Farmer’s Markets + Shakespeare = Loving London Day #2!

While I’m busy ignoring the tickle in my throat, a week before I leave for Perth (at least it’s a whole week!), let’s keep the London-goodness coming, blog-style.  And I promise that Day #2 will be shorter than Day #1 (which required two posts).

We started the morning with a run along the Regent’s Canal.  There were other runners out, as well as plenty of bikes.  The path was a bit narrow for everyone, but somehow, it worked – and no one ended up in the water.  But this does raise a question I often struggle with:

How do I reconcile my desire for seeing MORE people out running, hiking, and biking…with my desire for a clear and uncongested path/trail for my own runs?

I have no answer, but am willing to take suggestions!

Anyway, we ran past lots of anchored canal boats, and quite a few locks, including the infamous Camden Lock – the site of the Camden Lock Market.  Stalls and vendors were already getting set up, and I spied a fresh fruit juice stall, an Ethiopian food stall, and a chocolate stall – just to name a few. Unfortunately, we only ever ran through the area in the early mornings – we never stopped back when everything was open for business.

The weather was gorgeous.  Temps were about 60-65°F (15-18°C): perfection.  I started with some goosebumps, got a bit sweaty while we ran, then stopped sweating almost immediately after I stopped running.  This was amazing.  Thank you, temperate climate!

Temperate-climate fruit in Singapore can't TOUCH the quality and price of these goodies!

Temperate-climate fruit in Singapore can’t TOUCH the quality and price of these goodies!

After our run, we headed out to the Bloomsbury Farmer’s Market.  There are TONS of markets all over London, where vendors sell locally grown/raised/made fruits & veggies, meats, and cheese.  There is also prepared food available in abundance, from freshly sliced Italian meats on chewy bread, to falafel burgers, to pasta creations, to hot dogs, to anything and everything in between.  The Bloomsbury Market is quite small, but was very close to our hotel.  So we procured peaches, nectarines, raspberries, cherries, strawberries, and tomatoes to stash in our room for breakfast and snacks.

Two-pasta combo: Eggplant lasagna & Casarecce with sundried tomatoes and ricotta

Two-pasta combo: Eggplant lasagna & Casarecce with sundried tomatoes and ricotta

We also bought ourselves some lunch, and ate on the ground in a sunny plaza, along with the locals – mostly employees from a nearby University.  KMN enjoyed a hot dog (cooked by the folks who raised the pigs…talk about local!), and I found some pasta. The pasta vendors were boiling the pasta (which I think they hand-made) over a gas burner, on site.  The pasta was al dente, the cheese was fresh and gooey, the sauces were neither too sweet nor too acidic – heavenly!  And this enormous portion (KMN helped me polish it off) came for just £5 ($7.50 USD, $10 SGD).  Worth every penny.

One VERY happy chica!

One VERY happy chica!

After dropping off our fruit loot at the hotel, we headed off for Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre!!  This is a reproduction of the original Globe Theater, built on pretty much exactly the same site as it was in Shakespeare’s day, along the River Thames.   Construction of the original Globe in 1599 was funded by the theater company to which Shakespeare belonged.  When that structure burned down in 1613 (thanks to an errant canon blast during a production of Henry VIII), it was rebuilt immediately, and survived until 1644, when Puritanical anti-arts sentiment resulted in its closure and destruction.  The modern day reconstruction was done with many of the traditional materials and methods that would have been used in Shakespeare’s time.

Today, the theater performs and hosts both classical and modernized versions of Shakespeare’s plays – as well as other productions, as well.  Tickets for Shakespeare’s plays sell out well in advance, so we were out of luck there. However, we were able to purchase £5 “Groundling” tickets for an afternoon production of Gabriel.  The weather was splendid, although the sun position was terrible, as we tried to snap some photos before the show began:

Looking up into the balconies (where seats were 35!) from the ground.

Looking up into the balconies from the ground.

Either artistic, or poorly composed, photo of the other Groundlings and the stage.

Either artistic, or poorly composed, photo of the other Groundlings and the stage.

Gabriel was an unusual show, designed to showcase the music of the famous English composer Henry Purcell.  The show was set during Purcell’s lifetime, in the late 1600s, and was composed of several shorter skits all woven together by one main character – and his trumpet.  I think the trumpet (and trumpetress) were the best part of the show!  Gabriel wasn’t a particularly awesome show – but I would recommend the experience to anyone who wanted to take in a show at the Globe (or who really loved Purcell’s work, I suppose).

