Today in My History
World Without Mirrors
Books Read in 2020
2 March 2020
Walt and I went with Char and Mike on several Viking cruises. Several river cruises (Russia, China, Ukraine, etc. ... all places we probably would not be able to visit again!) and some other cruises, as well as one ocean cruise up the Mediterranean to Venice (another place that is starting to become not good for tourists!)
But our very first cruise was not on one of those fancy Viking ships, it was on a canal boat in England.
It was to be a trip up the canals from London to Oxford but because of an unusually wet winter, the water level would not let the canal boats get onto the canals so instead we went up the Thames (it was a week long trip and when we took the train back from Oxford to London, it took us 40 minutes!).
It was a great trip. The boats are small and the four of us had one of them and the other one had one couple and two singles, one of which was a preacher who took the trip many times and knew everything about everything and was straight out of some Brit sitcom. Such a delight.
Ideally the boats go one behind the other, one towing the other in the narrow canals, but with the wide river, the better way was to connect the boats together, side by side. For the passengers, it was chummier. We got to know the other passengers better and because the guy who ran the boats had to kill time to make the trip last a whole week, we went very slowly and stopped often, at pubs and sometimes to walk along the tow path along the river.
Mad Cow was prevalent then too, so we often had to disinfect our shoes after walking along the tow path.
We saw a lot of swans, especially around Windsor, where we spent the afternoon. The swans were in charge everywhere. The house where the keepers of one lock lived was off limits to the front door because mother swan had decided that their front door was the perfect place for a nest...and you don't try to argue with a swan. Also because all the swans technically are owned by the Queen, you can't do anything to them.
What I was surprised to learn is that mother swans carry their babies on their backs.
Our big adventure on that trip was when a baby swan got trapped between our two boats. They tried to push the baby out of the way before the boats ran over it, but it didn't work. The mother watched, worried, while we tried to save the baby.
The wife of the boat owner was very pregnant and she was straddling the two boats. keeping them from bumping into each other (smashing the baby), with a broom, trying to reach the baby and brush him out of the way, while we passengers were more worried about HER falling in the water.
She finally was successful in getting
the baby pushed out from between the boats and over to his mother. But in
all the cruises we have taken since, I think this one swan incident was probably
the most exciting thing we have experienced. Definitely the most
PHOTO OF THE DAY
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