We often stop in wonder ourselves as a crowd gathers to watch the canal boats that journey along Dublin's Grand Canal negotiate the lock. My mother was visiting recently so we decided that this was the perfect time to sign-up for a dinner cruise and have this experience from another perspective.
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We boarded the Canal Boat Restaurant in Charlemont at 9 pm and set off toward Grand Canal Dock.
It was fun to see the sights that we normally see 'from land' from a different vantage point on the water.
It was fascinating to see the operation of the locks up close. We'd pull in and the pilot would shut the lock behind us.
He then cranked open the gates in the front...
...and we were slowly lowered down.
There was a deck on the top of the boat where we could sit and admire the views while quaffing a glass of wine. Headroom was definitely tight when going under the bridges. Don't stand up!
During the course of the 2 hour cruise, we passed the other boat that plies the Grand Canal - La Peniche. One of the guests on our boat reached out to shake hands with our neighbors.
Dinner itself was served below deck. We could still see what was going on outside via conveniently situated portholes.
We were served salad or soup and brown bread to start.
For dessert we sampled cheesecake and apple pie. The meal is included in the price of the cruise (45 EUR per person at the time we went) but wine and beer costs extra.
The high tech buildings were all lit up and reflected in the water.