My Travel Blog

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 said they could buy them on the train. It was only a 45-minute trip and apparently no one came around to check tickets, so they got a free ride. We met them at the station and headed for the Remis cathedral.  It was a favorite among French Kings as twenty-five of them had their coronations there.  Now it is best known for its stained glass windows done by the artist Marc Chagall.  It is also known for its smiling angel, and yet no one really knows why she is smiling.  When I voiced my opinion as to why she was smiling, all Lisa could say was, “Pig.”  Of course my response was, “Oink.”

Stained glass windows by Marc Chagall.

Don’t you think she looks like a satisfied angel?

After the cathedral we headed back to Rabelo for one of Lisa’s famous champagne lunches.  She set out platters of cheese, pate, salad, sliced fresh fruit, baguettes, potatoes broiled in olive oil and garlic, and of course champagne.  God I love this country, and my beautiful wife.  How will I ever lose any weight?

Our friends enjoying one of Lisa’s champagne lunches.

By now it was getting late so we headed back to the train station with a short stop at the Gates of Mars.  This second century Roman relic is amazingly well preserved considering it has been sitting out in the weather for over 1,800 years.  After visiting the Roman ruins we noticed a champagne house across the street.  I had never heard of the champagne, but considering that there are over 14,000 champagne house in Champagne I wasn’t surprised.  They actually had some decent champagne, and we walked out with a couple of bottles.

The 1,800 year old Gates of Mars.

The beautiful French countryside.

Rabelo’s next stop was Chalon en Champagne.  Once again we tied up in the same spot as last year.  That night the city was celebrating the start of the world cup, and put on a fireworks display right in front of where we had parked.  There was also a cruise ship in for the festivities.  Not really.  Someone had the bright idea of building a replica of a cruise ship that was slightly smaller than Rabelo.  I think he moves it around France stopping at all the small towns and sells tours.  I have no idea what there is to see inside this over-sized model, but I guess he finds enough people to pay the bills.

A hot air balloon checking out the French countryside.

Other than Superman’s changing room most kids wouldn’t know what this was for.

Fireworks in front of Rabelo.

Someones idea of a great business.


-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.