After threatening to visit London since we got off the Thames at Brentford, we decided that Apsley would be a good place to do it from. The railway station is a five minute walk from where we were moored so on Saturday morning we caught the 0938 to Euston. The half hourly service takes thirty minutes to reach the capital so we found ourselves on the station concourse just before quarter past ten. We had intended to take the tube to Borough Market but the station was so busy, we decided to walk there; it’s only three miles after all! Once we had crossed the Euston road, the number of pedestrians had thinned out so we had an enjoyable walk in the Saturday morning sunshine. The route is a fairly straightforward and one that we have taken before so we were able to have a good look at some of the architecture along the way. As we crossed the Thames on Blackfriars bridge we tried to work out the state of the tide, coming to the conclusion that it was going out and was pretty low at that time. This was confirmed as we walked along the southern embankment and could see that there were a number of people walking on the exposed beach. Soon we reached Borough Market which was already heaving with shoppers, when we have visited before we have been staying in London and were able to get there when it opened at 8am. Now, three hours after opening time, the market was packed but we still managed to get around it all, buying a couple of items and sampling lots more.
The hour that we had spent in the market went quickly and then we started the trek back north to Euston.
Fleet Street was full of buses when we walked along it, a mixture of service buses and tour coaches lined up, no doubt waiting for traffic lights to change somewhere. Well the lights changed or the hold up cleared and they all moved off one by one. All, that is, except for one open top tour bus which stayed resolutely still. We automatically looked at the driver and saw him sitting, slightly slumped in his seat with his eyes closed. He then lifted his head and looked around to see that the traffic had moved and the road ahead was empty. He then caught sight of us pointing and laughing at him. In fairness, he grinned and waved back at us before moving on with his bus load of passengers who were oblivious to the actions of their sleepy driver.
We took our time and broke our journey part way at an open air café. Our light lunch was fine although we wondered at one point whether we had made a good choice of venue. I asked for a sandwich which was listed on the menu as being, “Pastrami and pickle rye”. “What kind of bread would like?”, asked the waiter, “White, wholemeal or ciabatta?”. “I would like to think that it is on rye bread”, I replied. “Oh, yes, my mistake.” he said, laughing. Meanwhile the couple at the table next to us were sending their food back and the family at another table were given the wrong bill to settle. As it turned out, Sue’s jacket potato and my pastrami and pickle on rye sandwich arrived and they were fine, although my idea of rye bread is clearly different to whoever made the sandwich.
After our brief stop, we walked the final mile or so back to Euston and only had a few minutes to wait before we could board our train back to Apsley for the rest of the day.