Living large on a living barge–23: 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 23d in his series of reports on what is to be six months per year of cruising the waterways there.

Editors Note: Last week Tom made it into Strasbourg

look times; font-size: 16px;”>While in Strasbourg we decided to take a short 40-minute train ride to Colmar. The town is famous for being so picturesque, but it is also very touristy. We especially enjoyed the Unterlinden museum.  The collection was not large, but well displayed and very diverse.  Make sure you go upstairs as we almost missed the best part of the museum. The Unterlinden is home to Grunewald’s stunning Isenheim Alter.  In the Dominican Church next door was Schongauer’s masterpiece Virgin in the Rosebush. For a small town to have two masterpieces was impressive. Unfortunately they don’t allow pictures.

Colmar is situated on a number of narrow canals lined with old timber homes.  As an easy side trip from Strasbourg it was well worthwhile, but probably not a destination on its own.

Timber homes and canals in Colmar.

Timber homes and canals in Colmar.

The following day at the recommendation of our friends Jan and Diana Meiser, we drove to the village of Mittelbergheim and visited the Albert Seltz winery. What a treat.  The Seltz family has owned the winery since 1576.  Albert Seltz greeted us at the front door with bubbling enthusiasm and his infectious smile. He is the 14th-generation Seltz to operate the winery.  We arrived just after noon so he suggested we go to lunch at a local restaurant, and then come back for a tasting.

Here I am with Albert Seltz in his wine cellar

Here I am with Albert Seltz in his wine cellar

The restaurant was only a block from the winery. We sat in a lovely courtyard and had a wonderful meal.  The only thing missing was a bottle of wine.  If I didn’t have to drive back to Rabelo I’m sure we would have had wine with our lunch.  To bad we didn’t take the train.  After an incredible meal we spent over an hour with Albert.  He was a wealth of knowledge and answered all our questions.  He was happy to enlighten us on which wines paired best with what foods. Lisa took copious notes. His wines were all delicious and reasonably priced.  It was a beautiful day and we left with 20 bottles of delectable Alsatian wine

Jan and Diana also recommended that we go to a cheese store in Strasbourg.  We programmed our GPS with the address they gave us only to end up in a large industrial park.  We must have done something wrong, except when the GPS said we had arrived we were in front of the Fromagerie Tourrette. We walked into what turned out to be a cheese factory.  We asked if we could buy some cheese and they said no problem.  We now have a six-month supply.


Everywhere we turned there was cheese, and oh the smell

Come back next week for more Living Large on a Living Barge


 When Stones Speak by Tom Miller

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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