Posts Tagged 'VNF'

Head to Head with the Big Boys – Art and Barge!

We waved goodbye to Nancy, and headed off to our next destination the city of Toul. Like Nancy we also visited Toul six years ago.

Because of Rabelo’s size we usually make mooring arrangements in advance especially when were going to a large city. It helps that when making mooring arrangements we talk.  We talk to the VNF employees, we talk to the people in the villages along the canals, and most important we talk to the other cruisers. While we ...

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But Wait! Where Did the Canal Go?

The Canal du Vosges has been a challenge with numerous spots where the canal banks had caved in, many tight twists and turns, and in some places the trees had grown so far over the canal there was hardly any place to pass. Now I understand why the VNF employee hadn’t seen a full size barge like Rabelo in two years while working on the Vosges. With all those issues I still wanted to return, as the canal was so ...

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The Epicurean Delight of Epinal

We continued up the Canal du Vosges.  There is a small canal off the Vosges that ends at the city of Epinal. It is rather shallow, and if the canal system is low on water, like it was this year, the VNF closes it. Fortunately we have a car. We moored not far from Epinal, and drove. Peaches cooperated and took us to the old city center. We arrived just in time for lunch, and thus began our search for ...

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The One – The Only – The Johanna!

We spent the last night with our friends Bryan and Carrie at Rogny les Sept Ecluse. This is the village with the remnants of seven locks that were started in 1604. A couple of installments ago I talked about how we went through a double lock, where as soon as you exited one lock you entered the next.  At Rogny back in the 1600’s, you had to go through seven locks in the same fashion. It was a ...

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Castle Guedelon, Fontainebleau, Touring Brian and Carrie Too!

We dropped off our friend Steve at the Briare train station, and the following day picked up his brother Bryan, and sister-in-law Carrie. I grew up with Steve and his family, and have known them for over fifty years.

Bryan and Carrie flew in that day from Los Angeles, and took a car straight to Rabelo.  We hit the ground running with a champagne lunch, and a short cruise to Briare.  We happened to be on the ...

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Aubigny and Chateau de la Verrerie

We picked up our friend Steve at the Briare train station, and drove back to Rabelo.  Our mooring in the village of Lere was not the most scenic.  We were next to a grain silo. These imposing structures are found all along the canals.  Some are still in use though many have been abandoned.  They are a constant reminder that the reason for building the extensive canal system in France was to transport commerce. Most of the canals ...

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La Charitesur Loire, Sancerre, and My First and Final Selfie

Rabelo was moored in the village of Herry, but just four kilometers away was La Charitesur Loire.  Kevin had done a little exploring with our car, and found this beautiful medieval town on the banks of the Loire River. The Tourist Information Office even had an art museum attached to it. I particularly liked the hourglass, horny chair, and condom art. We spent the afternoon exploring the ancient ruins surrounding the town center while enjoying the views of ...

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How Did I Ever Survive Without Clafouti? [ Recipe Included ]

Clafouti.  What in the world is clafouti? Up until recently I hadn’t a clue.  Was I ever pleased to find out. In short clafouti is a dessert.  It’s best described as a cross between a cake and a pie, and it may be the best dessert in the entire world, but that’s just my opinion.

So how does one make a clafouti? We started with a wild cherry tree loaded with ripe cherries. Lisa and I picked ...

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One Cleat Will Nevers Do – And That’s No Typo

With Rabelo’s new itinerary there was now time to enjoy the sights. What was I thinking? When barging there’s no excuse for rushing except when you really need one. With our new schedule there was now time to smell the cow manure, corn, hay, and of course the roses.

We had passed a small sign next to the canal advertising goat cheese and honey for sale. The next morning we went looking for the farm. We ended ...

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Paris to Champagne at 20 Miles A Day

After a fun five days and nights we dropped off Lisa’s brother Jerry and his wife Arlene at the train station.  It was time to put the petal to the metal, and start covering some real distance.  I’m talking about moving Rabelo over thirty kilometers a day, or around twenty miles. I know what you’re thinking. Well, no matter how slow Rabelo is, she’s faster than any hotel you have ever stayed in. We needed to be outside ...

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