These are the adventures of Andy and Sally Rawnsley on their narrowboat "The Puzzler". We have been living on the boat for over eight 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, returning to Roanne for a second winter.


Sunday, 26 October 2014

21st - 25th October. From Zaandam up the river Zaan to Zaanse Schans, then on to a country mooring.




This interesting hotel in Zaandam includes all sorts of Dutch architecture.
After a couple of days in Zaandam, we continued on up the river Zaan. It was interesting to see a house boat on the move. On the far bank can be seen the traditional green of the Zaandam houses.
We were lucky to find this jetty free, as it is the only mooring at Zaanse Schans. Originally there were about 100 windmills in the Zaan district of Holland, making it the oldest industrial area of the world. In 1928 the windmill society De Zaanshe Molen founded this unique and fascinating Windmill Museum, with six working windmills, along the river Zaan.
Het Jonge Schaap is a windmill which was newly built in 2007, using detailed drawings to copy one which was demolished in 1942. This is a cap windmill, with the sails turning on the very top part of the windmill.
Inside this new windmill is a working sawmill. There are several enormous saw blades running parallel to each other, which slice a tree trunk into planks.

Kalver Polder lies behind and below the windmills, which are all on the Kalverringdijk. This dike is alongside the River Zaan, seen beyond them here.


In the farm section, Shannon met a goat.
The museum here told us all about the history of local produce, mainly food, including a whole section about Verkade, the chocolate specialists. This is a vat of melted chocolate, ready to pour into the moulds.
The Verkade Chocolate company has factories both in Zaandam, and also further upstream, and we saw a lot of chocolate on the move. On this journey, the tug is pulling four great vats of chocolate on the barges.
Carrying on, the river Zaan became a canal, as Dutch rivers tend to, and we continued along Markervaart to moor on an island. There is room here for over 60 boats, but we are the only boat here today!.


We were treated to a really pretty sky on Saturday evening.

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