Saturday, August 8 Bath – Oxford
Another beautiful and for a change warm day. We checked out of our University of Bath room. It was convenient and comfortable. We took a bike ride on the bike loop along the Avon Canal. It included a rails to trails section that went through 2 former railroad tunnels, one about 2 miles long. The terrain was flat as you would expect along a canal and a former train line.
Today is the nicest day we have had since leaving Italy on June 16. Maggie was able to ride portions of the loop in short sleeves. Long views of the countryside were rare as the trees and foliage obscured the view. The first half was on a hard dirt path that was bumpy because of the imbedded rocks. Traffic was surprisingly light. People were courteous.
We stopped at an old pub for our mid-morning cappuccino. Old pubs are not unique in Britain. Nor is it unusual to see customers’ beer mugs hanging on hooks from the rafters. What were unique were the other, complementary ceramics presumably belonging to those same customers which were also hanging from the rafters.
The canal is populated by canal boats which are very low and narrow with some being quite long. Many appeared to be primary residences and were decorated with plants and flowers and other items and objects that you would find around the house. Some few of the boats needed attention and some were tourist rentals. There were no commercial or freight boats. That era is gone along this canal.There were many hand operated locks along the way. The canal itself is quite picturesque. The route was not well signed, which is a first for us.
We got back to town around 2:30, loaded up our panniers which we had left at the university, and headed to the train station for the train to Oxford. The train cars are new and the ride is very smooth.