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.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

18th - 22nd July. An early start to reach Rechicourt lock by 7.30 am. On to Parroy, Crevic and Saint-Nicolas-de-Port, before reaching Nancy.

Tuesday was our earliest start ever, as we set off at 5.30 am to complete the canal du Sarre.

Back on to the Marne au Rhin (est), this is a really pretty stretch of canal, just past the junction.

It is now sunflower time, as their heads follow the sun.

On to Rechicourt Lock 2 by 7.30. This lock was open at 7 am, but they like boats to share, so we had to wait an hour until 8.30 am, before we could descend the 15.385 metres drop.
We moored at Parroy at 1.45 pm, having completed 33 kilometres and 10 locks today – it is still Tuesday, and has been our longest sailing day for a long time. After a quiet afternoon, with some table tennis thrown in, we walked up to the nearby étang de Parroy to watch the sunset.

The next night we were at Crevic, and were surprised to be on our own here, as it has always been busy here previously.

Hey, you forgot to open the side for me!
This is our third time along this canal, and this is the view that persuaded us that we must visit Saint-Nicolas-de-Port, to see the basilica there.

Close to, it is even more impressive.

Inside, it is the sheer height which makes it stand out for us.
We moored with Peter and Barbara on Siyabonga, just before Nancy, then managed to squeeze both boats into the lock at 9am on Friday. Only going down is such a squeeze safe! We both then headed on the half mile to the supermarket, for a much needed top-up of everything.

Two trolleyfulls of food, and lots of diesel later, we continued on into Nancy, mooring opposite the main port. On this side it is free to moor!

We have been lucky with sunsets, haven't we?

This is the mairie, in daylight. It overlooks  the famous Stanislas Square in the centre of Nancy.

At night, though, it is brought to life by the Son et Lumière.

Shannon did not like this part though, with everything falling over!
It was time for a bit of culture, so we went to visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts. We were impressed by this picture, La Toussaint (All Saints Day), painted in 1888 by Emile Friant. He is a new artist to us, and makes his subjects look so real.

In the Museum-Aquarium de Nancy, this strange fish was the most interesting exhibit, though there were plenty more in second place!

The thunderstorm, which had been forecast, arrived a couple of minutes after I took this photo.

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