Roanne, France
"Oldtimer," originally a working barge in The Netherlands transporting grain, was built in 1927 and converted to a live aboard barge in the 1990's. The barge is 16 meters and the style of barge is called a Steilsteven. We are the second owners and have owned the ship since October 2005. We are Americans from Colorado who with our Tibetan Terrier "Tulah" now live in France and "Oldtimer" is our home.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

If only we could yodel!

To see our photos set to music - I know a bit much but so much fun to create. Click on the link below and you will have a trip to the Dolomites.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Italy and Switzerland

We took a leave of absence from Oldtimer this past week and drove (in our car) to Italy and Switzerland. What a treat.

We spent our first night in Annecy France which is a most beautiful place. We were lucky enough to have gone there in June to visit our friends from Vail, Jane and Joel Gros. We were anxious to return again- the swimming is great. Our second night was on Lago di Garda in Italy. Another beautiful lake and also great swimming. Our destination the next day was to stay in the Dolomites for 3 days and hike.

The Dolomites are extraordinary. The hiking and views are fabulous - it often seems like a Hollywood movie back drop. The people in the Dolomites , although Italian, mostly speak German. This portion of Italy was once in Germany. It is bounded on the North by Austria and on the west by Switzerland and Liechtenstein. We arrived in the Dolomites to a small valley called the Val di Funes. It is a little off the beaten path and as a result as Americans we were definitely odd man out. The majority - perhaps even all - the guests at the hotel where we stayed were German. It was one of the first times we did Half Board with a Hotel and this turned into a nice experience as we did not have to think about breakfast or dinner just hiking. Lunch each day was available in one of the many Refugios in the mountains. As you will see in the photos lunch one day came with music by the "Blues Brothers." We would really recommend if you have the chance to go to the Dolomites - do so!

We went onto Switzerland after 3 days. We have apologized to our children for spending their entire inheritance in Switzerland. A wonderful country and so beautiful but also so expensive. We drove over at least 6 passes to get there as we were determined to SEE the mountains. We stayed for 2 nights in a small town outside of Interlaken - Winderswill. Our intention was to ride the train and cog railway to Klein Scheidegg just below the Junfrau and hike from there. Unfortunately it was raining so it provided another eating opportunity and a small amount of hiking. While we were there the Switzerland national wrestling championship was taking place in Interlaken. The participants are local farmers and the event is over a weekend. The grand prize for this event is a huge Bull. As outsiders we found this a hoot to watch but realized this is a national sport and great fun for the Swiss.
We are now back in St Leger sur Dheune. A great experience and lovely biking. Yesterday we rode through the vineyards, on a Voie Romaine, visited several tiny villages, saw chateaux, spent the evening with some French friends ( all speaking French - exhausting) and today it is back to painting and cleaning and doing laundry. Lest you think this is all fun and games.
We are planning on leaving for the USA September 28th. We have several buyers "humming " around the boat but no commitments yet. We shall see.
We are back home on Oldtimer and prepping for our return to the USA. We are planning on leaving the 28th of September.

Monday, July 11, 2011

"The time has come," the Walrus said to talk of many things:
of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings,why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings."

We have decided that it is time for us to move on to another adventure. We have put our lovely ship "Oldtimer" up for sale. When we started this adventure it was for a year or two and now find we have been living this lovely life in France for 6 years. Time has flown. Please if you are interested or even just curious or know someone who is interested or just curious go to our link :

As you will see the barge is quite wonderful and very liveable. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like to make a rendevous to see "Oldtimer."

Eric and Sudi Berg bergbarge@gmail.com

France is a country in which religion has deep roots. The country was founded and built around monasteries, churches, chapels, basilicas and many monuments with religious orientation. Each village has a church - some in excellent condition cared for by the towns people and some which are barely standing and are severly neglected. Although the primary religion is Catholic the Catholic Church in Rome no longer supports most of the churches. The number of priests has diminished so much that Mass is said usually in only one of the churches of the region. Often a priest may travel during a month from church to church. Each church and chapel is unique and quite lovely.

We met our friends Mary and Jim in Anzy le Duc for lunch . This really tiny village has a very lovely church and monastery as well as a wonderful place for lunch. We rode our bikes from Artaix and met Mary and Jim who drove from Paray la Monial. A delicious lunch.

The Church at Semur en Brionais.

The old door of a Church at Semur en Brionais.

On the way home from our bike ride to Anzy le Duc we discovered this small chapel set in the woods. It was called the Chapel of Notre Dame. It is obviously well cared for by someone and they have trustingly left it open for all visitors to enter. Another very wonderful French tradition.

The Chapel of Notre Dame.

We have seen so many beautiful churches. Often it is the smallest structure which is the most beautiful and elegant. Many of the churches date back to 900AD. They have sometimes been added on to and repaired numerous times but are still standing. When we are riding through the countryside it is often the Church spire which lets us know we are nearing the next village.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Arriving back in Roanne

Incredible sunsets in France. Worth the trip . This is in the Port of Roanne directly across from our mooring.

Spring is the time for the arrival of many new and adorable ducks in the Port.

Ater coming back from the States it is good to be in our own home. There is cleaning, planting, touching up, new carpet, oil changes and many opportunities to put all our skills to work. All is ready on June 12th as we finally leave Port for destinations unknown.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


A Day in Denver. Who would have thought that this might be Mother's Day. That was our 40 something year old son hanging from the "Bull" sculpture outside the Denver Art Museum and our delightful and delicious grandaughter Emily encouraging Thom. Emily was just about to graduate from High School in a couple of weeks. A seriously fun fun day. Oh then there was the motel we were staying in........Just never mind.

The day before we managed a wonderful hike to the "cabins" on the ranch in Minturn. These are cabins that were built in the 1800s and are about at 9000 ft altitude. The dogs - all 4 of them - agreed to be photographed.

The Roaring Fork river in Aspen. Fabulous fishing and quite beautiful.

The view from the deck of our rental house in Aspen. To also be the same place we will live next year. Look carefully this is so beautiful. We can see all 4 ski areas from there. What more could you wish for.

There were herds and herds of Elk everywhere this spring. What a treat. Incredible animals.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

February in Aspen - so wonderful.

We are still thrilled and excited to be in the mountains of Colorado. That is despite bone chilling -25 degrees last week and several weeks ago. It went from the -25 one week to +45 the next. Only in Colorado could that happen. Today we have snow , snow, snow. It started this morning and we already have about 6 inches of new "freshies" ( the local word for powder).
We have had visits this month from Heather and Kent a couple we met in France who live in Washington DC area and are spending the winter in Beaver Creek near Vail , Colorado as well as Tracy and Thom and their two dogs Bear and Petey. Unfortunately Tracy fell while we were skiing a double black diamond on Highlands Ski Area and tore her ACL. She was a trooper and used her good leg to traverse and side slip down to the road - as luck would have it a Ski Patroller arrived just as we got to the road. She then road down the mountain in a sled.
Life is Good - we are skiing about 4-5 days a week , hiking, swimming, running and doing all those annoying other real life things like cleaning bathrooms, doing laundry, shopping for food, getting haircuts, grooming our needy dog who is distressed by all the avalanche control (bombing) that goes on on a snowy day.