These are the adventures of Andy and Sally Rawnsley on their narrowboat "The Puzzler". We have been living on the boat for over nine years now and are still loving it. Our Ulster born Shih Tzu, Shannon, has grown up, and has taken over the boat! After three wonderful years in Ireland, we transported The Puzzler to The Netherlands, and spent a year there. In 2015 we went southwards, to reach the north of France by June. After glorious weather throughout the summer, we arrived in Roanne in late October, and enjoyed our winter in this friendly port. We cruised extensively in France in 2016 and 2017, returning to Roanne each winter.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

15th - 16th May. Crossing the North Sea Canal and on to Haarlem. Visited Frans Hals Museum.

At least eight trains passed while we were waiting for this rail bridge to lift for us. Another lift bridge is closed immediately behind us, so it seemed a long time to wait!

We were relieved when we were eventually let through.
The next obstacle was crossing The North Sea Canal on to the River Spaarne. A fast cruiser went past just before we joined this canal, and we certainly felt its wash bouncing us. There were no large barges this time though.

Further on we were joined by barge Amodo in a lock. He moved very carefully when near to us.

We passed the Adriaan windmill on the way into Haarlem. It is rather different in shape to most windmills that we have seen.
There are very few double lift bridges like this one in the middle of town. We are low enough that none of the bridges in Haarlem had to be opened to let us through.

The houses along the waterfront in Haarlem are very distinctive.

Even in the centre of Haarlem, we cannot get away from the big barges!

There is plenty of space in Haarlem for visiting boats. The Great Church of St Bavo's towers over the city.
This church has been there for centuries. At the Historic museum of Haarlem were pictures of it in the 16th Century, and it looked just the same as it does today.

Next morning we visited the Frans Hals Museum. This museum is housed in the former Haarlem Alms house.
Frans Hals was a famous Dutch painter, who lived from 1582 - 1666. His paintings are all portraits of people of that time, particularly patrons of the Alms house. This school group are re-enacting the picture seen behind them.

To leave the centre of Haarlem, our route will be under this fine lift bridge.

Most bridges are plain underneath, but this one has real character!

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