Join us on our travels around Europe aboard our Dutch Tjalk Francoise

  • Jill Budd

    After 6 years aboard our Narrowboat Matilda Rose in the UK, we took the plunge and shipped her across to Europe. After 2 years in Europe we knew we didn't want to return to the UK so took the plunge and purchased a 1902 20 mtr Dutch Tjalk called Francoise and are now continuing our travels of the waterways of Europe in a buxom wench

  • May 2014
    M T W T F S S
  • Meta

Brugge to St-Martens-Latem. The river Leie

Posted by contentedsouls on 12/05/2014

We passed through one lock and a series of Bridges as we skirted round Brugge. This one is a footbridge and the vertical wires wind round the overhead drums to lift the whole thing horizontally into the air. There were two ‘fortress’ lift bridges and one that swung and seperated down the middle allowing passage on both sides. I love the bottom row of windows in the hotel barge – you could almost make the mistake of thinking they were reflections at a glance.



We had to pull over and hover whilst we waited for this to come out of the lock







This, and something even bigger, overtook us whilst both crews waved enthusiastically






One of the fortress lift bridges



The hotel barge




Great joy as I managed to off-load 3 bags of stinky rubbish at the lock and we moored up for the night (late) on some god forsaken bank at Alterbrug – trying to loose Avalon by mooring up behind the bushes and anchoring the bow to a tree. We did have our own private ‘beach’ though and poor old Daisy could be let out again. Muttley had his first rabbit in the morning and was very pleased with himself (OK; so it was washed up dead on the beach but he was still happy). I was a bit concerned that Daisy might disappear for hours in the morning but I hadn’t taken into account Herbie the Airedale’s herding insticts when they encountered each other unexpectedly in the long grass! Daisy came home very quickly with a lot of indignation and a huge tail!. You can just see a bit of Avalon sticking out behind the bush – Kevin had to shin up the bank with both dogs whilst we could get out on the level – not the most salubrious of moorings but OK for an overnighter given that it was so late anyway.



Kevin spotted an alternative route into Gent so we turned right off of the Brugge/Ostende canal onto the Afleidingkanal De Leie and Thought we’d lose the big ships. Then this overtook us


And Avalon looked a lot smaller too. So we turned left onto The River Leie which is Class 1 (restricted to shipping up to 300 tons) and that fixed it. We moored up in the sweet (but very dead on a Sunday) little town of Deinze.



Moored here (free) for the night and went for a shufty around the town and park before retiring to Avalon for Sunday ‘lunch’ of roast pork. Lovely.





This is the biggest vessel that can get in here and it’s heading for the wharf just ahead of us to be loaded before winding and heading back

After a quick trip to the Carrefour (I still can’t get used to supermarkets being closed on Sundays) and a bit of dog walking we headed off at 10.00 am down a much narrower and winding River very reminiscent of the Thames – including some of the most magnificent water frontage properties I’ve seen (and that includes Thames property). Moored on a little pontoon in the pretty and up-market village of St-Martens-Latem. This is much more how I’d imagined it would be.

Footnote: some of the photos maybe slightly out of geographical sequence – as well as still learning WordPress, we’ve had a few problems loading several days of pictures from more than one source.

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