Travel theme: Pathways

It is almost always true to say that where ever there are canals, there are pathways.  The canals are a form of pathway themselves but in a more literal sense there are the waterside paths – the towpaths, originally built for the horses that provided the one horsepower required to pull the boats and their butties.  As any traveller on the English narrow canals will know, there is still evidence of this means of propulsion.  Many of the bridges have iron strips attached to the bottom of the arch on the towpath side; designed to protect the masonry, every example has multiple grooves worn into the metal by the ropes that once pulled the boats through the bridge holes.

This first picture was taken on the Canal du Midi at Colombiers one hot memorable summer when the shade of the tree lined waterway provided relief from a high bright summer sun; the second is a less warm, foggy morning on the Grand Union at Braunston:

Canal du MidiGrand Union

(click on the images to enlarge)


  1. The Rider · May 26, 2013

    Awesome post, thanks for the visit!

  2. LaVagabonde · May 26, 2013

    Eerie and beautiful.

    • northumbrianlight · May 26, 2013

      Many thanks – not as adventurous as PNG but no need for senna pods 🙂

  3. janalinesmalman · May 26, 2013

    Love the foggy morning photo! Love the houseboats of Europe!

  4. Tish Farrell · May 26, 2013

    Love your towpaths. All those footfalls through time – humankind and horses and dogs.

    • northumbrianlight · May 26, 2013

      Thanks Tish – exactly right, that’s one of the great attractions of travelling on the canals.

  5. greenmackenzie · May 27, 2013

    Beautiful images, and I love your words too.
    Pathways and canals make a wonderful combination 🙂

  6. munchow · May 28, 2013

    Both photographs are beautiful, but the last one is my favourite. Those English narrow canals are amazingly scenic and you have definitely captured the mood in these two images.

  7. Photography Journal Blog · June 1, 2013

    I really like that second image.

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