I had always heard of it, saw the pictures and had been bragged to by a lot of people on Notting Hill Carnival. I've lived in London for a good number of years now, and actually, I live pretty close to Notting Hill as well, but every year, somehow and in some way, I manage to miss it.
2014 has been a generous year for myself, in terms of visiting places. I have a tentative plan to visit Nepal and India (fingers crossed, hope everything goes as planned). So I thought I might as well have a look at one of the biggest carnivals in Europe this year.
Of course, the weather!! Had to be expected from England; gloomy and dark with some showers. I could picture the whole plan going down the drain :( so, I asked Kriti again if she really wished to visit as I was getting pretty reluctant to go. Note: Kriti is my junior from high school who is in London for holiday, just in time for the carnival too. Finally, the decision was made to run for the carnival hill for a couple of hours IN THE RAIN! I wrapped my camera around with a bin bag for protection, bought ourselves some ponchos and then got ready for some action.
“Where are the people?” were my thoughts when I stepped onto Portobello Road. Probably because of the wet weather this year, the crowd was limited and the streets exposed with plenty of room to move around. The carnival did not seem like the much hyped rumours we heard about. As we were aimlessly marching, we joined the first group of people we saw; fortunately the parade was coming towards us. It was only later we found out that the parade moves around Notting Hill on specific streets only.
Loud music, people cheering, dancing and singing their hearts out; it was one of the best experiences. I have to give those parade participants a big round of applause for enduring the cold and wet weather. The carnival was getting more pleasant with the sweet burning smell of jerk chicken and the faint smell of marijuana, although I do not support drug intake "wink wink, nudge nudge". There were too many booty shaking at the same time, which of course I am delighted to bear witness to. I did move my body a little bit but failed to execute this art of 'the booty shake'. In that cold and wet day, the whole of Notting Hill was brightened with people dancing in strong bright colours.
In conclusion, it sure was an entertaining and a remarkable experience with lots of memories to hold onto. Hopefully, I'll get to attend it next year as well, most favourably on a dry day. As for now, please do enjoy the pictures that Kriti and myself have managed to capture.