Showing posts with label Barges. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Barges. Show all posts

Friday, July 12, 2013

Enjoy Bastille Day this Weekend

This morning we received our weekly newsletter from Carcassonne France and it had a bit about their celebrations for the Fête Nationale on quatorze juillet (14 July, Bastille Day).

For those of you who will not be in attendance this year, here is a video from 14 July 2012. It is very good footage but nothing like being there in person with the beautiful colors, the sounds of the rockets taking off, the percussion of the soundwaves striking your body, the oohs and ahs of the crowd... Good stuff. The French can really put on a show :)

This video is from the producers of firework spectacles, Ruggieri.

Looks like a pretty interesting program...

Feu d'artifice et embrasement de la Cité Médiévale
Dimanche 14 Juillet à 22h30 - aux alentours des berges de l'Aude

«Féériques émotions, la Cité dans tous ses états» est le nouveau spectacle de plus de 25mn que la ville de Carcassonne vous propose. Chaque acte du feu sera la métaphore d'une émotion. La mise en scène sera une sorte de pièce de théâtre en plein air ou chaque artifice jouera un rôle précis à travers sa sonorité, ses formes, ses couleurs, son cadencement, son ampleur et sa puissance.

«Féériques émotions, la Cité dans tous ses états » est une épopée colorée et cadencée autour de nos émotions de base.

7 grandes parties : 1 prologue aux couleurs de la république et 6 actes sur le thème des émotions.

Prologue : date du 14 juillet et tradition oblige les artificiers réaliseront un grand tableau républicain bleu blanc et rouge avant d'entamer la scénographie sur le thème des émotions. Ensuite, le spectacle s'orchestrera en tableaux structurés autour de 6 grands actes progressifs :
1. La peur, l'angoisse (fear, anxiety)
2. L'amour, le désir (love, desire)
3. La colère, la fureur (anger, fury)
4. La tristesse, la mélancolie (sadness, melancholy)
5. Le rire, la joie (laughter, joy)
6. La surprise, l'émerveillement (surprise, wonder)

We will be on our boat in Saint Croix (at least it has a French name!) and we will be raising a glass or two of pastis over the weekend while listening to Radio Nostalgie on our TuneIn Radio android app.

Hey, there's always next year... Contact Paradise Connections to book your barging vacation! Visit their website.

Bonne fête

Friday, January 25, 2013

Burns' Night... TONIGHT!

Wow, it's too late to prepare a haggis (thank goodness) as I just realized that it is Burns' Night!

Robert Burns was born in Alloway, Scotland, on January 25, 1759. He wrote many poems, lyrics and other pieces that addressed political and civil issues. Perhaps his best known work is "Auld Lang Syne", sung at New Year's Eve celebrations around the world. Burns is one of Scotland's important cultural icons and is well known among Scottish expats or descendants around the world. He is also known as: "Rabbie Burns"; the "Bard of Ayrshire"; "Scotland's favourite son"; and in Scotland "The Bard".

Download your FREE Burns' Night App (both iOS and Android) here:

Burns' suppers are held by people and organizations with Scottish origins worldwide, particularly in Australia, Canada, England, and the United States. These may be formal or informal events with men in kilts and women wearing shawls, skirts or dresses made from their family tartan. Formal events include toasts and readings of pieces written by Robert Burns. 

The evening centers on the entrance of the haggis (a sausage of sheep or calf offal mixed with suet and oatmeal prepared in the animal's stomach) on a large platter to the sound of a piper playing bagpipes. When the haggis is on the table, the host reads the "Address to a Haggis", an ode that  Burns wrote to the Scottish dish. At the end of the reading, the haggis is ceremonially sliced into two pieces and the meal begins.

Food associated with Burns' Night include: cock-a-leekie soup (chicken and leek soup); haggis; neeps (mashed turnips or swedes) and tatties (mashed potatoes); cranachan (whipped cream mixed with raspberries and served with sweet oat wafers); and bannocks (a kind of bread cooked on a griddle). Whisky is the traditional drink, of course.

You can learn more at

Chartering the Barge Scottish Highlander would be an excellent venue for Burns' Night! Find out more at

Here's an interesting twist... a fun fusion of Burns' Night and Chinese New Year (from

Photo credit: Deb Martin
"Perhaps the best of the fusion Chinese New Year events is the annual Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner, which takes place Sunday, January 27 at Floata Seafood Restaurant in Chinatown. Vancouverite Todd Wong created the annual dinner in 1998 and the first party consisted of 16 people in a living room. As of 2012, the event included about 400 celebrants. As for the name, Gung Haggis Fat Choy is a play on words: haggis is a traditional Scottish food, while “Gung Hay Fat Choy” is a traditional Cantonese greeting for Chinese New Year."

So It Goes...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St Patrick's Day

This is probably the most popular subject of the day and what a nice day it is...
Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!

Looking for some tunes to get you going?  Check out these mp3 downloads from Amazon: Van Morrison, Thin Lizzy, U2, The Pogues, Sinead O'Connor, The Cranberries, The Corrs, The Chieftains, The Irish Rovers, Irish Folk Players, The Cieli Band  

In honor of St Patrick's Day, this month we are featuring the Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess and thought we'd tell our All About Boats readers about her.

Take advantage of our special gift for a barge charter on the all-inclusive crewed hotel barge SHANNON PRINCESS which cruises along the River Shannon in Ireland. It expires today but maybe you'll get lucky if you ask nicely :)

Besides their standard itinerary, which can be adapted for your charter group's interests, they also have ones for golfing, guided walking tours, family cruises, and they now have a new itinerary for Guided Bike / Cycling Tours which sounds very interesting... and at no extra charge! Read our various posts on the Shannon Princess.

