Friday, 10 August 2012

Leaving Birmingham

We've had a couple of days back in the centre of Birmingham.  It's rapidly becoming our favourite city to moor in and no doubt we'll be back again before too long.

Birmingham is one of the finalists in the Britain in Bloom competition and everywhere you go there are spectacular floral displays, several of which have been designed with an Olympic theme.

this was a canoeist

this was a gymnast on the horse

Once back under-way we headed out of the city centre, past Birmingham University and their "experimental" narrowboats.

This one is solar powered

and this one claims to be the first ever Hydrogen powered narrowboat.

Personally I can't see them catching on but you never know.  We spent last night at the Prince of Wales pub open mic night in the company of the owner of one of the first diesel/electric hybrid boats and he swears by it.  Sorry Charley, I'm still not convinced.

Wouldn't you think that after all these years boating I'd be used to tunnels by now?  I absolutely, unreservedly HATE tunnels. I don't know what it is I'm scared of and I'd hoped that the more I went through the easier it would get but, to be honest, I'm getting worse.  We had 3 tunnels to go through today, Wast Hill being the longest and the worst.  

By the time we'd gone 200m into the tunnel I was getting so anxious I had to resort to my yoga breathing to stop me actually having a panic attack.  This is the entrance which looks a bit narrow but is actually wide enough for 2 boats to pass.  And pass they did.........the tunnel was pretty busy today, and extremely wet into the bargain.

The next 2 tunnels were nowhere near as long, or as wet, and we didn't have to share them with any other boats.  I think the fact that I could see right through to the other end helped, but I still didn't enjoy them.

We're now moored above Tardebigge Locks ready to go down tomorrow.

That should be interesting as it's a flight of 30 locks which we haven't done before. We're actually heading for Worcester for the beer festival which is on next week.  We went last year and it was brilliant, over 300 ales and plenty of live music too.

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