping bags in tow, I made my way through a rush-hour tube ride. I now feel compassion for all the Londoners who have to commute in summer with no air-conditioning.

Late that evening, I headed to the Ceremony of the Keys at Tower of London. This was my first-time ever at the Tower so it was exciting. The ceremony itself wasn't much to write home about - another group came in last-minute and totally blocked my view. But I simply enjoyed being inside the Tower at night and imaging what it was like to live there. I think the beefeater said there were 38 families there now. I found it amusing at the very end when I turned around and caught the "soldiers" leaving the tower in their street clothes, carrying duffle bags. (They're real people too!) I introduced myself to forumite Dzm and her mother and we chatted and walked to the tube station together. As I was on the way back to the hotel, I realized that my vacation was already half over. Was tempted to call the airlines and extend my ticket!

Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
981 posts
14 reviews
11. Re: Solo Female Travels - Part III

Hi OTL - thank you for the lovely compliment! We enjoyed talking to you, too, since you seemed to know so much about London and were so willing to share your insights.

Unfortunately, I didn't keep a journal. I would have to go back and comb my memory for little tidbits to share. Are you sure anyone would want to hear them?

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
5,456 posts
29 reviews
12. Re: Solo Female Travels - Part III

AddieBee: I'd say post anything you can remember. You never know when some small detail or mere mention of something will help out another traveller. I love reading people's details because it takes me back to London in my mind, the next best thing to being there.

detroit
Level Contributor
120 posts
2 reviews
13. Re: Solo Female Travels - Part III

offtolondon,

I loved reading all the details, especially your walk down the path near Camden Lock. I half-expected you to bump into Miss Marple. Thanks for sharing.

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
5,456 posts
29 reviews
14. Re: Solo Female Travels - Part III

DTW05: That's funny...I thought of both Miss Marple and Hetty Wainthrop as I was walking along the towpath. It seemed like one of those places you'd come upon a body or a criminal lurking in the brush. And who knows what's going on in those houseboats...

Oceano, California
Level Contributor
605 posts
82 reviews
15. Re: Solo Female Travels - Part III

Offto, I did not keep a journal. Though I did put details of my days events into my Palm Pilot that makes it easier for me to recreate what I did that day. I always tell myself that I'll bring a journal and write every day on my trips but I never do. I usually don't have room left for a journal to pack. LOL