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.


Thursday, 21 April 2016

12th - 16th April. Debbie is with us on the Canal du Centre from Digoin, via Paray-le-Monial and Génelard to Montchanin.

From our mooring we were straight into lock 1 on the Canal du Centre, and on over the aqueduct to cross the river Loire, into the town of Digoin. Shannon was not too sure about the aqueduct! We have followed the Loire all the way from Roanne, but will now be beside La Bourbince river as we continue along the Canal du Centre. In Digoin our first visit was the Ceramics Documentation Centre, where we learned all about the Digoin Pottery Industry. This is well worth a visit.


Eglise Notre Dame de la Providence dominates the centre of Digoin. Look at the left top of the tower!


Yes, it is a real stork on her nest! She was still for so long that at first we thought she was a sculpture.
Having been built in 1869, this is a comparatively modern church. It was built in the Romano- Byzantine style, so is different to most of the older churches.
Moving on along the Canal du Centre to Paray-le-Monial, we continued the religious theme with a visit to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. This church was rebuilt in the Romanesque style on a 12th century base, we think in the late 19th century. It was promoted to the status of Basilica in 1875.


Inside, it is quite different to the church at Digoin.


There are cloisters within the Basilica. This reminded me of the race in the film “Chariots of Fire”.


From the other side of the building the varied levels make the Basilica look like a different church!


This laden donkey seems to be quite happy on his travels.
Wednesday was quite cold, so Shannon is wearing her jersey. The black skies behind were very threatening, but did not catch us until we were moored at Génelard.

Two hours later, the weather had cleared, and we were delighted when Cassandra and Heidi joined us that evening.
This bridge at Génelard was a checkpoint during the second World War, between the occupied territory, and the free French. The museum here was extremely interesting, teaching us a lot about the occupation of France during World War II.

The picture of the working boat in the cutting after Génelard, reminds us of times gone by too.
Another momento of the pottery of the area can be seen in this sculpture at Ciry-le-Noble. It is decorated all over with pieces of broken pottery.
We moved on to Montchanin quite early, hoping to avoid the following storm. Debbie will take a taxi from here tomorrow to Le Creusot, on the long haul back to England. We have had a great week with her, and Toad too, of course!

The black clouds arrive later in the day, bringing this hail storm!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for a lovely time on the Puzzler. I really enjoyed myself. Look forward to seeing you all again soon hopefully. Love Debs & Toad xxx

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