Not everyone has the means or the
interest to rent and pilot a barge for a week in France. Franophile, Erasmus Kloman, a
retired organization executive, did and the result is this delightful little book written
especially for dire Francophiles.
While some of the information Kloman presents is about barging in
general, his book concentrates on this bucolic pastime in the canals of Burgundy. Both he
and his wife, Suzanne had taken two previous barge trips on luxurious hotel barges,
offering all the amenities. But this time, they decided to venture off on their own.
After an introductory chapter discussing planning for his trip,
Kloman offers his readers a brief course in Burgundian history, a must for anyone
considering traveling through this region of France. As a region originally more powerful
than France, itself, Burgundy has become synonymous with all things French, from fine,
deep red wines to escargot.
Kloman continues by relating the day-to-day details of his barge
trip. Accompanied by his wife and her daughter and her family, the barges crew
consisted of two men and five women. His description gets a bit tedious at times but does
five his readers a sense of both barging and French culture and cuisine. He even livens up
his narrative with recipes that his wife garnered from local chefs along the way.
Heres a lyrical guide to not only bare barging but bare
barging in France. Kloman discusses everything a novice barger needs, including how to
rent and navigate a barge, tips on dealing with canal keepers, and suggestions of
restaurants to try along the way.
Kloman offers readers practical tips, as wellhow to plan a
barge trip, plot the route, and prepare food from local ingredients. He even provides
cost-saving tips for everything from barge rental to food.
This account of Klomans trip from St. Florentine to
Chitry-les-Mines, lets readers experience each town along the way as the Kloman clan did,
complete with local recipes and, of course, the wines.