Monday, April 18, 2011

Nottingham & Narrow Boats

We had heard from some friends that Narrow Boating on the English canals was pretty fun, 
so we decided to give it a try...

In case you have no idea what that is, they are really long, narrow boats...
hence the name, Narrowboat.

(am I blowing your mind yet?)

You cruise along the British canals on your own for a week
 (or 2 if you are really brave).
It is a lot like camping- very similar to being in an R.V.,
but on the water, obviously.
The Narrowboating community is almost exactly like the trailer parks too (but with a gypsy feel)...
they have little marinas full of people who live on these permanently. Ca-razy!

"Sawley's Sister" was the name of our boat.

I was going for the whole Titanic thing in the second shot, 
but it doesn't really have the same affect when the boat is moored, does it? 

Inside the main cabin. 
 This is where we ate (most of the time) and doubled as the boys' bed.
And no, they didn't sleep on the table....
you can fold down the table and the bench pulled out into a bed.
The boys loved it. Nate called it the secret bed.

Steering the boat!

It was a learning experience maneuvering something sooooo long and large, 
but after the first couple days, it got less intimidating.
Ben was a total pro from the start.

Some of the views from the boat...
We went along the Trent and Mersey canals in Nottingham.

Nate surveying our planned course....
(and apparently looking for a buried treasure spot. 
He made sure we brought along his homemade pirate telescopes for the job.)

These swans were nesting along the canal when we were there...pretty cool to watch.
They were a bit snarky though.
(That's British slang for testy or irritable...haha)

The boys seriously got cabin fever since we had to cruise the canals about 5 hours a day
 to keep the battery charged on the boat.
Run free boys, run free!

We tried to stop as much as we could though to let them get out some pent up energy...
for their sanity, as much as ours!

Our boat in the distance...

Along the canals, they have little towns and villages that you can moor near for the night, which we did.  
We ate at a few pubs along the way which I found a welcome treat 
(since by the end of the day, we were pretty tired and in no mood to cook on the tiny boat...
plus, pubs are just fun!)

One of the pubs we went to had a special "Royal Wedding" menu...
hopefully you can read it all, 
if not, click on the image to make it bigger.
 It is pretty funny.

Here is Nate taking a swig of, not really.
(don't worry Mom)

I loved this Pub! It had a really cool style.
  It had recently been renovated, but they kept a lot of the original charm,
 like the wood beams on the ceiling and the original stone and brick work on some of the walls.
 The furniture was cool was all antique and the chairs were mismatched. 

We found that pubs and drinking are a favorite past time of many of the Narrowboaters.  
What is it with drinking and boating? Does it make it more fun? Who knows.

We enjoyed it without the slurred speech and stumbling though.


Steve and Donna said...

The loverly Pubs..... all part of the adventure!

Coordination Queen said...

What a fun adventure!