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.

Friday, 12 September 2014

6th - 7th September. Into the city of Groningen.

Now this is what I call a proper houseboat!
We are just leaving Oostersluis, which is the largest lock ever encountered by The Puzzler! It is 190 metres long by 16 metres wide and could hold 77 narrowboats like ours!
We have been on the Van Starkenborgh canal, which is the extension of the Prinses Margriet canal. After this lock it becomes the Eemskanaal, which goes all the way to Delfzijl, on the North coast. This barge was entering the lock as we left it, but we are now going to the right, into the city.

In Groningen, the Museum stands out on the waterfront. It is a series of interconnected galleries, mostly below water level. There is a lot of modern art in here, with a few Old Masters, and a superb silver collection, and it is well worth a visit.

The Martini Church overlooks the market place.
The 15th century Martini Tower is Groningen's pride, and it is known locally as "Old Grey". It is 97 metres tall and is open for visitors to climb, but we have done enough climbing of towers!

The other side of the square is dominated by the City Hall.
This Neoclassic building dates from 1810.

Groningen Station is an historic Dutch-Flemish Gothic building with Renaissance details and was designed by I. Gosschalk in 1895.
In front of the station, and sheltered below ground, is a bicycle park for 5000 bikes.
People come to Groningen by train, then use their cycles to get to work in the city.

Inside the station entrance hall, have a look at the roof! The ornaments on the roof are made from papier mache.

Here we are in Prinsenhoftuin. This Renaissance style garden was laid out in 1625, and the colours of the flower beds were very striking. There are herb gardens here too.

This cat was thirsty, but managed not to fall in to the canal! This was right in the middle of Groningen.

As we leave Groningen, there is a real contrast between the modern housing, and the traditional house boats and barges on the canal.

Zernikebrug is a very stylish lift bridge on the way out of Groningen.

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