Posts Tagged 'Barge Travel'

Invasion of the Rug Rats | Escaping to Dijon

The sky may be clear, but Lisa and I are consumed by that eerie feeling of an approaching storm.  What hidden catastrophe lurks just over the horizon?  Is it a hurricane, a tornado or could it be an earthquake?  OMG, it’s worse than I thought.  Cesar’s Roman legions, Napoleon’s Grande Armee, even Richard Simmons and his corpulent ladies would have been less intimidating. Why, it’s a disaster of biblical proportions. We’ve been invaded… by rug rats!

Lisa’s ...

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It’s Time To Hire A Boat! Rules of the Canals

It’s time to crash and burn.  The has weather finally turned warm, and the hire boats are out in force.  For those that want to experience the canals and rivers of France, and you’re not ready to buy a barge, then the hire boat is the way to go.  Hire boats range in size from 28 feet to 50 feet.  They sleep four to twelve, and the best part is you get to be the captain.  In fact ...

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This Barge Is Not Built for 12!

Our son Randy and his wife Alexis just arrived with our two gorgeous granddaughters.  To help out with the kids Wilco brought his beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter Marscha.  We definitely have a full boat.  Now there is talk that Lisa’s nephew David and his wife Cecile along with their two young boys will also be joining us for a couple of nights.  Yikes, that’s twelve people.  Poor Rabelo was never designed to carry so many, especially rug rats, munchkins ...

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Cistercienne Abbey of Auberive and the Fortified City of Langres

One of the reasons I purchased a giant barge was so that we could carry a car.  Well that, and then there’s my oversized ego that needs feeding.  We’ve always found plenty to see along the canals, but on occasion it’s nice to jump in a car and go sight seeing.

It was a short twenty minutes drive to the 900-year-old Cistercienne Abbey of Auberive, or Abbaye Auberive.  In the mid 19th century the facility was turned ...

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Daily Life In A Small European Village

When Rabelo is on the move, we usually end up moored next to a small village. When I say small I’m talking about a town with a population of no more than two or three hundred.  There isn’t even a place to buy a newspaper.  If you want a fresh baguette you have to know when and where the bakery truck stops.  Most cruisers we’ve met complain that there is nothing to these small villages and they all ...

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The Holy Grail of Wine and Tastings Galore!

After the barrel factory our next stop was Edmond Fallot’s mustard factory.  Unlike the cooperage everything was automated.  There wasn’t much to see, but the smell made up for the lack of excitement.  We were separated from the factory by a glass wall, and yet our eyes would not stop tearing.  The few workers they have must be super human as they spend their day in an almost toxic atmosphere without any protection.  After the tour we were ...

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The Heartbreak Hiking Fools Do France

Everyone knows that Lisa and I love to hike, and that we are members of the esteemed hiking group the Heartbreak Hiking Fools (HHF).  Whenever the opportunity presents its self we grab our poles, put on our hiking shoes and off we go.  This past week we were joined by our fellow HHF members Gail and old What’s His Name.  We happened to find a trail close to where we were tied up and decided to do a ...

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Freak Storms and an Archeological Dig

As I sit here typing the latest installment of Living Barge I can still hear the distant roll of thunder.  The last couple of nights and especially this afternoon the storms have been incredible.  Today I watched as a gust of wind picked up our deck table and six chairs and send them flying. With howling wind, the crash of thunder, slashing rain and lighting strikes every second it was an amazing display of nature’s power.  Fortunately we ...

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Exploring Reims France & Eisenhower’s WWII Headquarters

We met our friends Sandy and Alain in Reims, the capital of Champagne.  We’ve been there three times now, but always concentrated on the champagne houses.  Of course we visited the cathedral and the Bishops Palace as they are both UNESCO historical sites.  I prefer the Cathedral in Reims to Notre Dame in Paris.  Apparently 25 past kings also agreed with me as they chose Reims for their coronation.

With a little extra time we did some ...

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Quantifying What We Love About Barging

Were tied up in front of lock 26.  The Canal Des Ardennes may be beautiful, but I forgot about the step.  It is a series of 26 locks.  Some are only one and half boat lengths apart.  If you’re driving it’s long periods of concentration.  If you’re on the bow handling lines it’s just hard work. The chart book says to figure seven hours to complete this portion of the canal.  Unfortunately it must have taken us seven ...

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