Here's a bit of culture for you :)
  • Wondering what that phrase above means?
Beannachtaí na Féile Páraic oraibh! : St. Patrick's Day blessing upon you
Click HERE to listen (ban-ock-tee na fay-lah paw-rig ur-iv)
  • Here's another useful saying when you visit Ireland:
Pionta Guinness, le do thoil. A pint of Guiness, please.
Click HERE to listen (pyunta Guinness leh duh hull)

(Thanks to for these sound bytes!)

If you would like to visit the Emerald Isle this season, let us know! Visit

Sláinte agus táinte!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Rain Rain GO AWAY!

Guess what... Yes! More RAIN...

The islands are nice and green now.  WAPA on St Thomas has some kind of water generating problem, but I hope they have been able to catch all this rain we've been having.

My friend Kerry, owner-operator of the charter yacht PROMENADE, took a few photos for her blog.

 Wednesday in Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas

Thursday in Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas

Probably looked pretty much the same today, too :)

Since we are talking about depressing weather, did you see this on Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog ???
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued its 2010 Atlantic hurricane season forecast today. NOAA forecasts a very active and possibly hyperactive season. They give an 85% chance of an above-normal season, a 10% chance of a near-normal season, and just a 5% chance of a below-normal season. NOAA predicts a 70% chance that there will be 14 - 23 named storms, 8 - 14 hurricanes, and 3 - 7 major hurricanes, with an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) in the 155% - 270% of normal range. If we take the midpoint of these numbers, NOAA is calling for 18.5 named storms, 11 hurricanes, 5 major hurricanes, and an ACE index 210% of normal. A season with an ACE index over 175% is considered "hyperactive." An average season has 10 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes.
This is an interesting tidbit from NOAA...

We received an email from a client in Reno Nevada this morning. He said that he awoke this morning to 2 inches of snow and 31 degrees. I'm surprised as it's almost June! His local news media said that this May has been the coldest on record in 125 years...

This afternoon I had a phone call from the Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess. I was complaining about all the rain we've been having in tropical paradise, and he said that they had a glorious and sunny day on the Emerald Isle of Ireland.

So It Goes...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

French mobile phones for travellers in France

As we plan to be sailing to France next year, I am quite interested in the subject of cell / mobile phones.

Louisa from the Hotel Barge ENCHANTE who cruises the canal du midi & the Provence/Camargue regions in the South of France enlightened us...
I've found most of our guests use their US phones and pay the fee. But it's quite easy to pick up a "pay as you go" phone (any big supermarket have them on offer plus there are lots of specialised phone shops)  for about 35 euro which would include some credit. There's usually a deal going on one provider or another.
This is a cool feature for Enchante that I didn't know about...
We've actually got a mobile phone for each of our cabins on Enchanté for their personal use while on board. When our guests arrive there's about 5 euro credit and they can top up anytime. The fees from a local provider are not half as bad as a US phone to phone the States.
So, looks like it will be "pas de problème"

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Life on the Seine

I just ran across a book on someone's blog that brought back memories.

The book is "Houseboat on the Seine" by William Wharton, who you might know from the movie and book "Birdy".

We lived on a converted barge in Le Port Marly on the branch of the Seine that flows from the Bougival lock and we rowed by his boat almost daily. Rosemary, the "better half" of the couple who owned La Péniche Black Moon used to type up Wharton's manuscripts, so I wouldn't be surprised that she did her part in the early stages of this book that was published in 1996.

The boat was quite a shambles in the early 80's and one striking feature was a large aviary aboard. We were not surprised to learn that it was Birdy's boat.

So, this book, Houseboat on the Seine, will be going on our wish list. According to the reviews it is more about Wharton's 20-plus years' struggle of fixing up the boat rather than about his life.  The review from Publisher's Weekly did mention "generous dollops of humor and local color" which we will probably find interesting and can relate to, along with the toils of boatbuilding in France :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wintry weather "back home" in south of France

Our friend Liz, owner-operator of the French Hotel Barge EMMA which cruises the canal du midi in the south of France, wrote to us Monday and sent us this beautiful and unusual photo.

French Hotel Barge EMMA, canal du midi, South of France

Hello everyone. Here is a photo of Emma which I never thought would be possible, especially in March. We have had a downfall of snow which is really beautiful but totally unexpected. On Friday we were in T-shirts finishing the little painting details and enjoying a glass of wine at the end of the day. Today it will be hot soup and hot toddies, dressed in woolies. Hope winter is being kind to you and that spring is just around the corner. Amitiés Liz
We remember the winter that we spent on the canal in Frontignan with Liz and Rene when they had a small motor boat. It was cold winter.  On a few particularly cold evenings, a bunch of us would get together on a boat with an electric heater to play cards and drink hot cocoa. We had ice on the chemin de halage that we used to ride our bikes on to go shopping, but never SNOW!

I hope the pink flamingoes toes didn't turn blue... maybe they have socks.

Even though we were complaining about the low temperature of 67°F in St Croix the other night, the chilly photo of Barge Emma really made us homesick for the French canals.

If you would like to know more about our friend's barge and barging vacations, check out Emma's online brochure HERE.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Cat Blogging Friday: Wacka

Thank you Derek, for scanning and sending us photos from the Black Moon era. We really, really appreciate it... they're priceless!

This is Wacka. We found her through an ad at the American Church in Paris (France). She came from the Paris suburb of Sceaux.

These photos are when Bob & I lived on the River Seine aboard the barge Black Moon in Le Port Marly, downstream and to the west of Paris.  We used to see the actor Jean Reno when we went shopping at the Monoprix in Saint-Germain-En-Laye where we'd catch the train into Paris :)

Here's me and Wacka at the kitchen window watching the ducks.

This is Wacka sitting on the ledge of our bedroom window.

Fond memories... Has it been 25 years?