The river plays such a huge role in the lifestyle around here.
Along the northern banks of the Thames (running between the river and the grounds of the palace) is a tow path that has been converted to a bicycling and jogging path. Along the southern bank is a lovely riverside walk that has boating slips. Every weekend you'll see people picnicking on the banks of the river in the grassy areas preserved for public use. Every day you will see people rowing and paddling boats of every description.
It did surprise me, however, when I came across the sailboats this past weekend! I guess it really shouldn't have, I mean we have people with sailboats in Colorado on lakes that have far less surface area than is available in the Thames. I am just having a hard time getting over the built-up bias from years of living in Florida.
Whenever I see someone put into a lake in Colorado I ask the same question that I asked when I saw the sailboats on the Thames: "Where can you go from here?" The lakes have no outlet. The Thames has a low bridge less than a mile downstream and only a couple miles upstream. All they can possibly do here is tack to and fro across the width of the river.
Whatever the attraction, the English are drawn to the river. I am too. I ride along the tow path daily. It is a lovely ride with occasionally inspiring scenery!
I hope wherever you are, you have something inspiring to do today!
Don Bergquist - 17th May 2006 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, United Kingdom.