Our friend Tony was in London on business and we met up in Wales for a rainy weekend exploring the canals. There were some bits of sun, but they were few and far between. We brought Shep along with us and he had a great time. There are canals all over England and Wales. They were originally used to transport goods, mainly coal. All the canal boats are 6 foot 9 inches in width and vary in length. We rented our boat from Anglo-Welsh, check out their website if you are interested in a similar Holiday.
We picked up our boat on Friday evening in Trevor and made our way to the Welsh town of Llangollen. We took a slight detour out of the way to cross the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. This Aqueduct was designed by Thomas Telford and is the tallest in Europe. The Aqueduct was completed in 1805 after ten years of construction. It soars 120 feet above the River Dee and is almost a quarter mile long, resting on top of 19 stone arches. Piloting a boat across the aqueduct gives you the distinct feeling that you are flying as there is no guard rail on the West side. You can look directly over the side of the boat and see the valley below.
After our slight detour back and forth across the Aqueduct, we traveled the 4.5 miles into Llangollen for our first night's stop. The Canal into Llangollen is very narrow in places and you have to send a person ahead to check that no other boats are coming. There are passing places in the canal that are quite tight if you can imagine trying to move a 63 foot boat sideways. We had a nice meal at The Corn Mill overlooking the River Dee.
Morning greeted us with sunshine and a nice view of some snow covered Welsh hills. After a quick breakfast, we retraced our steps back across the Aqueduct and headed to Ellesmere for Saturday night. The canal to Ellesmere required raising a draw bridge, going through two tunnels and two locks! Sunday was spent cruising back to base in Trevor in a pouring rain. Shep didn't like that bit too much but he did hang in there to the very end.
View over the side:
Mike & Tony navigating the aqueduct:
The narrow Llangollen Canal:
View of the interior:
The Corn Mill Restaurant:
Saturday morning in Llangollen boat basin:
Shep & Mike trying to help Tony:
Tony didn't need help after all!:
Beautiful canal scenery on the way to Ellesmere:
Reluctant Captain Gabi:
I think I can...I think I can...I think I can...:
Our first lock:
Navigating the lock:
Mike & Tony trying to figure out how it works:
When the sun came out it was spectacular!:
The grass is always greener next to the canal!:
The Chirk Aqueduct & Tunnel:
STOP! There's already a boat in the tunnel:
Mike & Shep walking back to the boat while Tony helps:
Faithful companion even in the rain:
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