My Travel Blog

The Gem of Dole, France

An eerie silence has moved onto Rabelo.  The hordes are gone, and Lisa and I have been left to our own devices.  Our big baby seems sad without the chatter and screams of laughing children. David, Cecile and family took off yesterday, and our son is driving his family to Geneva, Switzerland to fly home.  Randy decided to abandon the highways in favor of the back roads. They stopped in the little town of Dole, and sent us a quick e-mail.  He said we had to go there. Given our sons sterling recommendation what else could we do? The next day Lisa and I started up the old Citroen and set off on our little journey.  Unfortunately Peaches, the GPS gal, couldn’t figure out where the town of Dole was that we wanted to see.  She kept on giving us directions to another Dole that was 3.5-hours away.  Finally I put in a town close to Dole, and off we went.

What a gem. Dole is a special place that you need to savor, immerse yourself in, and slowly consume like a meal at a fine restaurant.  We only had a small sample, a few tasty tid-bits to munch on. This delightful village sits along the shores of the Doubs River.  Its narrow streets and canals lined with colorful flowers are perfect for exploring.  It is also the home of Louis Pasteur, as in pasteurized milk.  We had lunch at an outdoor café, and then wandered for hours along the medieval streets and ancient canals to the point we got lost.  Eventually we managed to find the Tourist Information Center, and explained that we couldn’t remember where we had parked our car.  I mentioned that there was a theater next to the parking lot.  The nice lady smiled, took out a map, and pointed us in the right direction.  We will return someday to seek out the hidden treasures lying just around every corner in this wonderful village.

“A beautiful canal in Dole.”

“Dole with its church in the background.”

“Beautiful stained glass windows in the church.”

“Lisa checking out a bronze sculpture in Dole.”

I had heard the Doubs was a beautiful river to cruise, though it could be dangerous when the water was high.  Someday we will take Rabelo up the Doubs towards Strasbourg, but in the middle of summer when the water is low.

We headed down the Soane River towards the Canal du Centre that will take us in the direction of Paris.  Our first stop was Verdun sur le Doubs.  It is at the confluence of the Doubs and Soane rivers.  Even though the water was extremely low, as it has been a very dry summer, there was still enough current on the Doubs to give me fits when I tried to dock Rabelo.  It’s a nice little village, but there was not much to see.  The highlight was the Cassis tasting we went to at the Tourist Information Center. I bought three bottles. We spent the night and left the following day.  That’s how it works when you are barging.  It’s the reason why we can never tell our guests until a few days before they arrive where we are going to be.  We just never know if we are going to like a place or not.

“Rabelo cruising down the Soane.”

“Tied up in Verdun sur le Doubs.”

“Note that at flood “stage one” the river is still open for boat traffic. I would hate to think what the current is like.”

“In 1985 the river went almost up to the window.”

“Houses built on the ancient ramparts of Verdun sur le Doubs.”


-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.