My Travel Blog

A Trip of Our Favorite Spots in Paris

We spent one night in Brussels, and then it was back to Southern California for my nieces wedding. I much prefer Paris to Brussels, but I have to say we enjoyed our quick overnight stay. The old city square was beautiful, and our hotel recommended an excellent restaurant.  If you like chocolate, waffles, or beer then you’ll love Brussels.

The main square in Brussels.

There was no shortage of Belgium waffles.

After a short trip home we flew back, and met Rabelo in the heart of Paris. Kevin delivered our big baby via the Canal Saint Martin, which literally runs underneath the city of Paris. You should have seen us trying to explain to the taxi driver that we were meeting our boat in the middle of Paris. We enjoyed the Foundation Louis Vuitton so much the last time we were in Paris we had to go back. Unfortunately they didn’t have an exposition going on this time, and so the artwork was a bit of a disappointment. Still, the building was magnificent and we still enjoyed our time there.

At this point I can comfortably say that our favorite restaurant in Paris is Verjus. We have now eaten there at least five times. Our friends recommended a restaurant that we tried while we were in Paris.  While the food was okay it did not compare to Verjus, but we’ll keep on looking.

A water feature at the Foundation Louis Vuitton.

F1 pit crews for my friend Bob.

What a magnificent structure.

Cows in the park next to the Foundation Louis Vuitton.

Rabelo was parked in the Basin la Valette just two short blocks from the Cite des Science & de L’industrie.  This is Paris’s science and industry museum.  If you have kids, and you’re looking for something to do, this is the place. The museum is huge, and there are also plenty of things for adults to see. They also have the largest Imax Theater in the round in the world. We saw a movie on humpback whales, and it was fantastic.

Cite des Science & de L’industrie.

The IMAX Theater in the round and the Science and Industry Museum.

An interesting fountain.

We spent a total of four nights moored in La Valette, but it was time to leave. The trip down the Canal Saint Martin was one of the most nerve-wracking journeys I have had on Rabelo. There are four double locks, which would not have been so bad but for the way they were operated. Remember Rabelo barely fits in a Frycient lock.  Under normal circumstances when we enter a lock we take our time, and get the boat set where we want it. Once we are satisfied that we are positioned properly we start the lock sequence. I’ve done over a thousand locks in Europe, and yet I have never done any like the ones on the Canal Saint Martin. As soon as you enter the lock the back gates begin to close and the lock sequence starts.  There is no time to set the boat or move it a few inches forward or back.  Fortunately Kevin and I work together well, and we were able to coordinate the tying of the front and backlines quickly enough that we never had any problems in the locks.  That doesn’t mean that at times I wasn’t half scared to death.

Rabelo moored in the heart of Paris.

The basin at La Valette.

Spectators watch as Rabelo enters a lock.

Rabelo travels under Paris.

Rabelo exits Canal Saint Martin and is back out on the Seine.


-Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave”  and “When Stones Speak”– 
Chuck Palmer Adventure novels


About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.