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.

Friday, 8 August 2014

5th - 8th August. On winding Dutch waterways to Bolsward, then on to Harlingen.

We carried on through threatening weather, which eventually did turn into a glorious day, along rural winding waterways.
We skirted Bolsward a week ago, but are now coming into town. We are trying to take in as much of Friesland as we can, and are doing various circuits in order to do so.

The first stone of the new Bolsward Town Hall was laid in 1614, with improvements and renovation going on ever since, most recently in 1955, which was the year of the 500 years Town Charter commemoration.

Upstairs in the Council Chambers, this wooden door frame was carved by Japick Gysberts, and the four tin town jugs above, date from 1550.
The Broerekerk is the oldest church in Bolsward, having originally been built about 1260. It had a chequered history through the ages, but the interior was completely burnt in 1980.

In 2005 the church was restored again, as the walls were crumbling, and the glass roof was then added, to create this splendid exhibition hall.

The old and the new windmills are side by side here. As in other parts of the world, there is some resistance to the new wind turbines, but it looks as though they are here to stay.
Cruising through Witmarsum was reminiscent of the narrower parts of the Llangollen canal in Wales, with sharp corners and no passing places!

As the waterway opened out again, we moored near to the village of Arum, a few kilometres south of Harlingen.

Shannon is enjoying having a shorter trim for the hot weather, and is being a figurehead, on the top of the cratch!

There is a choice of routes through Harlingen. In this part it is mainly moorings for smaller yachts.

The Zuiderhaven 2 building, with two beautiful stepped gables, overlooks the Industrial Harbour.

We walked down to the beach and Shannon had a wonderful time in the sea.
Harlingen is the largest home port for these sailing ships, known as the "Bruine Vloot". This fleet is made up of dozens of historic ships of various types, which take guests on sailing trips on the Wadden Sea.

The Stadhuis (City Hall) was built in 1730. The statue of St Michael, the patron saint of Harlingen, can be seen at the top of the building.
Moving just out of town, we are moored on a jetty, which is owned by the maker of this splendid glass cabined launch. This boat would be at home on The Thames!

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