In my previous post I’d mentioned that I hadn’t gone to Camden Town in absolutely years and now I’ve visited again in the space of just two weeks – that’s saying something isn’t it? Well, last time I went it was such a dull, dismal day and everything looked grey. When I went again, a few days ago, it was a beautiful Spring day – the sun was out, the skies were blue and everything looked so bright and cheerful. It was more like a Summers day – everyone was wearing summery clothes, T-shirts, frocks, flip flops even!
The markets were buzzing and thronged with people – such an eclectic mix – people watching is such an enjoyable pastime whilst sitting have your lunch on the motorbike seats by the canal:-) There is such a wide variety of cuisines to be had: Thai, Indian, Mexican, Italian, Chinese and even good old British fish n’ chips!
After touring around Camden Lock Village Market I began to feel like Alice in Wonderland wandering round maze-like alleys, passing beach hut shops that all, after a while blurred out of focus into a riot of colour. You realise, that, after a while you begin to see repetition everywhere – the same bags, style of clothes, accessories, jewellery etc only slightly differing in prices competitively – but it’s all in the game of Retail Shopping Experience!
One unit I stopped at offered a fish pedicure experience like no other - and believe me it’s like no other that I've had ever! You simply dangle your feet in a tub of water inhabited by a horde of tiny little Garra Rufa fish and they dart in and around your feet nibbling and sucking away at the dead skin and calluses, leaving your feet at the end of the session, amazingly smooth and refreshed.
These tiny little fish, I learnt, are native to fresh spring waters of Northern and Central Middle East, mainly Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. They are used to treat patients suffering from various skin disorders and also as a cleansing and relaxing form of foot pampering leaving your feet feeling pleasantly exfoliated.
I was a bit apprehensive to give it a go at first –I mean offering your feet to a tub full of squirming flesh eating fishes is not exactly your everyday decision to make is it? But, I, fearsome Xena Princess Warrior (that I imagine myself to be) conquered that fear and I dangled my feet for the fishes nibbling pleasure.
Oh and what a pleasure it truly was! At first it’s quite ticklish and I giggled a lot. Then when I got used to it the sensation was relaxing and soothing like having your feet submerged in a foot spa and caressed by hundreds of tiny bubbles, a kind of fizziness on your feet – it was good:-) I thoroughly recommend this to everyone – unless you have a fish phobia of course! The cost of this fishy foot spa is £8 for 15 mins or £12 for half hour. Prices would vary at different places I guess.
Upon entering Stables Market you are met with a herd of bronze sculpted horses – some standing and some looking as they are crashing through the walls at galloping speed. You can find many of these handsome, full size, bronze horse sculptures scattered around Stables Market and they are really beautiful to see. They serve as a reminder of what the place was originally and horses played a big part in the history of this place.
Apparently, Stables Market occupies the former site of the horse hospital of the Midland Railway and horses that pulled the barges up and down the tow paths of the London canals, were stabled and cared for here.
Now the railways huge arches and viaducts house around 450 retail shops selling everything from vintage clothing, homewares, retro stuff, latest fashion, Punk, Goth and Cybergoth fashions, used books, knick knacks and food – in fact you name it and they probably sell it! It’s an amazing Aladdin's cave or cavern of stuff upon stuff upon stuff – never ending.
I especially loved the all the antiques and books and other old stuff – brought back memories of my childhood. I ended up buying a vintage Lotto game for £3 – great! I never got round to seeing everything here as it can get really tiring traipsing around labyrinth like tunnels - looking, buying, eating. I definitely have to come back here again to explore though – watch this space!