Sunday, 17 August 2008

Petroc in the Capital

The blog has been neglected for a week as we have been "doing" London. More accurately Geoff has been walking over as much as he could. He became a real tourist and took a London tour on one of the open topped buses which also included a river trip down from Westminster to Greenwich and return. He happily spent a few hours there as you can see below.

Queens House Greenwich

The Albert Memorial

The Tower of London

Whilst Geoff was doing this I fitted in Covent Garden amongst other things, shopping with friend Rosi Lillis. Both she and John had come to stay in London for a couple of days to see us. We managed an evening out just the four of us and the following evening with other friends, Wally, Helena, Marie and Maggie and also Emma and Boe (10 of us altogether)

Emma stayed for a couple of days and managed a day out with Geoff and one with me. She and I also went to see Dirty Dancing (at some cost!) which was a great show. She and I also spent a day and a half getting her started on the Accounts course she is starting by Distance Learning.

Emma departed on Thursday morning and after some shopping and then coffee with friend Maggie, Geoff and I took to British Rail to visit Giles & Susannah in their new house in Goring Heath. The trip did not get off to a good start as the ticket machine ate two of my £10 notes before giving up the ghost. A protracted wait for officialdom to arrive did not retrieve my money. However a phone call the next day acknowledged their mistake and a cheque should be winging it's way to us. Geoff was getting very hot under the collar by the time we got on the train! Still it was a good visit and lovely to see the inside of their new house.

Still on the travel front we have made good use of our senior citizens bus passes as they can be used on all the London buses.

Petroc in Paddington Basin

In the background on the left are the lift shafts of what will be three more tall buildings. Apparently these get built first and then is rest of the building is added around.

Throughout the week we stayed in Paddington Basin which is somewhat sterile but clean and safe. There are no facilities there so on the Tuesday morning we motored the short trip back to Little Venice to water etc. We had hoped to find a mooring there as it was somewhat prettier but as it was all full we returned to the basin.

For the whole of our time in London there was a strong wind and in Paddington Basin it seems worse than anywhere else. In the early part of the week we felt we had to put extra lines on the boat as it was funnelling down so strongly.....there was almost white water in the basin!!!

Little Venice looking eastward towards Regents canal

Little Venice looking Westwards towards the Padding Arm of the Grand Union
It had been a good week in the capital but the time comes when one gets itchy feet to be on the move again so on Friday we departed for what was to be our longest cruising day ever! We set off from Paddington about 6.30 to water etc and were en route by 0720 down the Regents Canal.
This canal goes all along the back of London and would eventually take us down to Limehouse. However before that as we have time in hand we had decided to take a detour up the rivers Lea and Stort

Maida Hill Tunnel

Hamstead Road Lock

Looking back at Camden Lock

St Pancras Lock

About 11 we reached the Hertford Union Canal which is the short cut to the Lea & Stort

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