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 2017
    M T W T F S S
  • Meta

Dinant and Namur

Posted by contentedsouls on 30/05/2017

It was three years since we had been this way and I was really looking forward to coming back. We found free mooring and free wi-fi outside the local Casino at Dinant, so that was all good, but what a mess they have made along the waterfront for the entire length of the town – they appear to be removing nearly all the pleasure boat moorings.

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We didn’t do any climbing, as we had done it before and my legs were still getting over the shock of doing Montherme twice. You can probably guess, from the amount there are about, that this was where the guy who invented the saxophone was born. No different from France really – still the same attention to detail about precision parking of cars, lorries, coaches, etc.


French is still spoken and the only differences really are that wine and food are a lot dearer, there is a lot less dog poo on the pavements and everything is a lot tidier and more affluent.

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Having remembered where he left the car, G headed off to the train to go and collect it. Everytime he does this task I ask him if he has money (for train ticket), phone (for sat nav), glasses (to read aforementioned sat nav) and car keys (well…). I know that it would annoy the hell out of me if the roles were reversed so this time I said nothing, trying to be a more agreeable wife. Outcome; he left to collect the car without taking the car keys.

The boat was rocking and rolling from river swell until way past midnight as the commercials were still roaring passed at 11pm – goodness knows what time the locks shut. Perhaps they don’t. Without Wi-Fi, other than a tiny limited amount on our phone account that we need to reserve for e-mails and money transfers, we can’t Google the stuff we don’t know and life becomes even more of a mystery and rather fun – clichés are clichés because they’re true and, “ignorance is bliss”. The rocking started again in the wee small hours and we decided to move on having had very little sleep. It’s amazing how quickly you learn to walk around the boat with flexed knees; to turn them into shock absorbers.

7 Responses to “Dinant and Namur”

  1. Bet you felt just a little bit smug about the keys!! NB I have tried to change my email on facebook (orange will no longer exist after tomorrow) but it still insists on having my orange one. IT is not my strong point (not sure what is…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Even more smug because I refrained from saying anything – fortunately there was a later train. Can you messenger me with your new email – or (let’s be revolutionary) email me with it – or have you done so already and himself has not told me?
      I know you have many strong points; not sure I can publish on air though!


  2. andywindy said

    Thank You, my Fair International Correspondent for the next instalment in your Travelogue, the place looks as beautiful as it can in the circumstances. I get very frustrated when local authorities decide that as they have a wonderful environment that attracts visitors, they must change it to deter said visitors and ultimately damage the trade and livelihood of their voters! As for that Concrete monstrosity in front of those Matchbox Flats, maybe Semtex would be too kind!

    I have always adored the sound of a Saxophone being played well and with love, it vibrates through first your body then your soul, a very Sexy instrument indeed. I see that your Husband managed to catch you sitting with Mr S*x himself, one arm around You and with his instrument in his lap for all to see….. Ooh Matron!

    I see that the standard of Bus and Coach parking is still as bad on the Continent as it is here, mind you after a day (or week) of dragging a bus full of noisy sweaty tourists around i think I’d want to just stop the bus anywhere and kick them off as well!

    It was very thoughtful of the owners of those rather posh waterfront properties to place them there so you could look in as you drifted past, always amazes me that they forget that sight is a two way thing.

    I think your picture of DD99 is wonderful, I would have loved as a young man to have just packed a bed roll and a few clothes into that front cover and just sailed off into the sunset with my other half to see where it took us. What an adventure that would have been! Maybe that is what they did, and are still doing, lets hope so.

    Are those chaps really stood on the deck of that lift bridge Underneath the elevated section? Don’t know if I trust that staying up by itself, knowing my luck that chance in a Million would happen to me!


    • andywindy said

      Not mentioning the keys, yes I’m the man who left his wallet at home by accident one holiday! Been getting reminded of it for the last 30 years or so.


    • I don’t know about ‘one in a million’ the couple we met on a barge on des Ardennes had a lift bridge dropped on them in Holland; completely flattening their wheelhouse. Fortunately they weren’t hurt but they lost 6 weeks of their summer having their wheelhouse re-built (beautifully) at the expense of the Dutch waterways’ authority.

      Like you I dream of sailing into the sunset on something like DD99 and, like you, I need to be younger to do it; I don’t think Daisy & co would approve either; she’s rather in love with our fat bottomed girl. The older I get the more things I want to do and the less time there is to accomplish them; if only we had this wisdom when we were in our 30s and 40s.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ianmccauley2014 said

    A spectacular town and your photos do it justice Jill. Also lucky to be there in such splendid weather.

    Liked by 1 person

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