Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

The Regent's Canal, and off to the theater

We walked over to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park where the 2012 summer Olympic Games were held in London.

It's an interesting walk to get over there from where Ruth's aunt lives in Hackney because you follow the Regent Canal almost the whole way and there are people living on house boats.

You don't really think of London having a system of canals like this. It's more what you'd expect in Amsterdam.

Ruth, walking beside Regent Canal.

Old Gasometers, used for storing gas in Victorian times, the one in the background is the oldest gas holder guide frame dating back to 1865

There are some interesting house boats that people live on.

House boats and modern apartment buildings.
And lots of yucky green algae.

The canal was used for commercial shipping from 1820 to 1956.

Interesting artwork on this building.

Olympic Stadium

Now home to the West Ham United Football Club.

The ArcelorMittal Orbit

The ArcelorMittal Orbit was built as a sculpture and observation deck for the 2012 Olympics. It has a looping tunnel slide that you can choose to ride down to ground level at a cost of £17 ($26 CAD, $19.50 USD) per person. It's only open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday though.

Apparently the green algae only occurs when there has been a heatwave that lasts over a week. 
Most of England has had a really nice summer, but the canal suffers because of it.

Yep, pretty much!

We ended up doing another 10.5 kms (6.5 miles). There is no shortage of places to walk in London!

And we stopped in at a Lidl grocery store. London restaurants may be pricey, but buying your own food and drink in a grocery store is far cheaper here than in Canada. By a wide margin. I remember when England used to be more expensive than Canada in that department, but not any more. 

As an example, we bought really nice extra aged cheddar cheese for about £6 per kilo ($9 CAD per kilo) and you can't get cheese in Canada for under $12 CAD per kilo. For extra old, you wouldn't get it for under $15 CAD per kilo. Beer and wine are far cheaper as well.

In the evening, we took the "tube" (the subway) to central London to the Phoenix Theater to see the highly acclaimed play Come from Away.

Heading down the escalator.

We took the new Elizabeth Line underground that only opened a couple of months ago.
The tracks are all hidden behind glass walls.

Ruth had kept our London transportation cards from our visit in 2012, and surprisingly they were still valid and still had a few cents credit on them. Sure enough, they tapped through the electronic system, and we were able to add some more credit to them. The system is super efficient and it cost £2.60 ($3.95 CAD, $3 USD) each person one way and it took about 40 minutes and one connection. Not that bad really when you compare it to our home town of Ottawa where one adult ticket now costs $3.75 CAD for a much less efficient system. Oh, and here in London the entire system is totally free for seniors whose residence address is in London.

Arrived at the Phoenix Theater.

The play is based on the events in the Newfoundland town of Gander during the week following the September 11 attacks, when 38 planes, carrying approximately 7,000 passengers, were ordered to land unexpectedly at Gander International Airport. The characters in the musical are based on (and in most cases share the names of) actual Gander residents and the stranded travelers they housed and fed. 

Waiting for the show to start.

Inside the theater.

Kevin, Ruth, and Auntie Nice (Ruth's dad's youngest sister).

The play runs an hour and forty minutes nonstop. There are 12 actors and 7 musicians. The 12 actors each play several different characters in the play. 

It's really well done. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it was fantastic. There's a reason that everybody who sees it enjoys it. There's something in it that everybody can relate to. It's a feel good story despite the circumstances surrounding it, and I found myself constantly smiling throughout the show. There are quite a few laughs involved as well.

Back home by 10:00pm.


And in Canada...


  1. Replies
    1. I have seen someone post a sign like this on Facebook before but this is the first time seeing one in real life and we liked it too and thought that it was pretty true!

  2. Yep, there is just something about the Americas. I am surprised that prices are lower in London. I guess we'll find out for ourselves pretty soon! I noticed the solar on the canal homes.

    1. Keep in mind that this was only one visit to a Lidl which is one of the cheaper grocery stores and the pricing that we noticed was only on a few items, we will have a better idea of grocery prices once we spend more time here. Also, that doesn't mean the everything thing is cheaper here than Canada, somethings are pretty pricey, I think meals out might be more expensive and accommodation might also be, especially in London itself.

      Yes, the majority of the canal boats have solar on them!

  3. We went to see a traveling company perform Come From Away at our local theater and it was excellent! One of the best live musicals we have ever seen!

    1. I think that we have to agree with you. It offered a bit of everything and the acting and dialogue was well done. We could easily watch it again!


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