My Travel Blog

The Glass Masters of La Rochere & “Peaches Revenge”!

We had come to the end of the navigable portion of the Petit Saone, and entered the Canal du Vosges. Our adventure continued, as this was a new canal for Rablo. The village of Corre was our first stop. There was not much in Corre, but there were plenty of things to see in the area.

La Rochere is the oldest Art Glassworks in France. Founded in 1475 by Simon de Thysac his factory has perpetuated the traditions and knowledge of the master glassworker for over five centuries.

The extensive workshop at La Rochere.

Working on a glass vase.

An apprentice being watched over.

The local Tourism Office had given us a brochure for La Rochere. I put the address into Peaches, our cars GPS, and off we went. It was just a short 4.5-mile drive from where we were moored. Unfortunately when Peaches told us, in that sweet syrupy voice of hers, that we had arrived, there were no factories in sight. We ended up driving around the village thinking that Peaches had made a minor mistake. But no, Peaches was lost. What we found was a village infatuated with bicycles. There were bicycles everywhere invariably painted red, white, or blue like the French flag.Though there were a few painted yellow. We finally found a sign that explained everything. The Tour de France had come through the village just a month earlier, and that’s a big deal in rural France. For those not familiar with the tour the lead rider gets to wear a yellow jersey so that everyone can identify him, thus the yellow bikes.

A village gone crazy for bikes.

There were bikes everywhere.

Now that’s a big bike.

The Tour is something I’ve always wanted to see, but it has never worked out. Every year I check the route the tour will follow, and it has never been close to where we were cruising, or if it was within driving distance we were traveling outside of France.  This year, we were on our Baltic cruise.

While driving around the village, or what we referred to as “Peaches revenge“, we finally found a sign directing us to La Rochere. The factory does both artistic glasswork and commercial as in every day glasses and plates. We ended up buying a beautiful vase that now sits on the wine refrigerator in our main salon.

Our next stop was the site of some Gallo Roman ruins. This time Peaches took us to the right town, but there weren’t any Roman ruins when she once again announced we had arrived. Just ahead of us were a number of cars parked at the beginning of a dirt road. I figured that must be it. We parked the car and started walking up the road. After about a half mile there was no one around, and we were in the middle of a cornfield. We turned around and headed back to the car. I was ready to rip Peaches little electronic heart out having given up all hope of laying eyes on any Roman ruins. When we got back to the car I noticed a small farm just a hundred yards further down the road. There were a few cars parked in front of the driveway, so I figured I could ask someone where the ruins were. As it turned out what I thought was a farm were the ruins we had been looking for. The Roman ruins were inside a building that looked like a barn, and thus Peaches survived to guide us another day.

The Roman ruins were inside a barn like structure. Almost 2,000 years ago this was a Roman bath house.

This beautiful Roman mosaic was the star of the exhibition

There was also a display of old equipment that was used for making cheese.

This is a view from Rabelo’s steering station, At times I couldn’t believe how narrow the Canal du Vosges was.


– 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.