Posts Tagged 'France'

Chandon, Perignon and Tattinger – Oh My!

The tasting with Michel Gonet was the perfect beginning for our champagne mission.  The next stop was Reims.  I’ve never been a huge fan of large champagne houses.  Vintners like Moet & Chandon, Dom Perignon and Tattinger, in my opinion, don’t offer the value of the smaller producers.  What they do offer is an interesting tour of their massive facilities.  We visited Tattinger with its vast underground caverns originally excavated by the Romans (The French pronounce Tattinger Tah-ta-jay.) ...

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Paying Homage to Dom Perignon | Our Champagne Mission

Our guest had a good nights sleep, and were ready to go.  We were heading out on a champagne mission, but first we needed to eat.  You won’t find any cases of scurvy on the good ship Rabelo.  Lisa made a breakfast of scrambled eggs and cheese; fresh cut melon, coffee and juice, along with toast and pastries from the local patisserie. She offered champagne, but we needed to pace ourselves.  The air was a little brisk, but ...

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We’re Late, We’re Late, For A Very Important Date!

With our rudder fixed, though behind schedule, we were back on the move.  Rushing was something I’ve tried to avoid this entire trip, but there were times when it couldn’t be helped.  Our friends were joining us in less than a week.  I wanted to meet them in the Champagne Region, as I knew it would be a special treat.  We were there nine years ago, and have fond memories.

Vitry-le-Francois was our destination.  We blew through ...

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On The Road Again – Rabelo is FIXED!

I’ve been thinking of Willy Nelson lately.  Why might you ask?  Because whenever I think of Willy I think of the song “On the Road Again.”  You see, we are back on the canal again, and I couldn’t wait.  It took exactly one week to get our rudder repaired and re-installed.  A little old man drove six hours from Belgium in his truck with a crane on the back as well as a little boat and our 700 ...

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Disaster Has Struck The Rabelo!

Disaster has struck.  What will we do? The day started out crisp and clear.  Fall was in the air as the first frost covered our deck.  We had successfully transited the Tunnel de Mauvages and the shallow summit pond the day before.  Bar-Le-Duc was just 38 locks and 40 kilometers ahead.  I was at the helm, and had driven Rabelo into the first two locks perfectly.  The countryside was so beautiful and tranquil I even stopped to take ...

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Ponderings Before Starting Your Own Barge Adventure

After Toul our next big town was Bar-Le-Duc, but first we had to pass through the 5-kilometer Tunnel de Mauvages.  A VNF employee warned us that the water level in the tunnel was low.  When we told him we only drew 80 centimeters (31 inches) he thought we would be okay.

After 12 locks and 12 kilometers of canal we made it to the summit pond and tunnel.  The canal water was amazingly clear as we watched ...

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Touring Through Toul France

We spent just one night in Nancy and then headed for Toul.  This was a town we passed and did not want to miss when we turned around. With the temperature dropping most of the cruising boats were back home in their slips.  The local Port de Plaisance was relatively empty, so despite the port being rather small we had no problem finding a place to park.

People have been living in Toul for over 2,500 years.  ...

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Could Champagne Change Our Course?

We dropped off Penny and Ralph after a short, but delightful stay, and picked up our friends Mike and Tigre the next day.  Strasbourg was the furthest we had planned on going this summer.  It was time to turn around and head back to Holland except we are having so much fun we’ve decided to make a quick detour to the Champagne region and Paris.  With all these difficult decisions to make barging can be very stressful.

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Colmar, Grunewald, Schongauer, Wine and Cheese – This Is Living!

While in Strasbourg we took a short 40-minute train ride to Colmar. The town was very picturesque, but also very touristy. We especially enjoyed the Unterlinden museum.  The collection was not large, but well displayed and very diverse.  Make sure you go upstairs as we almost missed the best part of the museum. The Unterlinden is home to Grunewald’s stunning Isenheim Alter.  In the Dominican Church next door we saw Schongauer’s masterpiece Virgin in the Rosebush. For a ...

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Now Entering The Alpines! The Road to Strasbourg

From the Arzviller lock we entered a beautiful steep walled canyon that engulfed us in an alpine environment.  Even the houses look different.  The canal was incredibly twisty following the floor of the canyon as it meandered towards our final destination of Strasbourg.  Some of the turns were almost impossible to negotiate without coming to a complete stop.

On one of the ridges was an impressive ruin.  The young girl operating the lock said there was a ...

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