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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Boat Ride on the Seine

A boat ride on the Seine is an enjoyable way to see this famous city. Wherever you want to go, however, is miles away from where we’re situated, miles of Metro rides which is a science in itself. Green lines, pink lines, brown lines, change trains at certain stops, down the stairs, up the stairs onto another train maybe. There are the navettes: hop on and hop off boats which you can use pretty much along the Seine. The one of our choice, however, does a round trip and included a guided tour. Its starting point was near the Eiffel Tower only to be reached various trains. Metros go every few minutes, but for trains you have to wait much longer.The lines for visiting the Tower were as long as ever. We have been up the Tower before on a cold February day where we promptly caught a cold. Today people were basking in a humid summer sun. Yes, it is bigger than the one in Vegas. We bought four ice creams for just under 20 EUR, the better part of $30. The boat goes past the Place de la Concorde with its famous Obelisk of Luxor, a 3300-year-old granite monolith which was given to France by Egypt in 1829. Then it passes the long buildings of the Louvre, the Musée du Quay d’Orsay, a former train station converted into a museum. It hosts old and modern art and at the moment an exhibition about Brigitte Bardot. In passing you see Notre Dame and the Ile de la Cité and Pont de l'Alma where Lady Diana died underneath in the tunnel.  It was named was named to commemorate the Battle of Alma during the Crimean War.  The Flame of Liberty at the bridge's north end has become an unofficial memorial to Diana. Lots of well adorned bridges with plenty of gold from its days of royal glory. Paris is called the city of flowers, too but this time I didn’t see too many.Cutbacks maybe?

The Parisians have a stretch along the Seine called ‘Paris Plage’.  It’s dedicated to recreation on or rather near the water for those city dwellers that do not go on the annual August vacation; it’s also a tourist attraction. You see sun umbrellas and deck chairs; sand has been hauled in and several big sand castles were built; but you cannot get access to the water, no “lido” for water sports or swimming. It was well frequented and people waved at us in the passing boat. Funny for a Floridian since the weather isn’t even that hot.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post, Siggy. It's been 16 years since I was in Paris last, but you just took me back.