Today, I had the pleasure of wandering down one of the many canals that can be found in Britain. They snake their way all over the country; you can get from one major city to another via narrow boat. It will take some time though- they only travel at 4 mph!
The narrow boats are like long house boats with motors. Spending time on a narrow-boat is a popular mode of vacation travel for many people. Even some tourists try it out too! Today we met some people from Holland who were vacationing through the UK on a narrow boat.
The locks that I visited were at New Marton. It was a hive of activity! The locks only take one boat at a time so there was a queue of boats on either side - each waiting their turn. It was neat to watch: one boat enters, the back gates close and the front gates open. The water level rises and eventually the boat exits and a new one takes its place. Then the whole process is reversed so that the new occupants can travel downstream. One by one, they all make their way up or down the canal. The mentality of vacationing on a narrow boat is very laid back. There is no way to force the water in and out of the locks any faster so while you're waiting your turn, you might as well have a cup of tea, go for a walk along the canal or peruse the little 'shop on the wall' at the lock. You might find a good book to read, pint glass for your drinks, or some fresh produce from the lock-house owner's garden.