...the Journal

We're in England riding in one of these boats. If I find a cyber cafe, I'll try to post a report.

If you want to see some information about our trip, this link is a good place to start.

(our accommodations...
eat yer heart out!)


Someone suggested I add a discussion board, so I have.

If you have anything to discuss, go to this link. Feel free to start a new discussion on anything.

Keep the discussion going while I'm away, will ya!


Who knows? I took lots of books with me!


The Thames and the surrounding towns.

Eat your heart out!

That's it for today!


Greetings from London!!!

16 May 2001

I am sitting at a Cyber Cafe 2 minutes from the hotel in London where we have just checked in. I am writing this on the fly, so please excuse the HTML errors! Walt has settled himself across the street at the pub to wait while I get my "fix."

We have had a lovely week. Our first two days were in London, where I occasionally thought I'd die until I got my "land legs" and "walking feet" in gear again (why didn't I listen to Peggy???). We mostly just walked around, did evensong at St. Paul's, ate in a pub, and walked...and walked...and walked...

Then we went to...somewhere...a little backwater town with a dock that not even the taxi driver knew of, to meet up with our boat. We have had marvelous adventures riding by long boat up the Thames to Oxford. This morning we took the train from Oxford to London and it took 30 minutes. We did it by boat in 8 days.

I have (so far) taken about 600 pictures and will be putting together a "proper" journal about this trip, so I'm only going to hit the highlights here.

You can see the long boats in the photo. We had hoped to do the canals, but the water from the torrential rains made getting onto the canals unsafe, so instead we went up the Thames. This meant that instead of going two boats in single file, we went "Catamaran-style" with the boats tied together. It was in some ways very nice and in some ways a little disappointing. But it was an "adventure" either way

Our traveling companions, other than Char and Mike, with whom we'd flown from San Francisco, were a retired couple who have made canal trips several times before. He's a retired Brit Air pilot and she volunteers in Jane Austin's house. We found them very friendly. Then there was a 60-ish widow from Basingstoke, who reminded me in some ways of Peggy and who was absolutley delightful. And finally there was the 88 year old "errant vicar," who was a fount of information and a real character.

The day we boarded the boat and met our companions, Char said she felt she had checked intoFawlty Towers, a feeling which did not leave us as the week progressed!

I'll save the specific details for when I get home, but the trip was most notable for the wildlife along the riverbanks. I now know grebes and coots, in addition to a couple of kinds of ducks and I know why there are so many "Swan" pubs and other establishments in this country--they rule the waterways.

We saw the willows that the wind blew through for Kenneth Graham and all the residents of Toad Hall (in fact, we also saw Toad Hall), and saw the places where the real Alice in Wonderland lived. We saw thatched cottages that made us feel we were in Disneyland. (In fact, there were times on the river when I wondered if Dave, our captain, was going to haul out a gun and shoot a hippo, but he did not.)

Last night we had an end-of-trip banquet on board the ship (our food this whole week has been incredible...huge breakfasts, tea and biscuits at 11, a 2-course lunch at 1 p.m., more tea and cookies at 4, and a 4 course dinner at 7. I'm going to be afraid to step on a scale when we get home...if I can find one that will hold me!!!). And then this morning we said goodbye to everyone and headed off in our separate directions.

I wasn't sure how I'd adapt to the slow pace of river life. I did get a bit antsy now and then, but basically, it was a wonderfully relaxing week. When we got on the train headed to London with all the folks with their cell phones crammed into the little space, we passed over the river and I got a little wistful looking down at the ducks swimming peacefully by and remembering what a wonderful time we'd just had.

But now we're in London and more adventures await us before we return home on the 21st. I'll try to keep you posted!!

Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo

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Created 5/5/01 by Bev Sykes