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

  • July 2017
    M T W T F S S
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Archive for July 30th, 2017

Leaving Flevoland and into Overijssel

Posted by contentedsouls on 30/07/2017

A considerably calmer day for a Meer crossing; so no need to pack glasses, remove mirrors, pictures etc. I came across the strangest of smart estates (definitely bungaloid dystopia) where this lady was actually polishing her railings!


Leaving Ketelmeer for Grafhorst we had to go up 5 metres to reach sea level (that’s really weird), so I was able to pack away the snorkels and periscope for a bit. At the entrance to the lock was a bridge (not lifted) and we went in behind 3 cruisers who wouldn’t move up; we couldn’t rise the 5 metres without crunching ourselves under the bridge and the bridge keeper wasn’t going to stop the traffic to lift it. There were lots of long words over the loudspeaker (the Dutch really do like long words – why use 5 letters when you can use 25) of which we understood not one single word before eventually the man on the tannoy and me on the front of Francoise persuaded them to shuffle up sufficiently for us to clear the bridge as we rose. In all honesty it would have been quicker for either him to lift the bridge or us to wait for the next lock!

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Again flat calm with a huge diversity of craft. We were momentarily bewildered by this apparent ‘no through road’, before we realised that the channel lay sharp right. That thatched hay barn was quite something. By this time I had gained a really bad earworm, “don’t pay the ferryman” – there are ferries of all shapes, sizes and propulsion at every turn.


We continued on to Grafhorst where we were able to meet up with my long time Facebook pals Veronica and Richard. So brilliant; we had planned to meet up and travel with them at the end of August when they returned to Friesland but we are so ahead of ourselves that we managed to meet up before they left – and there was I worrying about getting to Franeker by September! We also managed to meet up for lunch a couple of days later in Blokzijl and they brought us presents of the Marrekrite mooring flag and the Friesland Provence flag (water Lilly leaves – not hearts). Purchase of the Marrekrite flag entitles you to thousands of free mooring places in Friesland (think GOBA in the UK).



It was leaving the town that I encountered my first bruggeld payment; man with ‘fishing rod’ swings a clog at you and you stick two euros in his clog. I can’t help wondering what would happen if I put my Mum’s old bus pass tokens in – probably the next bridge would land on our heads!


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