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.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

13th - 18th June. On the canal des Ardennes to Rethel, and on to Reims.

The canal des Ardennes continues peacefully between the trees. Thankfully it is a little cooler today.

Our next stop is at Rethel, which is a bigger town. There are five English boats here tonight!

A contrast in mooring the next night, below lock 12. Barge Tonga arrived after us, dwarfing The Puzzler.

He left before us in the morning, to go up the lock, and he completely fills it.

Yet another big fellow coming along. We had not expected as many working boats on this canal.

We had a visitor today, who was not at all frightened.

The countryside is much more open beside the canal as we look across the fields of corn towards Cormicy. It is a good harvest this year.

We liked this lock cottage at Guadart. Sadly several of these attractive cottages are now uninhabited.

In Reims it is the ladder to the top window that is of interest. There is a platform mounted on it for furniture to be lowered to the waiting van below.

Sally paused for a rest by the fountain, in the middle of Reims.

Obviously Reims Cathedral is the major point of interest in the city, although we saw no jackdaws! Sadly the front facade is partly covered as renovation is under way.

Inside, the cathedral was lovely, if rather dark. There is a great deal of traditional stained glass but this is a modern window by Imi Knoebel, a German artist.

Outside, the cathedral is covered with superb carvings and statues. This is the north door, with Andy showing the scale of it.

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