My Travel Blog

The Spectacular Chateau-le-Digoine & Chateau de la Roche

From Paray-le-Monial we drove to Chateau-le-Digoine.  When we arrived, the place was covered with young people, old people, kids and dogs.  There were hundreds of them walking along the canal, and up the road to the chateau.  After their walk they gathered in one of the chateaux out buildings where a dinning room had been set up. The only thing we could find out about them was that they were part of an organization that did a lot of walks.  I assumed they also liked to eat beef after their walks as they brought their own cows.

“I never would have come had I known what was on the menu.”

The chateau has been under renovation for a couple of years, and when they are done it will be even more spectacular than it is now.  The brilliant green lawn, manicured garden and placid pond give this 18th century masterpiece its own special feel.  We didn’t go inside, but we read that much of the chateau’s furniture now resides in the Louvre. A quick peak through an open window confirmed that there were still plenty of beautiful artifacts inside.

“A view of the garden and Chateau-le-Digoine.”

“The chateau, lawn, and lake.”

“A happy wife picking black berries.”

Our next side trip took us to Roanne.  This is not the city where in 1431 they burned Joan of Arc at the stake, that’s Rouen.  From a barging standpoint Roanne is a great place to leave your barge for the winter.  The harbor is secure and there are a number of live-a- boards there that can look after your boat.  It is a definite possibility for next year.  Our new friends Marc and Mary suggested, while in Roanne, that we have lunch at Le Central right across the street from the train station.  It is connected to, and uses the same kitchen, as the three-star Michelin rated Troisgros.  When we return we will have to splurge and have dinner at Troisgros.  It has maintained its three star rating continuously since 1968, which makes it the oldest three star restaurant in the world.  Our lunch at Le Central was phenomenal.  Lisa couldn’t stop talking about the veal as well as the crepe suzettes.

“I found a friend in Roanne.”

“Wherever we go in this part of France, we see plenty of hamburgers on the hoof.”

After our incredible lunch I wanted to go back to Rabelo and sleep the rest of the day away.  Lisa wanted to see more, so we drove to Chateau de la Roche.  The chateau was originally built on a rock outcrop looking over the Loire River, but in 1982 they built a dam.  The next thing you know their river view was a lake view.  Not only was it a lake view, but the chateau was surrounded by the lake.

“Chateau de la Roche surrounded by water.”

“Chateau de la Roche prior to 1982.”

“Lisa at the front door to Chateau de la Roche.”


-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.