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.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

10th - 14th July. Auxonne, Les Maillys, then on to the Rhone to Rhine canal to Dole.

The harbour at Auxonne is the first one we have seen since coming into France at the beginning of June. We are moored on a rough bank, just beyond the town bridge, having failed to find any boat prepared to offer to have us alongside on the free town mooring. One English couple even hid in their boat, in case we asked them! We found The Puzzler tipped at an angle on our return from our visit to the town,

The statue of Napoleon stands beside the Notre Dame church in Auxonne.
The Arsenal is an interesting collection of buildings, which were built as a place to make barrels. This part is now used for the weekly Friday market ( but today is Saturday!)

We loved these wooden stairs in Auxonne. Look closely to see the small cannons beside the gate too.
We moved on from Auxonne to this jetty at Les Maillys. It has been a lovely tree-lined section of the Saône but this was the first possible mooring after eleven kilometres, and we were pleased to be able to have this delightful German family alongside The Puzzler there.

We leave the River Saône here. This lock marks the beginning of the Rhone to Rhine Canal, at St. Symphorien. There is a small community of barges just above the first lock, and this is generally a much busier canal.
Nearly 7 km and 4 locks further on, the canal passes beside a chemical works, and there are warning signs telling us not to stop in this area. If we hear the sirens we must close all doors and windows on our boat, and leave the area as quickly as possible. This seems to be bad luck for our steersman, out on the stern of The Puzzler! Luckily, we heard no sirens.

It is quite nice to be off the River Saône, and on to the narrower canal, where we can moor anywhere, so long as the water by the bank is deep enough. It is Andy's turn to try and tune the satellite dish for the last day of Wimbledon. Djokavic beat Federer, in case you did not see this.

The Collegiate church of Notre Dame can be seen in the town of Dole, behind the town moorings. Every town has its church, and each one is so different.

Looking up this steep street in the evening light shows the church tower to its best advantage.
We originally stopped on the town moorings in Dole, but all boats had to move away to the other side of this bridge, because of the fireworks display tonight. Our access here is by the plank from the roof to the wall.

There were a few early fireworks and Shannon was not impressed! Once the main display started, she just hid her head and endured it.
The crowds arrived in force, and there must have been thousands of people there. It was an impressive display, celebrating Bastille Day which is, of course, of great importance in France.
Dole dates back to a fortress built on a small limestone overhang in the 12th century.

The town is full of interesting sloping streets.

This is the triege de la Cordiere, one of several narrow uncovered alleyways to be found in the town.
Louis Pasteur, of rabies vaccine fame, was born in Dole, and a museum here tells of his life and achievements.

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