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.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

7th - 10th October. Up the Vecht to Utrecht, then across the Amsterdam-Rijn Kanaal to Oudewater.

Elaine joined us in Weesp, and we sailed up the river Vecht. This unusual double lift bridge is in the village of Loenen.
All along the Vecht, but especially in Breukelen, splendid houses can be seen. We are told that the very rich people from Amsterdam live here.

Work is always going on somewhere on the rivers. This crane seems to be lifting as much water as mud.

From Maarssen, we walked across to look at barges on the Amsterdam-Rijn Kanaal. This is not a waterway for The Puzzler!
We sailed on to Utrecht, where The Puzzler is  passing the waterside cafes. The canal winds its way through the centre of the city, with the streets at a higher level.

Some of the bridges are an unusual shape, but this only adds to quaintness of this waterway.

Further on, there are houses at the lower level. The trees by the canal make this an attractive part of our journey through the city.
From Utrecht, we have to cross the Amsterdam-Rijn kanaal. Two barges had gone past, while we were coming down in the lock, and as a result it was quite a rough crossing, even though they were long gone up the canal.
We were lucky enough to arrive in Oudewater at the start of Oudewater 750. This is a year long festival to celebrate the town's 750th anniversary. With most people in costume, the street market had a really good atmosphere.

There were many craft stalls, with  a lot of demonstrations going on, but our favourite was the waffle stall. The waffles were delicious!
Oudewater is famous for its Witch house. In ancient times, if a husband wished to divorce his wife, then he would accuse her of being a witch. The crowd here are only too willing to help to take her to the scales.

The suspect witch is put on the scales. If she weighs light enough to ride a broomstick, then she must be a witch!

Having been found guilty, then she is tied to the stake, ready for burning.
The burning of the witch at the festival was quite effective, though the firemen came just in time to save her. Apparently the scales were found to be faulty, so she was deemed to be innocent, and received a certificate to state that she was not a witch. Once anyone had this certificate, they could not be tried again, and were safe forever.

The whole street behind us is lined with vintage fire engines.

It was surprising to find how tall a Friesian horse is, once you are close to him. This one must have been about 17 hands.

The mayor and his family are enjoying a concert. The lady harpist was sitting at a window, high above us, with the carillon, and other instruments, up inside the church tower. We would have liked to have seen them, as the music was good.

This was our first mooring in Oudewater, but it was rather close to the parked cars.

We moved on through Oudewater lift-bridge the next day. What a contrast in the two moorings, which are only a couple of hundred yards apart!

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