After the show, we enjoyed a very well put-together exhibition on Shakespeare, the Globe Theatre (the old and the modern reconstruction), and a “behind-the scenes” look at the staging details of some of Shakespeare’s shows (costumes, fighting, special effects, etc.).  This was actually quite cool, and we were both a bit sad that the exhibition closed before we examined every little detail. 🙂

I wish I could tell you all about the terrific dinner and evening we enjoyed…but honestly, we both fell asleep at about 7 PM.  The plan was a “short nap” before dinner, but a nap turned into sleeping until 11PM turned into “getting dinner is too much work, let’s just sleep until morning.”  So we did.

And that, my friends, was the exciting end to our second day in London.

Oh! I also saw a Dimitri!  [He's just like the car I sold when we moved to Singapore.]  *tear*

Oh! I also saw a Dimitri! [He’s just like the car I sold when we moved to Singapore.] *tear*

How do you feel about jet lag sleep: “Dang, I needed that!” or “Waste of time, I’m on VACATION!”

Favorite “summer” fruit?

What’s your vote: More people out running/hiking/biking, or emptier trails for yourself?

9 thoughts on “Farmer’s Markets + Shakespeare = Loving London Day #2!

  1. Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama

    It sounds like you packed a lot into your day before crashing for the evening, so no worries about calling it an early night! Sometimes your body just needs to catch up, especially on such a big time difference! Ohhh, I love fresh markets with ready-to-eat meals. Yum! And the Shakespeare experience sounds awesome.

    I feel the same way about trail traffic. Of course I want to see more people leading healthy, active lives, but I still LOVE it when I have the trails to myself. I did my long run on trails this morning, and I only saw a handful of hikers, mountain bikers, and trail runners. It was AWESOME!

  2. Debbie @ Deb Runs

    Oh no! I’m sending positive vibes and healing hugs your way for that scratchy throat to go away! If you were here on the east coast I would suggest that it might be fall allergies, but do you guys have them in Singapore?

    Perhaps you could run at a set time and then all of the “others” could run anytime except then… Seriously, I feel the same way about loving an empty trail, but I do a little happy dance seeing so many other people out exercising, too. I notice that the earlier I run, the quieter the trail…

    If my husband or I are exhausted we have to go with a nap or we’re just worthless. You probably went a lot stronger the next day and more than made up for it with your new found energy! It sounds like you had a great time!

    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      Unfortunately (fortunately?) I’ve never been an allergy-sufferer, and there’s nothing new in bloom right now, as far as I know. [Or, rather, everything is ALWAYS in bloom.] I think it’s just a little rhinovirus, and will be long gone by next weekend. 🙂

      Ah…I could “reserve” the trail…that has possibility! Must talk to the Singapore Parks Service about THAT! 🙂

  3. Allee @ Griselda Mood

    So jealous! What an awesome time it looks like you’re having! It seems like you’re having a nice mix of touristy stuff yet relaxing stuff at the same time. I hope that minor throat tickle goes the heck AWAY ASAP!

  4. Meagan

    Oh my gosh that food looks amazing! Now I’m starving. I hope your scratchy throat goes away before Perth! When I travel for work, I usually just stay on east coast time (I’m usually traveling to areas that are 1-2 hours behind us). But if I am on vacation, I try and adjust to the new time by staying up until bed time and then getting up at my usual time. I’ve never traveled somewhere that was ahead of my time zone, so I’m not sure how I would handle that.

    My favorite summer fruit is honeydew! As long as it’s not overcrowded, I’d prefer more people hiking/biking/running/etc. On the trail I run on most often I can sometimes run for more than 2 hours and never see another soul. Yesterday on my long run I saw 6 other runners (but no walkers or bikers) and that was a big deal!

  5. Logan @ Mountains and Miles

    I don’t mind jet lag sleep as long as it’s during REASONABLE hours. Usually my goal is always to make it to 8pm, ha. that at least ensures that I can get a good nights sleep and wake up refreshed =). Although, that depends on where I am and if there are particular things I wanted to see/eat at night.

    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      Well, we were only an hour earlier than your rule! Honestly, we try to do the same, but were both flat-out exhausted. And we slept until a pretty reasonable hour (6 AM?), so thankfully that didn’t backfire on us. 🙂

  6. Pingback: Year in Pictures: 2013 in Review | Run With Holly

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