This was my first time to the Notting Hill area and the Carnival and it was bloody amazing! I went with Huishan and her friend Miriam and I love love loved it! My photos can’t quite capture the entire atmosphere – you are after all missing out on the smells of the food and the sounds of the music, so be sure to watch the short clip at the end of this post.
The Notting Hill Carnival is a celebration of Afro-Carribean and West Indian culture held over two days and we went on the second day, which was a Monday. To get a sense of how big the Carnival is, one only needs to note the large presence of police everywhere (est. 7000). This is quite necessary as there’s at least one stabbing each year. There was one last year …
and one this year …
Another good reason for the large number of cops? It’s a very posh area. I think the rich who pay their fair share of council rates and taxes probably expects this level of protection.
Some streets were even cordonned off – I guess this lot here pays the highest rates. Heheh.
We got there around 11:30am. At first we didn’t know which way we should go as the carnival area was quite large, but then we heard the booming bass from one of the carnival trucks so we headed towards it. That was our first glimpse of the massive crowd, and also of the carnival dancers.
We didn’t have to wait long for the street parade to start.
Though, this being England it started to rain a little. But that didn’t dampen the mood.
Though this guy here looked a little miffed. Hahah!
Generally everyone wore a smile.
Even the police. Huishan had a photo taken with one of them. They were all really friendly.
We followed the massive crowd for a while before nicking off to some side streets where Huishan and Miriam bought some strong punch …
And I bought a large can of lager. Happy days. And no I didn’t get Fosters. WTF were these people thinking???
Shortly after, we rejoined the crowd …
and headed towards the main road where the parade was passing through.
The smiles were infectious and the music was infectious. Yup, it was a very joyful affair.
About 30-40 minutes later, we decided to get something to eat. Or rather, I smelt jerk chicken everywhere and I MUST HAVE IT.
To wash it down, there were no shortage of places selling beer.
I even bought one from these two dodgy guys pushing a shopping trolley full of it.
Here’s proof. Hahahah!
Yup I had an awesome time. And to think when I bought my ticket to London, I didn’t specifically planned to be there for that weekend. That made it even more wonderful that I got to experience it.
Ok, here’s the clip (4:42) to give you even more of a feel of how the day was. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the awesome drum group.