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, 31 May 2015

23rd - 31st May 2015. On up the river Meuse to les Jardins d'Annevoie, Le Chateau de Poilvache, and then the town of Dinant.

Les Jardins d'Annevoie lie above the river at Annevoie, and are delightful. There are 50 water features here, in a series of waterfalls and fountains. These are all fed naturally from the Grand Canal which lies above the gardens. It draws its water from the Fonteny spring, on the other side of the hill in the Rouillon valley.

Moving on to Anhee, the Chateau de Poilvache can be seen on top of the cliffs on the other side of the river. It was built in the first quarter of the 13th century, but was besieged and destroyed in 1430 by the army of the Prince-Bishop of Liege. Only the ruins of this clifftop town are left.

We were moored near to a railway bridge which was handy for crossing the river. There was a walkway for pedestrians but, as the last train was pulling 36 freight wagons, we were glad to have a clear crossing! A track through the woods led us up to the castle, and the view from the top made the climb worthwhile.
The Citadel at Dinant is in much better repair, as it towers over the town. The church below it is the Collegial Notre Dame.



This is certainly an impressive church.
There are not so many barges on this stretch of the Meuse, but we saw one going under the main bridge with his wheelhouse right down. There was still very little headroom, so he put on full power at the last minute, to push the stern deeper into the water, and got through safely, with an inch or so to spare.


Adolph Sax was born here in Dinant and colourful saxophones adorn the town bridge.



Andy relaxes with him outside his house.

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