I walked south along a tow path that follows the canal from town to town. Small villages cropped up from time to time, mostly a church or two surrounded by old dwellings. Now and again I would happen upon some small city, where the gravel paths turn to stone and the canal splits into branches before finding itself again. Wood framed house boats anchored all along the canals and I enjoyed the way people looked out at me from their porches and decks when it was sunny.
Illum was just south of the city, where the canals merge again and transition back into loneliness. The boats of Illum were painted orange and blue and bright purple and there was traffic on the streets into town. It was still day time and I thought the soft neon lights on the inside of window panes strange. As I walked past the house boats of Illum, I could see the transactions taking place and the traffic speeding up beyond the cluster of houses. There was a Church with an ivory white steeple looming over the canal a little further down, not unlike the other towns, but there was less activity on the streets here and no one sat out on their porches and waved to me.