EuroAdventure15: London

(posted by Emily) 

Thank you all for your understanding and your patience as we get caught up on our summer posts. There comes a point on every trip where we start to feel a bit burned out and tired--but we still want to share with you! So, even though we are a few weeks delayed, here is the rest of our trip!

17 to 28 July, 2015
London, England

After Switzerland, it was off to spend time on our floating home!


We took a British Airways flight from Zurich to London City airport.

Bernie Sanders lookalike on the bus to the tarmac

Somehow, I always manage to get cut off from Richard when getting on the plane. Probably because he's a foot taller than me and has a scary beard--people stay out of his way. I boarded to find him ready to go in his seat :) 
Rick ordered hot tea, which came with milk in a plastic tube. 
When we arrived, we hopped on the tube and eventually the train to head out to Roydon, where the boat is moored. It felt like coming home--a familiar environment, and we had really missed it!

Some "olive oil" on the boat--after our class with Johnny, we now know how to tell what these oils are made of. This one is from the pits of the olives, mixed with hexane! No thank you!
The next morning, we embarked on our journey. The plan was to take the boat to Little Venice, in the heart of London. Since we've never done anything like this before, we were allowing about 3 days for the journey. We had a few checkpoints in mind, but decided to just enjoy ourselves along the way. Rick did a lot of the driving, though Dad did some too. I served as the crew, working the locks. 


Stopped at the Fish & Eels for lunch

Coming up on a lock that was "for" us--the water was at the level we needed, and gates were open


On our first night, we found a spot to moor right along the tow path. We locked up the boat, and camped out for the night! The next morning, we got a bit of a later start--and even had guests on the boat down to the next lock. A dad and his son (and the uncle) wanted to see what a canal boat was like. 

Moored up right against the towpath
My buddy Fraiser, back again this summer! 
Dad really wanted a photo of himself, on his boat, passing the Olympic Stadium when we passed through east London. I hopped off the boat and caught them as they came under a bridge, and passed the stadium.





(after the pictures, they switched drivers pretty quickly so I could get a photo of Rick, too!)

On the evening of Day 2, we moored at Limehouse. There are visitor moorings, good for 24 hours. From Limehouse, we would get on to the Regent's Canal, and head up to Little Venice where we would stay for a week. 



There were lots of great sights to see on Regent's Canal. Once we passed Camden, it was familiar territory, since we had been that way on a boat tour last summer. 


Waiting for a lock to fill

Heading for Islington tunnel, the longest on the Regent's Canal


Inside the tunnel--it took about 15 minutes to pass through

Rick, with Inspiral (one of our favorite vegan spots) in the background--the white windows

Going through Camden Lock

We spent some time in Camden Town, eating at the food stalls and shopping. 


We also managed a stop at Wild Food Cafe in Neal's Yard


Wild Food's hummus
Wild Food's bruschetta
On one of the evenings in London, Dad suggested seeing a play. We saw "The Mentalists" which starred one of the actors from the British version of The Office. Lots of great humor, and fun plot twists!

Illegal photos inside the theater



Another touristy stop was Buckingham Palace--they only open the palace for visitors in the summer, and we managed to get tickets for the first day. It was a little crazy, with a long queue, but we made it. Not our favorite exhibit of the summer, but still pretty cool nonetheless. 

Vegetarian "fish" and chips at a pub near the palace


Vintage Tube signage
I always tell my Mexican friends about this restaurant--Oaxaca is how one actually spells that word :) 
While we were in London, Saintsbury's sponsored a weekend of athletic events at the Olympic park and stadium. We were able to see the GB men's basketball team play New Zealand, and Dad was able to shoot the game! A very fun afternoon!
Do you see him?

One of the most fun moments of the game was when the announcer led the crowd in the slow motion wave--hilarious. 



One of the best days of our trip was when Rick and I drove the boat back to London. Dad came along with us for the first two hours, which were the toughest--we had to get through Camden, and a series of 3 locks in a row. It was pouring, and we definitely could not have done it without him!

In total, it was a 14 hour day, with not stops. Rick was a rockstar, and I got a work out manning all of the locks. We did 18 in all, before pulling in for the night. 




So miserable. But so much fun









Moored up for the night
We made it back to Roydon the next day, after about 4 more hours of driving. Our reward that night? Showers, relaxing, a few episodes of Mr. Selfridge, and pints at The Crusader. 




My favorite view--the marina in evening
This little friend invited herself onto the boat!
We were headed to Copenhagen from Luton airport, and stayed in an Airbnb the night before. After some excellent Indian food, it was on to the final stop on our itinerary! 



--E&R

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