Living large on a living barge–15: A six month per year barge tour of Europe, in installments

By Tom Miller

Tom and family are touring Europe by barge. This is the fourteenth in his series of reports on what is to be six months per year of cruising the waterways there.

Editors Note: Last week Tom met fellow travelers from Down Under and visited and jousting match in Sedan.

“Wild Lavender wherever we look.”).

“Wild Lavender wherever we look.”).

I found Nirvana, healing and it wasn’t where you might expect.  Cruising the canals of France has been spectacular.  They are a magnet for the natural flora and fauna.  You would think that traveling down sybaritic waterways lined with wild mustard and lavender, physician full of trout and perch with the constant cacophony of birds in the background would be as close to heaven as one could find.

Another beautiful spot to moor

Another beautiful spot to moor

Or a horizon covered in green corn fields, golden wheat or acres of sunflowers with their plate sized blossoms tracking the westbound sun would be a dream come true?  Then there is the occasional cow pasture with curious white cows inspecting our big baby as we pass.  For most this would qualify as being as good as it gets.  But in this beautiful country there is even more, with its crystal clear cerulean sky speckled with cotton ball clouds reflected in the mirrored waters of our liquid highway along side the reflection of magnificent trees that we continually float past.

Our beautiful liquid highway

Our beautiful liquid highway

How could paradise be any better? Well I now know. I have finally found the secret to a long and happy life, and yet it was so simple.  My paradise lies hidden within the confines of a fresh baguette.  Yes, a sandwich that is like no other, and of course the French had to invent it.

This sandwich is so incredible, so spectacular that words do not do it justice.  Only pictures come close to describing the real thing.  To create this luxury of all luxuries you have to start with a fresh baguette.  You know the kind? You slice it open and there’s just a hint of yeast in the air, freshness you can’t find anywhere but in the finest of baked goods.  Then you take copious amounts of mayo and heap it on.  I’m not talking about a few measly tablespoons I mean a real mound of mayonnaise, enough to make any self-respecting cardiologist go into cardiac arrest.  Possibly what makes this sandwich so special is it’s simplicity. Now it is time for the big finale, or as the French say, the piece-de-resistance.  You take palm frites, yes French fries and start scooping them on to this cardiac special.  I’m not talking about a few fries.  I’m talking about enough fries to feed an army, and they’re not just any fries.  They have to have grease, and lots of it.  They’re the kind of fries where you can really see the shinny, gooey, gelatinous, vessel clogging fat.  None of those sissy fries where you don’t know what you’re eating.  These are real man fries.  Finally you have to add salt, and like everything else that makes up this ultimate of all sandwiches you have to add a lot.  Now if that’s not the definitive vegetarian all out healthy meal then I don’t know what is.  All I can say is eat your heart out because I sure did.

Welcome to Nirvana.

Welcome to Nirvana.

 

Come back next week for more living large on a living barge.

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When Stones Speak by Tom Miller

When Stones Speak by Tom Miller

Tom Miller is an adventure writer from Thousand Oaks. His latest novel When Stones Speak Dr. Hannigan sets out to find the historical Jesus of Nazareth, but he soon discovers there are people in high places who will stop at nothing including murder to insure he fails. Mr. Miller has been a contractor and developer, prolific diver, pilot, sailor, and barge captain. When he’s not chasing adrenalin overseas, he hikes with the local “Heartbreak Hiking Fools.” LIVING BARGE is his memory of his recent six month journey through the canals of Europe with his wife Lisa.

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Previous installments: 

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-14-a-six-month-per-year-barge-tour-of-europe-in-installments/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-13-a-six-month-per-year-barge-tour-of-europe-in-installments/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-12-a-six-month-per-year-barge-tour-of-europe-in-installments/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-11-2/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-10/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-9/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-8/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-barge-7-2/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-6/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-5/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-4/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-3/

 https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-2/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge/

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