Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Lovely Day

We started our special day with a trip to Fishbourne Palace. - to remind us of our youth :)

Fishbourne Palace is the largest Roman Villa ever discovered on British soil, and stands just to the south-east of Chichester. Whilst, in some ways, the mosaics are not as impressive as those at Bignor; the sheer scale of the site is what astounds anyone with a a rudimentary imagination.

Developed in a number of stages the buildings surrounded an internal courtyard garden that would have been almost the dimensions of a modern football pitch.
After a coffee an sandwich we headed across to the Chichester Canal Basin.

Until 1906, ships were able to bring their cargo up the Chichester Channel and along the canal into the heart of Chichester. Now the canal basis is given over to leisure - with the hire of rowing boats, kayaks, and canoes. Additionally, and more importantly for us, they run narrow-boat trips down the canal.

We duly bought our ticket and waited for our boat.
 A trip on a narrow boat is immensely relaxing. Theres is nothing you can do except watch the world drift by - at a slow walking pace.

The scenery along the canal was lush and a haven for wildlife. Any bird-watcher would have a field day as the various feathered friends swooped, dived, fluttered, or paddled along the route. At one point we saw a terrapin (ok, that's not a bird) sunning itself on the bank.
Passing Hunston junction and on past the tracks of the old Selsey tramway, the canal comes to halt (at least as far as the narrow boat is concerned). An elegant three-point turn saw us reverse the route and head back towards Chichester and the Canal Basin.

Of course, the canal has a towpath. This is a haven for walkers, joggers, anglers, cyclists, and dog walkers.
Talking of dog-walkers, we noticed this as boat was gliding along. The Gorse Fox feels that this approach to "taking the dog for a walk" is not what is normally intended by the phrase and could be the reason for canine obesity.

Back at the basin, we hopped in the car - popped home to change and then headed back out to the local "Amelie and Friends" for a celebratory meal.

A splendid day all round.

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