I love this last group because I can see photos and videos of the gorgeous English canals. Tonight, for example, I had a brief chat with a woman who has her narrowboat on the Fens, country which is remarkably similar to the Netherlands. However, what passes as navigable canals there would just be drainage ditches here and no one would dream of boating on them. Our canals in Holland tend to be much wider and more serious, used as they are for commercial traffic. However, we can go from the sublime to the ridiculous in that sense. There are a few small canals. We did a trip on one of them in the Vereeniging some years ago, which I wrote about in Harbour Ways. And there are others in the area known as Westland, which only small boats and cruisers can use - but certainly not barges like the Vereeniging.
|One of the few small navigable canals |
in the area
Mostly, though, it's the big stuff here and that's no exaggeration. The huge network of major rivers that starts in Rotterdam means we have enormous container barges - sometimes coupled together - heading upstream into Germany, France and even Switzerland.
|The sea canal is lined with industry from the coast to Ghent|
|Muscular tugs pulling a sea-going vessel|
|Impressive in their own right|
|Just a tad bigger than a narrowboat|
All the same, Twitter gives me a taste of that other life, the gentle, relaxed world of the sleepy English canals, and yes, one day I'd like to try it for myself. Luckily, I now have enough Tweeple and #boatsthattweet to ask where to go and get the best routes and trips…thanks to the fantabulous world of Twitter.
There, I bet you never thought I would combine a post about my boaty life with the social media world. 'Tis amazing what you can do when you know you have to get a post out and don't really have a clue what to write!