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, 30 January 2015

1st - 19th January 2015. Motor Museum in Schagen. Sally visits England.

The Motor Museum in Schagen has been closed for the winter since we arrived here in November, but opened for one day, so we managed to visit it. It is mainly classic cars there.
The weather has been windy, but not too cold, for the first week of the year in The Netherlands.

Sally went to England for a visit, going by ferry on the Hook of Holland  /  Harwich route to Norfolk. Here are Elaine and Mary in Wayland Wood, with Louis, a cute Padenko hound.
From Norfolk it was on to the coach via London. Our bus took a scenic tour over the River Thames, so we could see the Gherkin, and other new buildings in the city.

The Shard is on the south bank of the river.

Next to see were the Houses of Parliament, but there was little traffic on the river here.

On past the Tower of London, back among the older buildings.
I am staying with Debbie and Matt in Cheltenham. We walked up Cleeve Hill, which gives superb views over the surrounding countryside.
On Sunday we went to Slimbridge to see the birds, which are not frightened of people. There are very many different British birds here, as well as seasonal visitors.

We could buy grain to feed the birds, and these geese were most appreciative!

These flamingos are in the African section of the sanctuary. The cold does not seem to bother them.
Monday 19th January was a very long day, leaving the house with Debbie at 8.30 am to walk to the station. Two trains later, I arrived at Birmingham airport in good time for my 1.15pm Flybe flight. Walking through, I could see a Flybe plane, and thought how small it was. However, due to fog at Amsterdam, my flight and also several others were cancelled.

In the end I was moved to a seat on a KLM flight, which was also delayed. This was a much bigger plane though, which was reassuring. It was early evening by now. We eventually boarded, then waited on the ground for ages until there was room for us to take off. Once over Schipol airport, we had to circle three times, because we were late, until there was room for us to land safely. We could not see the landing lights on the ground until we landed! We taxied for a long way to reach the airport buildings, then walked for ever to get to the main building. By the time I had found my case and then the station, it was quite late. At Amsterdam Sloterdijk I caught the last train of the day at 1.23 am, which took me to Heerhugoward, where ongoing passengers had to catch a bus to Schagen. Andy and Shannon met me at the station, and we eventually reached The Puzzler at 2 am.

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