Monday, May 19, 2008

Canals? Who knew!

We are now returning to regularly scheduled programming: ie, less introspection, more London tidbits and fun facts!

The very last thing I expected when I arrived in London was a canal. I had no idea London HAD a canal; I guess I assumed that the Thames was it for water. The canal runs throughout several areas of the city and connect various boroughs across miles with a well-maintained towpath for bicycles, pedestrians, and joggers, and benches along the sides. I first encountered Regent's Canal (pictured above) on my first weekend here, when I was exploring Angel Islington, and I was delighted to see all of the house boats, flowering trees, and old bridges. As Angel is where I'm going to be living in 29 short days, I'm super excited to be close to it.

But there are several other segments of Regents Canal besides the Islington's, and I am living near one a stretch of it right now out in Willesdon Junction. I finally broke down on Thursday and fished my running sneakers out of the boxes conveniently located alongside my desk at work, and when I went out for that first run I happened upon the canal within minutes. Out in Willesdon Junction, the canal runs for miles, and I could actually ride my bike along it into work if I wanted. Best part about the canal out west is that there are signposts along it that chart mileage; I now know what a true five mile run feels like, and it's not so bad at all. The western canal also has better wildlife: swans, geese (with goslings!), and all kinds of smaller birds. On my second run, I had to close my eyes and zoom past a family of geese with little babies - the parents were hissing and I really didn't want to find out if geese had teeth or not.

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