Today, the Canal du Midi, like other canals in France and throughout Europe, is populated by charter companies, private barge boats, liveaboard boats, small inns and hotels, restaurants, shops, and sundry related service businesses. Towpaths situated alongside the canal are frequented by walkers and cyclists whose panniers are stocked with camping equipment. Wine chateaux along the way advertise, via modest signs, free tastings and sales of the latest cultivation. And if all of this seems a little too much, forget everything and just sit back aboard your boat, raise your eyes, and take in the canopy of leaves from plane trees that are planted in a graceful border embracing the waterway. Nothing is more soothing.