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

Our brugs have turned into ponts!

Posted by contentedsouls on 22/05/2014

We’ve crossed from Flanders into Wallonie. Two major differences; the first being that we can understand the signs and have some conversation with the locals as the language of choice is now French. The second is that Tournai is covered in litter and dog poo. Definitely ‘shabby chic’ and ‘faded elegance’ although the people are delightful. We met a lady yesterday who teaches English as a foreign language to mature students and we invited her to bring three of her students round tonight. One of them was so grateful that she came back later with a present of beers and a special glass (the Belgian beer glasses are myriad and lovely) to say thank you! The day started lovely but deteriorated into heavy rain and then ended in sunshine so haven’t seen a great deal of Tournai yet. Again the cathedral is in bandages so can’t take full photos without scafolding included. How the ship ‘Big Ben’ got through the arches I’ll never know!




On our cruise to Tournai I found it fascinating to watch the professional guys being loaded and unloaded




We pulled over to let this ship go into the lock first and the skipper hopped over the side to take my rope. They had to wait for us to catch up again at the next lock! Made me feel a bit more significant.








Oudenaarde – looked nice but the only free mooring we could find was against a high wall and that’s WB Avalon coming through and then under the hydraulic bridge – they do have a million ways of lifting bridges; I love the engineering.








I love this  letterbox in Gavere.  We went to visit Belgian/English friends of Graham’s there and had dinner with them which was lovely. Our dogs had a good romp in their garden with their two Standard Poodles and we were able to pick up our post. Thanks guys.

Unless you are moored, the big guys don’t mess you up anywhere near as badly as the little ‘fast zone’ stuff





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