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.

Monday, 25 May 2015

19th - 22nd May. From Maastricht, into Belgium on the Albert canal, and then on the River Meuse to Huy.

Maastricht is a lovely city. St Servaas Cathedral and Basilica overlook the Rijthof, the main square which is surrounded by cafes.

The old town walls are hidden among the back streets of the town.
Above Lanaye lock we will join the Albert Canal to go south into Belgium. However, the lock is currently “kaput”. We arrived there at 1.30 pm, and were in the company of many barges, by the time that the first locking went at 7.30pm. We were told that we were to go in the second locking, but as each cycle, up and down, took about an hour, we decided to wait until the morning. Here four smaller (a relative term) barges are exiting the lock, so that four more can go in.

We retreated behind the wall, tying up behind a work barge there. We could hear barges going up and down Lanaye all night.
A new lock is being built here, which will take four large barges. This lock can only take one, plus small boats like us. We are tied on to the barge so had an extremely gentle ride up the lock, which has a rise of over 13 metres. This was our deepest lock so far.

We passed through Liege, which is a big city, but we did not stop there.

At the next lock we had to wait on a dolphin, which is built for big boats too.

Is it a house or a castle up there? No doubt we will see more of these.
Mooring is allowed at the small town of Engis, opposite the huge gravel works. A large sign tells us that mooring is forbidden, except with fenders. All of our tyres came out again, so that we were legal! Tyre fenders are not allowed in locks in Belgium, in case they come loose, and then sink to create a problem.
The barge, Tesco3, was loading on the opposite bank. Here the skipper is measuring carefully to check the weight of his load. There are three of these marker scales on the side of each barge.
On coming into the town of Huy, we found a wall mooring, beside some steps. The red arrow points to The Puzzler, to give an idea of the size of the river Meuse here.
In Huy can be found the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame. On top of the cliff is the fortress of Huy, which was built in the year 1818, but was notoriously used as a prison by the Germans during both World Wars.

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