Saturday, 26 May 2012

BCN Explorer Cruise Day 6

We had a good meal at Mad O'Rourkes last night. The portions were HUGE and the fish was the size of 2 normal chippy fish. The mushy peas were weird though. They were tinned peas in sauce, flavoured with mint and LOTS of sugar.......not very nice at all.

 Once again we spent time under the M5

and it was a bit surreal going under both an old canal bridge and a motorway bridge at the same time.

Looking down onto the lower level of the canal which we'll be on tomorrow

In some places, the bridges come thick and fast. Here you can see the 2 bridges before Summit Tunnel

Summit tunnel is very tall and lined in concrete

so I think BW have made a mistake with the air daft they quote on the sign - 1.98m ?????

Marie had organised for Smethwick Pumping Station to be opened for a couple of hours today so that we could all have a look round.

It was very interesting and as we were on our own it was like having our own private museum tour!

This model shows how the pumping station worked, and how it's built between the 2 levels of the canal. 

We're now moored in Birmingham City Centre, right outside what used to be one of the most famous pubs on the canal system.  Unfortunately the Fiddle and Bone has been forced to close down following complaints by people living in the flats which have been built on the opposite bank.  Miserable sods......shouldn't have moved here if they didn't want to live opposite a pub....and  they're trying to have moored boats banned here too!

the now derelict Fiddle & Bone pub

Once we'd got organised we headed into the city centre where we found a Caribbean Food Festival was on, featuring the TV chef Levi Roots.

We haven't been to Birmingham for years and it's a lot cleaner and a lot more cosmopolitan than I remember.  There are some fantastic squares and statues and when we come back next week, after the cruise has ended, I'll take more photos to show you.  In the meantime here are just a couple.

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