My Travel Blog

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.

“Lisa having lunch on deck in Toul. Note the cathedral in the background.”

People have been living in Toul for over 2,500 years.  Stone ramparts and portions of an old moat surround the city.  In fact, the ramparts form one side of the canal for a short distance. These fortifications were continually upgraded until the First World War.  Toul is also home to the beautiful Cathedrale St-Etienne built in the 15th century.

“The ramparts and what’s left of the moat.”

Our first night we ate at Le Commerce.  My meal was excellent, and we especially enjoyed the local Auxerrois wine.  The next day we rode our bikes to the village of Bruley where we had lunch at the only restaurant in town. After a great meal that included wine we walked across the street to Domaine Regina where the owner Isabellle Mangeot met us.  She and her husband made the wine we had the night before at Le Commerce.  Their award winning 2011Auxerrois cost us 5.70 Euro a bottle. Fortunately Isabella was kind enough to deliver the case we bought to Rabelo. After a bottle of wine for lunch and then a tasting we were in no shape to take it back on our bikes.

“The only restaurant in Bruley.”

“Lisa and Isabelle tasting wine. Note the smiles.”

“The vineyards that surround Bruley.”

The next night we went to a concert at the cathedral featuring the works of Bach. I was not familiar with the music, but the venue with its incredible organ was special.  After the concert we followed the crowd out to the cloister where we were treated to a wonderful light show accompanied by plenty of Bach that I knew.

“The massive organ inside St-Etienne.”

“More of the light show.”

The following afternoon we had appetizers and wine with our new friends Steve and Peta from Australia on their beautiful barge Historie D’eau (SP?).  They invited their friends Don and Patty from California off the barge Maria to join us.  The next evening the six of us got together on Rabelo for some of Lisa’s infamous Lemoncello, and dessert. Steve and Peta have been cruising the canals of France for 21 years. Don and Patty have been out there for over 10 years.  They both have relatively large barges.  Like Rabelo the Dutch were constantly complaining about the size of their boats.   They were a wealth of information, and we look forward to seeing them again.

“A view from our kitchen window with Historie D’eau (SP?) in the background.”

-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.