Nothing left to do, but gird up our loins and head for Birmingham City Centre. We were both a bit nervous about leaving behind the lush countryside for the smoke, but it was fine.
First thing to pass through was the Wast Hill Tunnel, all two and a half kilometers. The otrher end couldn’t be seen when we entered and it was cold with lots of water dripping from the tunnel roof. Not far from the exit, thirty five minutes later we met another boat coming towards us. He had come to a standstill and we crept passed him with just inches to spare. The sun was shining brightly on finally leaving the tunnel and the remainder of the way into Birmingham was surprising. Apart from the railway following alongside most of the way, we were surrounded by a green canopy of trees and could neither see housing or industry. The only exception was the Chamberlain Camponile tower, built 1900, and the domes of Birmingham University.
There were no other boats moored alongside us in Gas Street Basin and we felt a bit exposed, after a short walk we found several boats moored just into the Oozells Street Loop. There was no pedestrian traffic and another boat owner said that they had had two undisturbed nights, there were CCTV cameras and regular security patrols. We moved the boat up to there and can confirm that this was indeed a good place to stay.