When tourists descend to the “Regentz” channel, there is no hustle or bustle of the British capital, which has a population of 9 million, and the “Galate” channel boat docks on the private pier, sheltered in the shade of lush trees.
Tourists climb on a wooden ramp to reach the front of the boat, and by going down another step they reach the cabin, which contains a sofa in the corner, a folding table and a small bed behind a closet, in addition to a small bathroom, and the small space on the boat has been equipped with great care that Tourists do not have to do without Wi-Fi or drink water directly from the tap.
In the back of the boat, the owners of the boat, retired couple Sarah and Simon Hodgkinson, live, and while tourists stay in the boat for a short period, the boat «Galate» has been their floating home for 10 years.
Since they moved to live in this boat, their belongings have shrunk sharply, but they got to know the British capital, London, from an unusual side, and Sarah explained that by saying: “Living on the boat is like living in the village; Where people know each other and help each other, and we have good neighbors, in addition to enjoying a lot of beautiful scenery.” In addition, Simon resides close to St. Martins College of Art and Design; Where he studies art there.”
Through round windows, tourists look out onto the north bank; As cyclists descend the slope into the canal, they approach people who stroll along the ancient paths along the water.
Previously, thousands of workhorses would have ridden these tracks; Since the Regents Canal, which is 14 km long, was the busiest transport route in London; Because it has been connecting the Grand Union Canal to the River Thames since 1820 in order to transport goods, whether coal, building materials, or grain from the Midlands or even snow blocks from Norway, and “guest boats” were used in the waterway to transport goods to London, and was drawn by horses across the waterside tracks.
But with the advent of the sixties of the last century, these channels turned into the longest oasis of calm and relaxation in London, and the boat «Galateh» is one of about 4,000 boats in the water channels in London, and these boats depart until the early hours of the evening on recreational and tourist trips.
London seems miles away, while tourists enjoy a quiet night on board the boat «Galate», until the early hours of the next morning, until the squirrels go hunting on the tops of the trees, and the birds sing along the canal, and while eating breakfast, tourists can watch Gray herons flock less than four meters from the bow of the boat. “Foxes can appear here too, so tourists should not leave their shoes outside,” Sarah added.
The Regents Canal is surrounded by markets and parks, and tourists feel when exploring this canal that they are in a share of history, and the beginning of the perfect boat trip from “Little Venice” to “Camden”, and tourists sit in the narrow boat “Perseus”, which dates back almost 90 years They sit on green leather seats and take great pictures with their cameras, the brilliant colors blooming over the four kilometer journey. The boats are lined up next to each other, such as the royal blue “Cecilie” boat, the red “Matilda” boat, or the white “Vilona” boat owned by a pop star. The canal on both sides, and then the treetops of London Zoo appear, and the boat tour ends at the bustling Camden Market. As tourists stroll east, they come across another group of canal boats on the track parallel to the canal, and some flowers, herbs, or even tomatoes appear in makeshift boxes and baskets on many of the rooftops. Kings Cross is not far from here. Where the former deserted area has been transformed as part of the implementation of a huge construction project into a modern urban area that includes many elegant shops, luxurious restaurants and universities, and when climbing the stairs to the “Granary Square” field, tourists enjoy a wonderful view of the “Granary” building, which was recently renovated. Coal Drop Yards, and the names of these places indicate that wheat and coal were once stored in this area.
Back on the track parallel to the canal, the Islington Tunnel appears before tourists. Boats heading east appear to enter the dark tube, which is 885 meters long, before seeing daylight again on the other side in the bustling neighborhood of The Angel. The pedestrian area extends above This tunnel, which passes through the Chapel market. The canal extends for another 7 km until it reaches the River Thames, and the further one follows the path through the East End, the fewer the number of tourists, and rarely encounter visitors in neighboring oases such as the sprawling Victoria Park.
On the edge of the road, tourists see many people, such as Lizzie and Jean, who sit on the bow of their boat Harvest Moon and enjoy the afternoon sun; The 26-year-old prop maker and 30-year-old regional director of a charity have traded their expensive rented flat for a houseboat for life.
While the gallate is moored permanently on its own pier, the boat of the young couple moves constantly; They could use public moorings in the London canal system for two weeks at a time for a £1,000 license.