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.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

29th March 2017. A Bridge Club outing to the cattle market at Saint-Christophe-en-Brionnais, then on to visit the romanesque churches of Semur-en Brionnais, Anzy-le-Duc and Saint-Martin-du-lac.

Today it is a Bridge Club outing to see the Charolais cattle market at Saint-Christophe-en-Brionnais  We all travelled there by car, through lovely open countryside. Gerard and Regine were kind enough to give us a lift

We met beside the cattle market, and I think that Renée is checking that all 32 of us have arrived.

In the morning all the youngstock are gathered in the pens nearest to the sale ring.

Some of them are quite young, and they are all Charolais today.

Here the buyers can be seen, in the tiered seats, with buttons to push when they want to bid. There is no discrete nodding at the auctioneer here!

These solid beasts are patiently waiting for the afternoon session.
There are some typically French trees just by the market, with leaves starting to sprout from all the nobbly branches. The whole roof of this building is covered with solar panels, creating electricity for sale to the national grid.

We walked up the high street to the Restaurant du Midi, where we all enjoyed a good meal.

Outside the restaurant, Andy is looking very serious!

Three cars, including ours, set off on a tour of three local villages, starting in Semur-en-Brionnais. The romanesque church here was built in the 12th century.

The western portal is very richly adorned with a lot of detail.

Everyone is admiring it.
The church in Anzy-le-Duc is our next visit. It was completed in the early 12th century, but unfortunately the bell tower was being cleaned, so we could not go in to that part. The crypt below the church has been recently rediscovered, and is thought to date from the 10th century being used as the burial place of Hugues de Poiriers.

Our last visit was to the romanesque church of Saint_Martin-du-Lac. This church dates from the 11th century and is a smaller church than the other two, giving a general feeling of harmony and simplicity.

We have really enjoyed our day out with the Bridge Club. They are a great crowd and know how to enjoy themselves!

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