NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL
At last the day we've been waiting for has arrived ... plus 400+ photos to sort through to find the ones that sum it up the best.
It was a brilliant day again: warmer than Kiddie Carnival, and we made our way to the same spot in front of Trini Hill to watch the spectacle. I was glad we arrived earlier than Sunday because the crowds were huge ... and again I didn't move from the same spot all day--including to go to the toilet--as there was no way I was going to lose my spot.
And it was worth it ... Carnival was so much bigger than I expected: the crowds, the costumes ... everything.
You have to go there if you get the chance.
PS Make sure you have at least half an hour before you look at these photos ... there were so many to choose between I couldn't!
Notting Hill Carnival. (Mas Camps)
We visited 3 Mas Camps in the days leading up to Carnival and it was brilliant seeing how things were put together, understanding the way the Mas Camps interpreted the themes and getting a teaser of what we were going to see.
This was the second of the three mas camps we visited. This lady was so helpful and friendly, explaining everything she was doing and it really helped Clarissa and I to understand what we were going to see.
A better view of the waistband being made ... look out for these in the photos of carnival below.
Some of the finished waist bands. I loved the pink and gold together and they were so simple to make ... I wish I could rememeber which mas camp.
Another shot of the waistband's construction ... this time in the blue and gold.
The last mas camp ... this time Flamboyan and headresses reflecting its interpretation.
Horace enjoying himself with old friends at the Flamboyan Mas Camp.
Including Horace's friend, Sonny, who organised so many wonderful carnival-related activities for us.
Clarissa wearing one of the head pieces ... I'm not sure if I have a photo of this in the carnival.
Another of the headdresses ... this time blue instead of red.
And for the last photo ... something completely different.
Notting Hill Carnival. (Trinidad style)
Trini Hill was the best place to experience Carnival ... the Trinis absolutely love Carnival, and why not, because it's their heritage. The atmosphere was so good; people were intent on having a good time and it was impossible not to get caught up in their excitement.
Some of the early residents at Trini Hill ... enjoying the day.
This is one of my favourite views of the day ... some of the early large costumes as they made their way away from Trini Hill.
This was the lady I stood beside during Carnival ... she was visiting with her granddaughter from Northampton, and we had a nice time enjoying together.
Horace and Clarissa taking an early break together before the crowds got too much.
Some of the kids playing mas, wearing costumes we saw made a few days earlier.
This costume was part of a Mas Camp based on ancient Egypt ... it's so clever, and really hard to spot the cow's forelegs are on wheels.
This was one of my favourite costumes ... I just loved how free it was.
I'm not sure what to say about this ... although the colours are brilliant.
People of all ages participate in carnival, and this guy wasn't the oldest by far.
This guy seemed to enjoy carnival the most ... he danced and leapt about everywhere, and never seemed to notice the huge costume he was wearing.
Instead of being located on a truck, this steelband walked through the streets with the pans suspended in front of them.
This was my favourite costume ... the globe was fantastic and I think it's the best interpretation of the theme.
This girl was in a world of her own; completely wrapped up in the music.
An impromptu crowd shot ... these guys looked as though they were having a great day.
I love the use of colour by this Mas Camp ... it all seems to blend together so beautifully.
This woman stopped and posed for ages so I could take photos.
This is only a young girl in this costume ... check out the two tea cups she's balancing on either side of her and the harness she's wearing to support them.
This girl in the tulip costume is quite young, and is followed by a suite of multi-coloured flowers.
And here are some of the flowers.
Wait ... that's Clarissa crossing the road.
Girls from one of the Mas Camps dancing ... these girls are part of the brightly coloured girls from Kiddie Carnival wearing pink, orange and blue.
One of the things I like about the Trinidad Carnival is it doesn't matter your size, shape, whatever ... everybody and anybody can play mas and have a great time.
A couple dancing ... and enjoying the music.
Trini Hill later in the day ... packed and enjoying themselves.
Another shot I love of the colour of the day.
This lady must have been the oldest ... she didn't move very fast--she shuffled along really--but when she reached Trini Hill she danced for the crowd.
The police, again, as they marched along the road en masse.
This spider, with the girls following, made a great contrast.
And the last photo is of an old style steelband ... where each pan is portable and is worn by the player.
Notting Hill Carnival. (Rio style)
Rio carnival is quite different to Trinidad.
For one they show much more flesh (especially the women), they use floats for both men and women to stand on and dance, the music is based on percussion (especially drums), and the costumes themselves show the different roots of both.
The samba band was the first Rio thing we saw ... and it was amazing.
The Rio carnival costumes start quietly with a range of unrevealing costumes.
I'd love to know the reason for these costumes ... they look like the Queen of Hearts. And the first of the lovely ladies associated with Rio Carnival.
A closer view of two of the Queens of Hearts.
One of the floats ... with several women dancing on it.
One of the bands of men and women playing musical instruments.
Scantily dressed women dancing ... with a few men in similar colours.
Again, I'm not sure if there's any significance to the costumes, which are very cute.
More scantily dressed women ... I love the flame colours, but oh, the shoes!
I loved these costumes ... and the large figure is instantly recognisable as the statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro.
A close up of one of the most skimpily dressed women.
More skimpily dressed women.
And even more gorgeous women.
You can't tell from the photo but this guy has the highest heeled boots.