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, 22 August 2016

10th - 17th August 2016. We join the Canal de la Marne au Rhin (Ouest) at Vitry-le-François, and continue to Bac-le-Duc.

We had hoped for a choice of bankside moorings on the Canal de la Marne au Rhin, but found it to be a rough canal. This was the best we could do on this first section, although the marked moorings are quite good.
The locks too, have seen better days, although they work well enough, with magic eyes to see us coming.

This goat was very possessive about his lock, when The Puzzler came too close to him!
Beyond Fains-les-Sources we moored on two Ducs d'Alb, which are these pillars designed for barges, rather too far apart for comfort. It was worth it though, as we could bring the Intermarché trolley very close to the boat here. Bricorama was next door too, so we could at last replace the missing hammer, which might have been left by someone in the long grass a few weeks ago! We had to stay here overnight, as by the time we had been to both stores, aswell as filling up with diesel, the locks were closed for the night.
Two locks further on, we reached Bar-le-Duc, which is a sizeable town, with many historic buildings. The Rue des Ducs-de-Bar is a supreme example of an aristocratic street, dating from the 16th century.
The buildings in this street, which lies parallel, are much simpler in design.
The brothers, Pierre and Ernest Michaux, are remembered here for their invention of the pedal bicycle in the 19th century. They were both born in Bar-le-Duc.
The house with the tall slate roof is the Hôtel de Florainville, in Place Saint-Pierre, and was built in the 16th Century, but the ornate decoration was added in the 18th century, when it became the Town hall. Since 1949 it housed the magistrates court, followed later by the Assizes. The small house next but one to it is particularly different in style, but they all have their own character.
The îlot de la Halle was first built in the 13th century as a covered market, with the 16th century arcaded galleries opening on to this central courtyard. The green building is a recent extension to the restaurant, where we had a pleasant lunch with fellow boaters, John and Karen.

The Château of Bar-le-Duc, of 10th Century origin, was rebuilt in the 17th century.

There is a superb view of Bar-le-Duc from the castle walls.

Shannon and I decided to rest in the castle gardens, although we might have seen a no dogs sign, if we had been looking!

This is the biggest plane tree we have ever seen, in front of the Town Hall!

In the Eglise Saint-Antoine were the oldest church pews, in a box style. The altar in this church is made of a solid piece of marble.

In Bar-le-Duc, the river Ormain is very pretty.

Bar-le-Duc Cemetary, which is quite impressive

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