This was it: our last day in London. Aaron needed a break from his company and would spend the day in Hertford. Fortunately for us, he took us to the local breakfast spot before sending us on our way. Across the street was the more “popular” gathering place, always full of people and bicycles parked outside. But Aaron said that the food was horrible and he didn’t understand why. So instead we went to The Snug. It was great.
We got there a few minutes before they opened and spent the time by the canal, watching the waterfowl and the canal boats bob in the morning sun. Once the restaurant doors opened we took our seats and ordered our meals. I had a fantastic meal of buttermilk pancakes topped with bacon and scrambled eggs. It was another combination I wouldn’t have considered but it worked very well.
Canal boat in Hertford
The Snug in Hertford
Aaron dropped us off at the train station and we said our good byes. We were off to explore a different side of London: green spaces! Today was the day of the London Marathon and we had no intentions of sharing the streets with the runners so instead we went east to Hampstead Heath. We got off the Tube and took a guess at which direction to go, and we were right. We found ourselves at the edge of a great stretch of woods and fields. We chose a small dirt path and started to wander. The path joined up with larger paths and still larger paths. We kept on walking.
A sign indicated that we were near Kenwood Estate. I knew nothing about it but we decided to check it out. It turned out to be a house built in the 17th century, now open to the public and chock full of paintings and artwork. We wandered through the rooms and for once, I really enjoyed most of the art I saw. The library was fantastic, with great murals and shelf after shelf of antique leather-bound books.
Kenwood House from the other side
It was time to head back into the city and think about our train ride back to the airport. But first: we had to get there! We saw the city on the horizon and headed in that direction. We followed trails and parks and skirted lakes and swimming ponds. The day was fantastic and there were many people out enjoying it with us.
London on the horizon
Tree-lined neighborhood near (in?) Camden
Then we stumbled upon a canal. We weren’t sure where we were (other than “Camden”, which didn’t mean a whole lot in the sense of relation to the rest of the city) but we decided to follow it. Along the way, we discussed the benefits of having our own canal boat, some place where we could vacation to, and still travel while there. It sounded better than buying a flat in London anyway.
The canal boats became plentiful
The boats showed a wide range of care and use
We had followed the tow path until we could follow it no longer: the water disappeared through a tunnel and we were left standing on the banks. We made a feeble attempt to find the water at the other end of the tunnel but by now we had walked over 6.5 miles and I didn’t really care if we found the other end or not. Instead, we found the Angel tube station and took the next train to Kings Cross, where our bags were stashed and our ride to the airport would depart.
The end of the tow path
Of course by now our breakfast had long since been used and it was time to refuel. We found a not-too-touristy pub near the station and had a small bite to eat. We knew that once we got to the hotel there wouldn’t be much of an option for dinner and our flight left early enough in the morning that there would be no time for breakfast. So we sat outside and watched marathon contenders stride by, heading home after their long run.
Parting shot of The Shard from the train
Obviously, another trip (or three, or four) needs to take place so that we can explore even more. And to think that after four days we didn’t even go into any of the museums! London is surely a treasure trove and ought to be plundered.