contentedsouls

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

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Wallonie into Flanders

Posted by contentedsouls on 23/06/2017

We had planned on staying on the Meuse into Holland but, the previous night, we changed our plans (again) and hung a left onto the Albert canal which took us into Flanders and cost us an hour in paperwork and 80 euros for a waterways licence. Immediately, everybody spoke a foreign language and I had no idea what anyone was saying; I couldn’t read any menus or signposts. The self same bottle of dry white cooking wine which cost me 1.18 euros in France now cost 3.79 and asparagus rose in price from 5 euros a kilo to 8. Encouragingly I dropped a dress size but, strangely, my feet dropped a shoe size. Lunch no longer came with bread and the standard 3 courses for around 14 euros, rose to one course for 18 euros. No boulangeries anymore and no-one says, ‘bonjour madame’ (except me; who automatically continues in French for lack of anything else to speak). A shock to the system – you bet!!!!!

The Albert Canal was guarded by Albert and very, very choppy – I went and had a lay down! Jantina ploughed through the swell behind us before we entered the lock and life calmed down. Quite an impressive cill on that lock and, no, we’re not on fire!

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We moored at Rekem overnight (on adequate moorings) where I was delighted to find good walking for Muttley. Muttley doesn’t like ‘choppy’ and after a choppy day he needs to get off the boat for a good while, eat lots of grass and be sick before he will settle down again – perhaps I should feed him ginger biscuits. A small example of the words I was confronted with on signs

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We set off towards Bree the next morning, leaving Jantina taking a day off.

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3 Responses to “Wallonie into Flanders”

  1. Margaret Budd said

    The grass looks greener,but that is not what you are looking for is it.
    So Flemish is not in your vocabulary,you need Susan and José Naf for Flemish speaking.is it a bit of Belgique and Swiss ? I do hope that you manage to get by with the language barrier. By all accounts I think you prefer France,am I correct in saying that ! xxx

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