Today I had quite the adventure with London transportation! I got up this morning and thought that the weather forecast was good enough to head northwest to Hampstead Heath and then to Camden Market. I pulled out my trusty little tube map and A to Z guide and planned my course. My station, Mile End to Tottenham Court Road, change to the Northern Line and head to Hampstead. Seemed easy enough. I successfully changed lines and was barreling towards my destination when the lady on the the loudspeaker said that due to escalator repair, the tube would NOT be stopping at Hampstead. Ut oh! I got off at the stop before Hampstead and thought that I would just leave the Heath for another day and head back on the Northern Line to Camden Town. I was looking at the map and there were a couple of other tourists who were headed to Hampstead and were going to take overground transport (read: the bus). OK, so I thought I would go with them. I got to Hampstead High Street and then decided I had NO idea how to get to the Heath from there. I went into the Gap and asked the woman behind the counter directions. about 8 minutes later I was at Hampstead Heath.
Hampstead Heath really wasn't much to write home about. It was pretty, but it was just like any large park you would encounter in the states. My sense of direction is not the best so I didn't want to wander too far in for fear I would be spending the night, lost, under a tree! This was also where I made the realization that if I'm going anywhere that has a map at the entrance, I should take a picture of it BEFORE I go in should I need a bit of assistance. I only took a couple of pictures but they're here if you're interested.
From there I still wanted to go shopping at Camden Market so I headed back the way I came. I went to a bus stop since I didn't know where the Tube station was. I got on the number 46 bus which, according to the map at the bus shelter, was supposed to stop at Camden Town Underground station. Well guess what. . . it didn't! I was sitting there, glancing at my watch from time to time, thinking that the stop should have been only about the 6th or 7th stop on the bus. I finally got up when we were stopped to ask the bus driver if I had stayed on the bus too long. Well, I came to England, a place where they're supposed to speak English, and found a non-English speaking bus driver. Brilliant!
Sitting behind me was a very sweet older gentleman who was kind enough to point me in the right direction. I got off the bus and back on the Underground (which had betrayed me as well, but not like the bus had!) and found Camden Market. After a couple of hours of wandering around and browsing the stalls and shops, I decided it was time to come home. I went into Camden Town station and lo and behold, there are 2 branches of the Northern Line that depart from that station. I had a 50/50 chance of picking the right branch. Wanna guess whether or not I did? I did manage to find my way home, but it wasn't the way I wanted to! Oh well. I'm here, after 13,200 steps according to my pedometer. I think tomorrow I might just take a taxi! LOL.
Oh and if you're interested in seeing what my "flat" is like, I took a few pictures that are here (the last few pictures).