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.


Monday, 12 September 2016

31st August - 8th September,2016. On to Crévic, up the 50 foot rise in Réchicourt lock, through Niderville and Arzviller tunnels, down the Arzviller inclined plane and on to Saverne.



The flowers on the bridge in Crévic were the best yet!


Shannon was very apprehensive about these feral cats. She was probably wise to keep her distance!


Réchicourt 2 lock, ahead of us, is the deepest Freycinet (standard) lock in France, at 15.385 metres, or just over 50 feet. This lock replaced 6 locks in the 1960's.

There are two small cruisers in with us, so Andy has a floating bollard by our side doors, while I have a rope round a tall steel pole at the front. The lock is quite gentle though, so we had no need to worry.


Looking up at the top gates is enough to worry anyone! My steel pole is just on the left.


Shannon had no problem with the plank, when we needed it on a sloping wall mooring.

The countryside in this summit level is fairly flat. The canal has a lock free pound of 33 kilometres, between Réchicourt 2 lock and the inclined plane at Arzviller.


There are a few boats about, but this hotelboat is certainly the biggest so far!


Moving on through Niderviller tunnel, there is a deep cutting before Arzviller tunnel.


The railway tunnel is parallel to the Arzviller canal tunnel, rather like Standedge Tunnel on the Huddersfield narrow canal in the UK.
This section of canal used to be solid rock. Down to our left are the 17 abandonned locks, while 3 kilometres further on, we get to the Arzviller boat lift, which replaced them in 1969.
We had thought to spend the night at the top of the inclined plane, but this is forbidden, so we were straight into the caisson, which travels down this amazing boat-lift.


Here we go!


Looking back up, the black guillotine gate, through which we entered the caisson, can be seen, firmly closed.


Some of the lock cottages are very attractive. Shannon is minding The Puzzler in this lock!

Lutzelbourg stretches along the canal, and is a lovely village. We are saving it for our return journey, in a few days time.


This is a very pretty valley. We are sharing locks with a locaboat of friendly Austrians.
Several of the locks had this wooden trellis, above the top gates. This could have been left from the time when boats were towed by little trains, and it was used to guide the boats into the locks.


Saverne lock is lovely, and we were impressed by the whole town. There are flowers everywhere. Saverne is our destination on this canal.


This horse pulls a water cart, which travels the town, looking after the flowers.



There are a variety of attractive buildings in Saverne.
The museum is situated inside the old chateau. The most interesting part was about the life story of Louise Weiss (1893 - 1983), who campaigned all her life for women's rights.

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