Living large on a living barge–27: A six month per year barge tour of Europe, in installments

illness times; font-size: 16px;”>By Tom Miller

drugs times; font-size: 16px;”>Tom and family are touring Europe by barge. This is the 27th in his series of reports on what is to be six months per year of cruising the waterways there.

health times; font-size: 16px;”>Editors Note: Last week Tom celebrated Memorial Day in Champ Luseau.

We spent just one night in Nancy and then headed for Toul, a town we did not want to miss. With the temperatures dropping most of the cruising boats were back home in their slips.  Despite a small Port de Plaisance we had no problem finding a place to tie up.

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.

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 Burley 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 carry it back on our bikes.

The vineyards that surround Bruley

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.


St-Etienne all lit up

The following afternoon we had h’orderves 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 had 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, and the Dutch have also complained about the size of their boats.   They were a wealth of information, and I’m sure we will see them again.

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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