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, 20 August 2015

11th - 13th August. On past Deluz and Chaleze to Besançon, then on to Thoraise.

Beyond Laissey, the cliffs still dominate the right bank of the Doubs.

At Deluz, it is an attractive mooring for cruisers, but we are too long for these jetties.
On the canal section before Chaleze, we found some superb blackberries. However it was quite shallow here, so Sally was dropped off to pick them, while Andy skilfully manoeuvred The Puzzler in the narrow channel!

Back on the river, the reflections get better and better.

As the hot weather has returned, we are under the trees again, but with cows for company this time.

Approaching Besançon , we will take a sharp left turn after the bridge ahead, to go underneath the citadel!

This tunnel is a useful short cut, to avoid the large meander of the Doubs around Besançon .
At the far end of it is lock 50, which leads back on to the Doubs. Once through the lock we turn a sharp right to moor at this end of town, on the free jetty. Today is “see the town” day, as we visited the citadel last time.

In Besançon there are many fine buildings. This one used to have a fountain in front of it, but not any more.

Eglise Saint-Pierre was built between 1782 and 1786, although the first church on this site was built in the 4th century. It is very dark inside. Its high steeple served as a bell tower for the town hall.
This Roman arch is nearly 2000 years old, being built in 175 AD in honour of Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor at that time. It now leads through to Saint-Jean Cathedral.

Inside the cathedral the stained glass is very impressive, and creates a much lighter feel to this building.
Leaving Besancon, we have a long afternoon sailing with 14 kilometres and 5 locks to reach the tunnel of Thoraise, mooring just beyond it. The waterfall over the entrance does stop for us to go in, and there are light effects right through the tunnel.

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