Cruising Down the Canal…

We are enjoying our first full day of life on a canal boat in the Grand Union Canal. It’s quite a contrast to the week in London (although the weather is still very hot!) Although having the kids with us made the week of sightseeing much more laid-back than it would have otherwise been (one main event per day, getting home early in the evenings, staying in the suburbs) it was still quite busy and hectic — running on and off Underground trains, trying to keep to a schedule.

By comparison, much of our time on the boat is simply spent cruising along at a very slow pace, admiring the ducks and the scenery along the way. It’s wonderfully relaxing and very beautiful. The only time it gets hectic is when we have to go through the locks. Opening the gates is moderately hard work, but I do most of it, not because I’m stronger than Jason but because the alternative is to be on the boat steering it through the locks, and my one attempt at that was disastrous! However, I am learning and expect to be quite an accomplished boatperson before it’s all over.

The kids love the boat, which is small and cozy and well-designed. I wish I could show you pictures but I’m about to get booted off the internet here at the Leamington Spa public library (we’ve stopped here for a few hours before cruising on to Warwick for the night).

…[LATER]…I went back to edit this post and added in some pictures so you can see what our boat, and the canal, was like. The canal water is murky (I told the kids if they fell in I wouldn’t fish them out, which offended Emma horribly) but the scenery is amazing! There’s one cute pic of the two kids in the bow of the boat that simply WILL NOT upload to the blog for some reason, and other people are waiting to use the computer so I have to quit trying, but I hope what we have here will give you an idea of what it’s like!

6 Replies to “Cruising Down the Canal…”

  1. Your trip reminds me of the one we took to London in 1975 with Julie and Rob, then aged 6 and 4. We too managed one main thing a day, stayed in the suburbs, and headed for our digs around 4 p.m. We didn’t see as much, but Bob and I did feel we benefited by slowing down our pace because we always ate on time, got to bed early, and came home refreshed instead of worn out.

  2. Hey Trudy, You’re plan sounds like it’s working out well, with the canal offering a lovely break from being tourists. I felt a ping of guilt when you said you’d dropped your camera. I guess Jason is getting used to fixing it now. Your trip sounds just a little less busy than David and mine, although I can see we missed a lot– there’s a LADY DI MEMORIAL FOUNTAIN?!? Why didn’t somebody tell me?

  3. Jennifer, I thought of you at the Lady Di fountain and wondered if you’d been there!

    Aunt Ruth, travelling with kids really does change the pace but we think it’s worth it. Jamie, I think you should come here, but with 4 kids I think you should definitely wait till they’re a bit older … otherwise there won’t be much peace and beauty!!

  4. I keep attempting to write a comment on what looks to be an incredible trip, but it nevers shows up!

    Here I go again…the canal trip looks like so much fun. Very glad your camara is okay.


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