My Travel Blog

Culture Shock! Can’t We Just Stay On The Canals?

After our harrowing experience on the Marne River I was looking forward to the peace and quiet of a sleepy canal.  Once tied up in Meaux, we would almost be done with any more treacherous currents.

“Lot of current below every barrage.”

Brie cheese was invented in Meaux, so we found a delectable cheese shop on a little side street. Lisa and I lost all control.  We couldn’t help ourselves.  There were hundreds of cheeses to pick from.  The smells were overwhelming, and when they started handing out samples it was all over.  We walked out with enough cheese to last the rest of the year.

“There was cheese everywhere. What could we do?”

We didn’t spend a lot of time in Meaux.  The Cathedral that was started in 1170 was impressive.  We visited the Bossuet Gardens at the Bishops Palace just behind the Cathedral.  Fortunately the garden was still in bloom despite the cooling weather.

“ Cathedral Saint-Etienne de Meaux.”

“A mid-week service in the Cathedral.”

“Bossuet Gardens.”

We were just two days from the heart of Paris.  We stopped along the canal only to find ourselves in a bustling suburb.  We were suffering from culture shock.  After four months of villages, towns and the occasional mid sized city the huge metropolis was a bit daunting.  There was even a circus getting ready to open just a block from where we moored.

“Our last night on the canals before Paris.”

“Here kitty, kitty.”

“The English portion of the sign says, “It is formally forbidden to give to eat in animals.”

The following morning we got up early to buy our baguette, and rushed back to Rabelo.  We were about to make our grand entrance upon the city of lights.  Cruising down the Seine into this magical city on your own barge is an experience that is hard to describe.  Imagine your very own moving home passing by Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, incredible bridges, and all those wonderful statues and monuments.  It’s enough to take your breath away.  Unfortunately our grand entrance was a bit ignominious. In fact it was down right embarrassing, but you’ll have to wait for the next installment to find out why…

“The last lock before Paris.”

-Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave” – 
a Chuck Palmer Adventure novel


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.