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, 23 September 2014

20th - 21st September. Going southwards in Holland, near to the German border, to visit the fortified town of Bourtange.

On reaching Vrieschelooster sluis, we found the yacht Morse aground, as the water level was down here, which is unusual in Holland. By using some gentle manoeuvring, together with some full powered pulling, we managed to get him going again.

We carried on locking ourselves up the Ruiten Aakanaal, meeting Cees and Sam at Vlagtwedder sluis. Their boat is already at Bourtange.

The tree lined canal leading to Bourtange from the Ruiten Aakanaal was very pretty.

Approaching Bourtange harbour. We are very near to the German border here.

In the harbour at Bourtange we found Cees and Sam on Sambucca, which was originally a Swedish Baltic rescue boat.
This is an aerial view of  Bourtange, which was first built between 1580 and 1593.  Spain were adversaries of the Dutch at that time, and used this border crossing through the swampy area, to bring supplies to their troops at Groningen. Prince William of Orange hoped to isolate Groningen, by building this fortified town to close this road. Bourtange was dismantled as a fortress in 1851, but was rebuilt during the 1980s, to represent how it used to be in 1742. It is now a major tourist attraction.

There is one windmill within the city moat, near to one of the six diamond shaped "corners" of the city.

Canons are still in place, ready to repel  marauders.

Meanwhile Sally and Shannon are on lookout duty! Should they be looking the other way?

This weekend there was a market in the centre of the town, with musicians too.

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