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.

Friday, 16 September 2016

9th - 11th April. Back along the Canal de la Marne-au-Rhin to Lutzelbourg, where we climbed up to the castle. We explore the Valley of the Lockkeepers, then Andy and The Puzzler go up the inclined plane again at Arzviller.

From Saverne we are retracing our steps along the Canal de la Marne-au-Rhin to Lutzelbourg, which is an interesting village.

The Château of Lutzelbourg stands high above the village.

We walked up from the village, on a marked track through the forest.

There is more to the château than appears from the canal. It still looks a long way to climb up there!

Looking back down to the canal from the chateau, but no boats there today.
This view of Lutzelbourg is looking round the corner, to the right of the last pic. It shows the bridge in the centre of town, which stretches quite a long way further on down the canal.
Our route back took us past some cliffs, and then down! This is the fifth ladder of 89 extremely steep steps, and there is no alternative way down. Shannon managed three ladders, but I had to carry her down the last two. She kept extremely still and did not look down!

At last we are seeing a busy canal, with a great many hireboats about too. The canals have been so quiet this year that this makes a nice change.
We stopped just before Arzviller to walk up the Valley of the Lockkeepers. Here can be found the 17 locks which were replaced by the inclined plane in 1969. Most of the old lock gates have been removed, and many of the lock cottages, except for a few near to the top of the flight, are empty.

Lock 9 is very pretty. The family are enjoying lunch under the leafy patio, but must be used to their lovely house being photographed, especially as the guide book suggests that we can see a peregrine falcon here. We missed him! Yes, there is another disused lock in between the house and the car.

At lock 14 the lock cottage is now a gîte, overlooking this wide pound in the flight.

The top few locks hold water, but not enough to be used again.

It is time for The Puzzler to ascend the inclined plane again at Arzviller.
Up she comes.
The ascent of 45 metres is completed in just over three minutes.
Higher and higher.
Up at the top. I was going to show The Puzzler exiting the caisson, under the guillotine gate, but I got stuck on the wrong side of the footbridge, so had to talk my way through the "officials-only" gate, to get to the boat!

In the next caison, three boats are going down.

It has been all too much for Shannon!
This hotelboat was rather too close for comfort, as their lookout guy at the front was taking photos of their guests. He was overheard as they were level with us, “We're fine. Oh, maybe we're not!” They were then a lot closer than shown here.

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