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.

Monday, 5 May 2014

2nd - 4th May. Oudesluis and Anna Paulowna moorings. By train to Haarlem to see the Flower Floats of the Bloemencorso Bollenstreek.

A short day on Friday, cruising just over two kilometres to Oudesluis. It was a different type of jetty again, with a separate walkway for access to each boat.

Several lambs came to visit Shannon, but they were more interested in her than she was in them!
Next day it was on to Anna Paulowna, where we moored at a boat club. This was more like our Irish moorings, and brought back good memories. Anna Paulowna is quite a big village, with a large, friendly shopping centre. Their flower festival was last weekend, though a few tulips were still decorating the streets.

Poldertuin is a delightful garden in the village, which calls itself "little Keukenhof", with good reason. It covers less than two acres, but has so many different colours and varieties of tulip, that the display is stunning.
On Sunday we cycled the mile or so to Anna Paulowna station, with Shannon in the bike basket. Having locked the bikes up, along with a hundred or so others, we went by train to Haarlem. Our train was also a double-decker. These trains are quite impressive and give a great view from the top deck.

We were greeted in Haarlem by this pig, which is eating some money.
These floats travelled to Haarlem from Noordwijk yesterday, but are on display in Haarlem town centre all day today. We thought the boats quite appropriate for us.

Flower Power is on this float! All of these floats are entered by different towns or organisations.

The faces on this float were made out of hyacinths. They were very effective.

Mr. Penguin is having a taste of an enormous tulip.

Yes, it IS a whale swallowing a car! There is real inspiration in the ideas for these floats.

This cow, which is riding on a motorbike, won 1st prize. It certainly deserved to win.

Great Church, or St. Bavo's, towers over the centre of Haarlem. Construction of the present church started in 1370, so it has a lot of history in it.

The Christian Muller organ counts 5068 pipes and is almost 30 metres high. It was played by Mozart, when he was 10 years old in 1766. It creates a lovely sound in the church.

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