Two Sides of London

On our last day in London, we visited two distinct cultural venues. You might even say they were polar opposites. Our first stop was the internationally acclaimed British Museum. This is an incredible museum with stunning displays from ancient history to pop culture. The Rosetta Stone is on permanent display. Yes, THE Rosetta Stone. You will need at least a few hours to soak in all of the collection. Take a break at the cafe or outside at one of the food trucks to recharge. Entrance to the museum is free, so you will have a few extra pounds to spend at one of the giftshops in the museum. As you enter the museum, you will see a giftshop to your immediate right. This shop carries high end merchandise, but the other shops carry more affordable items.

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The second adventure of the day was a visit to Camden Market. After the intellectual, buttoned-down atmosphere of the British Museum, Camden Market was a riot of sights, sounds, and smells. This is a fun and funky place and a must-see for anyone that appreciates ‘alternative’ anything.

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Shops line the street selling everything from hats to gothic clothing to tattoo services. While the area has its share of shops selling touristy trinkets, there are also shops with vintage clothing, stands with records, books, crystals and just about anything else that you can imagine. One walkway between shops had a ceiling that was lined with hanging painted keys. A myriad of food booths line the area along the river: Peruvian, Turkish, Asian, Spanish, Greek and even Philly Cheesesteak! One shop advertised an “Organic Vegan Music Event”. It is a bustling and busy area with a young and artsy vibe.
The river that runs through the area has a bridge which provides a fabulous view of the lock. It was a fun experience and I recommend a visit to the Camden Market for the young or young at heart traveler.

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