Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Regent's Canal

This was one of those beautiful days in London. It's getting on autumn here so there's a hint of color in the leaves and the air is crisp. We journeyed to a section of the Regent's Canal and then walked from Little Venice (as it's called) to Camden Town. About 3-1/2 miles. We trudged under old bridges, behind some stately mansions, through the London Zoo. All the while canal boats floated by us. If we'd been smart, we'd have taken one of those instead of walking, but somehow I think it would have ruined the effect.

Little Venice is home to a colony of flat-bottomed boats. Some of them appear to be permanently moored here. Each has their own electric and cable service (!). Though small by our standards, I could see how it would appeal. The canals run throughout portions of England so you can actually journey around, tie up for a pint and then head out again. I made note of that for a future trip.

Constructed in the early 19th century, the Regent's Canal was used to transport goods and people around London. There was a tow path along the side of the canal and horses pulled the boats along at a very slow pace. Sometimes a "train" of boats was strung together and towed along by a steam barge. In 1874, there was an explosion under the Macclesfield Bridge as one of the boats contained five tons of gunpowder which detonated as they passed underneath. You can read the account here.

We ate supper at Camden Town, wandered around their eclectic market for a time and then headed back to our B&B, totally knackered (tired) as the Brits would say. One odd thing about the market, however. For a time we thought we were back at Dragon*Con given the large numbers of Punks and Goths hanging around. Seemed surrealistic, to be honest.


Arwen said...

Surrealistic spottings of Dragon*Con attendees in a picturesque tour of London--
maybe you walked into a Dr.
Who production.

Hmm! Did you see any police
boxes nearby?

Glad you're back. I can't wait
read more about your trip.

Jana Oliver said...

To be honest, I did look around for the Tardis. It was that odd.

I'll be spinning out the trip blog by blog. That way I show some of the pix I took. I think I took about 450 or so and this will limit my need to show you ALL of them.