Italy has Venice, England has Birmingham! (for canals, that is!) Towpath adventures!
For those of you that don't live in the UK, it may come as a surprise to find out that Birmingham in the Industrial Midlands of England has about 100 Miles of narrow canals, most of which have lovely towpaths, ideal for cycling, and providing almost rural, traffic free corridors through the City and it's Industrial areas.
Fairly level for the most part, but with quite steep (and sometimes cobbly climbs up the locks & over the quaint bridges, which can sometimes resemble a rollercoaster!
I stopped at the Canalside Cafe, Gas Street Basin, Birmingham. They have lovely Real Ales, very nice food (and Orelia a lovely Lithuanian barmaid!)
As usual, something strange happened (my life is seldom boring!) a Polish girl asked if she could re-arrange the chairs & tables outside for a photo project, then asked me to sit down, while she blindfolded me, then photographed me, much to the amusement of passers by!
The GoBike's suspension came in handy on the cobbled sections and also up some of the locks, which have ladder-like stones set in, to help the horses grip, when towing the old boats.
In one of the pics, I past a lovely spot, marred by fast food rubbish, on my return, I cleaned it all up & took a big bag of some lazy @#5$'s crap away with me.
If you are ever in the Birmingham area, I can definitely reccommend you cycle these lovely towpaths (they are actually a very good way to see much of England)
Part 2 to come, disastrous adventure on the Leeds Canal.
Bikes aren't doable in Venice: so advantage Birmingham! Nice looking ride.
Where's the pic of you sitting there blindfolded??? We demand complete coverage of these little jaunts.
It looks a little like the C&O Towpath out of Washington, D.C.
Belgium has a network of Navigation canals too . A nice cruise is the one between Kortrijk and Ghent.