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, 31 July 2017
Further out of town, the French really make use of the hillside, giving these houses a splendid view.
The Moselle brings commercial barges alongside The Puzzler.
This is a huge river.
This castle is bigger than it looks at first!
This fortified gateway was built at the same time as the canal, thus adding to the town fortifications.
St Etienne cathedral was built between the 13th and 16th centuries, and is dominated by its octagonal towers, which are 66 metres high.
This piggie waterspout was to be found in the cathedral cloisters.
The other large church in Toul is Saint-Genoult, which also has an interesting tower.
The gardens of this church lie within its cloisters, and are very tranquil.
As we leave Toul, having moored below the marina this time, our flowers are still in good heart.
The mooring at Pargny-sur-Meuse is very pleasant. This is normally a busy place, but not today.
The only view of the church in Pargny-sur-Meuse is from the other side of the village, from the canal, as it closely surrounded by houses.
Inside, it is much simpler than the large churches in Toul, but is very peaceful.
On the walls are many carved reliefs of the story of the crucifixion of Jesus.
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.
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!
Close to, it is even more impressive.
Inside, it is the sheer height which makes it stand out for us.
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!
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.
Thursday, 20 July 2017
11th - 17th July. From Sarreguemines into Germany, on foot, then we sailed to the current end of navigation, before returning up the canal de la Sarre.
Sarreguemines lies on the German border, so we walked over the bridge to buy a German plant for one of our flower pots.
Shannon has scratched a sore place under her chin, so has to wear her lampshade to keep it protected. She is not impressed!
There are some unusual boats about. Majesty of the Seas is 33.5 metres long, although she looks like a full size liner.
The church at Ketting is a very unusual shape, with a low 12th century nave and a higher chancel, which dates from the 15th century.
Unusually, for a village church, the door was open, so we were pleased to be able to see the stained glass from the 15th century. It is on the left of this picture. This is reputed to be one of the most beautiful examples in Lorraine.
The Roman round tower was a watchtower in the 9th century.
Ketting is a pretty village, with many different coloured shutters.
This ''blockhaus'', a part of the Aquatic Maginot line, was built between 1932 and 1935, but was used for defence during the Second World War.
The weather on Friday is threatening us with a mass of clouds, but the rain keeps off. We had a pleasant evening yesterday with Terry and Hilary at Saaralbe.
Saturday finds us moored below lock 16, with hotelboat Johanna. John is the captain of this ship, and does self-catering trips on his boat in this area.
Our last night on the Canal de la Sarre was spent just above lock 1, and so we saw Boathome coming up, filling the lock!