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A journey through the canals of London

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Since Roman times it was clear that communication was the key in the expansion of an empire. In order to do this, there was a need for appropriate and fast means. These requirements led engineering for the construction of safe roads with branches spread throughout the empire. The Roman roads can be considered the first true form of technology, used primarily for military purposes, and since then men understood how important the connections and the communications between the various sectors were.

In the same way, as regards to the British Empire, its navy was without any doubt the most important contribution to the expansion to other continents, economically and militarily, and this allowed for almost three centuries the control of the seas and trade routes.

One thing that always fascinates me about England is the extensive network of navigable canals: important way of communication, transportation of goods and raw materials and sometimes a clever way to bypass part of a river to make navigation easier. Basically is possible to browse inside the whole England using this waterways.

Even though in the history of canals probably Britain was not a pioneer (as many other things Chinese can claim the paternity of this invention) there is an open debate of which is the country that gave the birth to the first man-made waterways used for navigation.

However no one can deny the importance that canals has for this country. Nowadays their role changed completely: the most important function has become the tourism and also canals have become, for instance, a cheapest and various way to live in London or a leisure place where people go fishing, jogging or just enjoying a sunny day.

During my journey along the canals of London I experienced a place which is so far away from the busy, noisy and fast city that normally people considers. Here everything flows as slow as the water that fills the ditches. Especially if is a sunny day, which I had the luck to found, you can enjoy your walking, that can extent for miles, as much as if you go to a park or in the countryside.

Paola Sarappa

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Written by Paola Sarappa

17/03/2011 at 6:31 pm

Posted in Assignment

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