My Travel Blog

Welcome to Living Barge Travel Blog!

Welcome to Living Barge Travel Blog!

Welcome to Living Barge – my travel blog which will chronicle my adventures around the world and on my barge, The Rabelo! Feel free to weigh in, ask questions and enjoy the blog!

-Tom Miller

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Rabelo’s New Home in Saint Jean de Losne

Rabelo is moored at her new home, and what a lovely home it is.  Rather than running back to Holland at the end of the year we now have a permanent mooring in the heart of Burgundy at Saint Jean de Losne.  In the past I have always moored my boats in a traditional marina.  That’s not to say while we were out cruising we didn’t find beautiful spots to tie up, but we always had to leave ...

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Paris on Bastille Day – What an Experience!

We only spent a few days in St. Jean de Losne, and then it was off to Paris for three nights and then home for a quick visit to see friends and family.

Like most tourists we love to walk the streets of Paris.  Earlier in the year our friends Tess and Bruce had brought us a hostess gift of chocolates from Fauchon.  They are crazy expensive, but oh do they taste good.  We found the shop ...

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Journey to the Heart of Burgundy

As we cruise down these sybaritic liquid highways we never know what we will come across.  It is what makes traveling at five miles per hour so interesting.  We’ve actually been in a bit of a rush.  We needed to get to our permanent mooring in Saint Jean de Losne, in the heart of Burgundy, before we headed back to California for a short visit to see our friends and family.

Cruising down the Canal entre Champagne ...

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Down the Canal Lateral a la Marne

I’ve said it many times before, and I will continue to say it.  One of the major reasons we love barging is because we get to visit places the typical tourist rarely see.  We have been on the Canal Lateral a la Marne for over a week.  In that period we have seen one commercial barge and a handful of private vessels.  In fact, the canal is used so little the moss is starting to take over.

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Our Extraordinary Private Tour of Clos Mesnil Champagne Vineyard

We were fortunate.  We have Julian to thank.  He was able to arrange a private tour and tasting in Champagne for us.  Alain Pitiot is a small champagne producer in the village of Les Mesnil.  The vineyards surrounding his home are either Grand Cru or Primer Cru with Grand Cru being the highest quality and Primer Cru the next level down.  In fact his home literally backs up to Clos Mesnil one of the three most famous vineyards ...

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How Could I Forget This Part??

I can’t believe I skipped an entire section of our adventure.  Jumping back a week we tied up in Remis in the same spot where we stayed last year.  Our friends Eric, Stephanie and their son Lars happened to be in Paris, and dropped us a note asking if we would like visitors.  Of course we would.  There had been a train strike and the SNCF, the French train company, wouldn’t sell them tickets at the station, but ...

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Exploring Coucy Castle

While in Soisson we decided to take a little side trip.  Lisa and I jumped in the car and drove 30 minutes to the remnants of Chateau du Coucy.  In 1225 Coucy Castle was one of the largest fortified enclosures in France.  Enguerrand III built a wall surrounding the town that included 33 towers.  The Keep was 65 feet taller than the one at the Louvre in Paris where the King of France lived.  A Keep is usually ...

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Photos Beat Poetry Every Time in Soisson

Our journey from Compiegne to Soisson took us up the Canal Lateral al’Aisne.  For most of the passage the canal was the Aisne River.  Like the story of the three bears it’s neither too large or too small.  It’s just right. The stretch of river to Soisson was as pretty as any I have seen.  Unfortunately pictures don’t do it justice.  Surrounded by lush greenery, and an abundance of bird life, nature’s chorus serenaded us as we cruised ...

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Fine French Cuisine and The Chateau de Compiegne

While in Saint Quentin we decided to go out for dinner.  Our friends Bruce and Tess had wanted to take us to the best restaurant in town, but it was closed.  Did they miss out.The food at Restaurant Villa D’Isle was great and our waitress happened to be the owner’s daughter. After dinner she gave us a tour of the place.  The huge building where the restaurant is housed started out as a wood working factory, and then ...

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We Got A Car! The French Don’t Mess Around…

I hate tunnels.  They’re dark and cold, and there’s nothing to see for miles except red brick and rock.  Construction on the Riqueval tunnel was started in 1802, and it was almost six kilometers long.  That’s over three and half miles.  You’re not allowed to run your engine or generator in the long tunnels for fear of asphyxiation.  Consequently we were towed by an electric tug.  Convoys of up to seventeen barges can transit the tunnel at one ...

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