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, 2017 and 2018, returning to Roanne each winter.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

22nd - 25th August. Still in Friesland in The Netherlands. Visits to Leeuwarden and Dokkum.

We are back in Leeuwarden again for another visit. Having done the main shopping, we then came across the market, so out with the carriers! The town was much busier this time, as we are here midweek.

A tall ship came in behind us, as we moved through town, but we did not find out its name.

We were moving through to the prettiest part of the town moorings, near to the Oldehove Tower.

Construction of this leaning, curved and unfinished tower began in 1529. It began to sink during construction so, to compensate for the tilt, they continued to build perpendicular on top of the leaning bottom. Because of this, the tower is also curved, so they stopped building in 1533, and the
tower was never finished. However, inhabitants of Leeuwarden are still proud of their Oldehove.
It is possible to climb up inside the Oldehove tower. On the first part we used a glass elevator, then it was a spiral staircase all the way to the top. It gives a good view of Leeuwarden, which is the administrative capital of Friesland, with a population of about 120,000.

Our next visit was the Princesshof Ceramic Museum, which specialises in Chinese pottery. Most of this was made for export to The Netherlands by the Dutch East India Company.
Once out of town, we found a secluded Marrekrite mooring, and Andy sanded the pigeon loft, ready for varnishing. Can you spot which side he has finished?

Meanwhile Sally and Shannon worked hard to clean the roof!

Later on  Liquenda, a sailing ship, arrived behind us, making The Puzzler look small. It was lucky that Andy had finished with the orbital sander by then, as it is really noisy. Liquenda was built in 1909, and used to carry 150 tons of cargo in its working days. They are on their way to sail in the Wadden Sea.
On Monday we moved on into Dokkum, the most northerly of the 11 Friesian Cities. These cities have been made famous by the Elfstedentocht, the 11 city skating route. Dokkum used to be a fortified city, and two of the six original corner windmills are still remaining, together with the intervening bulwarks. These are defensive walls, built of earth.
The bulwarks remain around the town, and really add to its character. We visited the St. Boniface Museum, which told of his terrible end here in Dokkum, when he, and eighty of his followers, were murdered in 754 AD. They had a big commemoration of the 1200th anniversary of his death in 1954.

Dokkum is a typical Dutch town, with canals along practically every street.

We were on our way to the shops, but looked back to see this yellow box going up and down above The Puzzler. It is a lawn mower!

There are moorings all along the waterfront, as we make our way back round the other windmill to the main route through town.
Leaving Dokkum along the central canal, it takes us through a tunnel under the road. I am told that Shannon features in too many photos, but as she starts posing as soon as the camera appears, what can I do?


  1. Congratulations. TV Stars now ! And Shannon stealing the show. Brilliant. Watched you on Fryslan TV and you are on You Tube as well. Google Omrop Fryslan de Puzzler.
    Tiger is doing well and sends a woof to Shannon. He won a prize on Sunday at a Summer Show.
    Best wishes from Leitrim.
    Angela and Tiger.

    1. Thanks Angela. Congratulations to Tiger, with woofs from Shannon