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, 20 August 2018
All the streets of Bruges have a lot of character.
We are now in Market Square.
All the buildings surrounding the square have great character.
We were warned about the tourists to be found in Bruges, and most of them seem to be here in Market Square!
The 83 metre high Bell Tower overlooks the square. It was built in the 14th century, and contains 47 bells. It is considered one of the finest belfries in Belgium.
The horse drawn buses are a slower way to look around town.
Just after 5 pm, these two are on their way home for the night.
We too have had a good afternoon of sightseeing. There are so many different roof styles.
Off again on Sunday morning, this is a floating classroom. There are many of these unusual modern art installations throughout the centre of Bruges.
The old buildings are everywhere.
The tower of the Notre Dame church is the second tallest brick spire in the world, being 115.5 metres tall.
Saint-Salvador Cathedral is quite near to it.
There is some impressive stained glass here.
We walked back to The Puzzler along Groenerei, another attractive street.
Sunday, 19 August 2018
16th - 18th August 2018. On to Deinze, then the lovely river Leie to join the Gent Ringvaart to Schipdonk, before going on to Bruges.
It is a pleasant mooring in Deinze.
These wooden carvings were our favourite part of the church.
Carrying on out of Deinze, early next morning, we were able to admire many fine houses along the attractive river Leie.
We managed to go underneath Astene lift bridge, having removed our front flag, passing some older boats there.
This is really a lovely river.
This is one of the many gorgeous houses to be seen along the riverside.
I love this reflection.
Sweeping lawns are obviously the thing to have.
Some houses have a lot of glass.
They seem to be rather a public sort of house to have!
From the river Leie we joined the Gent Ringvaart, which is a major commercial waterway.
The Ringvaart has main roads running along both sides of it, as can be seen by the lorries on each side of us. The traffic is so noisy!
Carrying on on Saturday, the canal from here to Bruges is smaller. We met a huge 2000 ton barge along here, with four unhappy cruisers stuck behind him!
The swing bridge at Gentpoort is just before our turning in to the Coupure Port in Bruges.
We are booked in here for two nights, while we explore the city.
Friday, 17 August 2018
14th - 16th August 2018. A trip to Lille for Andy, then on to Bosscuit in Flanders, followed by Kortrijk.
As soon as we set off, Shannon found a comfortable place to sleep. She has been worn out by the passing barges.!
Once out of town we are on the Haut Escaut river, which is the most attractive river we have seen since leaving the Belgian Meuse.
There was a concert here this evening, but we had no chairs with us!
Continuing on the Bosscuit-Kortrijk canal, we came down one big lock.
Followed by three small manned locks.
They were just like English canal locks.
Shannon likes the look of Kortrijk. She makes a good figurehead!
The town shows much Dutch influence in the buildings. It is an attractive town.
These shoes are heading for the town mooring.
Tuesday, 14 August 2018
It is an unusual finger mooring at Pommerœil. We joined Chris here on Laura Marie and had a good evening together.
Continuing on down another huge lock with our Danish friends. This was Péronnes lock 1, and was a 12.5 metre drop.
Péronnes yacht club is based in the large lake between the two locks.
The cathedral here, is very much under repair, so this is a scale model to show its proportions.
It is very tall inside, but the far half is completely hidden by scaffolding, both inside and out. It will look splendid when it is finished. Excavations were visible, alongside the nave, showing the 9th century foundations of the cathedral.
The rose window was probably the best one that we have seen, up there behind the organ.
We visited the Musée des Beaux Arts. I liked this picture of an old barge horse by Pierre Paulus, who is a new artist for me.
This is the Grand Place, and the centre of town. Our friends, Bernard and Patricia, from Le Paradoxe, are cycling through the fountains.