Friday, 8 June 2012

Midsummer or midwinter?

This morning it was still raining and still blowing but in a gap between downpours we decided to head for Lincoln, get some supplies in and move on past the city which has only a limited number of noisy, very public moorings.
The waterway approach to the city is really nothing special, save for the view of the cathedral up on its summit. The usual long line of mainly depressing looking long-term moored craft brings one to Brayford Pool, a natural lake in the city centre formed from a widening of the River Witham and where the Romans built a port and connected it to Trent by the Fossdyke.
Well, there's nothing of the natural lake left now. Apparently the area was the centre of an urban regeneration programme in the 1990s. Cursed more like. It's now just a muddle of uninspired architecture surrounding a concrete edged waterspace with high rise hotels, motley offices, rather bland university buildings and a lifeless marina of plastic cruisers. What a shame. Where are the trees, the green spaces, the urban sculptures, the promenades?
But the exit from the Pool is one of the most spectacular on the inland waterways - into the Glory Hole; the nickname for the tight, crooked arch of the medieval High Bridge with its 16th century timber-framed, bridge-top shops.
Energetic locking at Stamp End in Lincoln (note the keep-the-sun-away shorts still being worn)

After a brief stop for shopping (couldn't find a Lidl sadly so had to pay Mr Tesco's inflated prices) we headed out of town, now officially on the River Witham.
Tonight for a moment the rain has stopped but it's blowing a hooley instead. We're moored on an isolated jetty at Fiskerton Fen, with a vicious crosswind howling across the Fens at us. I feel like one of those polar explorers, with the hatches battened down and the wind howling and rattling everything that moves.
And it's nearly mid-summer!


Anonymous said...

Spot on with your reviews of Lincoln. Love the Cathedral (did you spot the Lincoln Imp?)and the steep streets down into the town. The canal/river through the centre is also a must see on a visit but Brayford Pool....what a shambles and what a perfect example of how not to modernise a town centre.....this should be a focus for tourists. Think back to when we were in Gadansk and how well they had blended ancient and modern into a clean, bright modern centre that retained the historic. Looking forward to the next Star travel report

Nancy and Max said...

No LIDL, mum must have the shakes!