Late night cruise on the Seine


Finally we made it to the bateaux mouches. We paid our fare, got a seat on the open upper deck and in a few minutes, we were off. The usual circuit is from the Pont d’Alma down the river a bit,  then turn up the river all the way past the islands, turn around and back again.Paris - Seine night lit up shore line

Now the one thing to be aware of on these boats is that they have running commentary, in four languages, that never stops. In retrospect, it would have been nice to have a silent ride, but that’s not the way it is.

Along the way, we had stunning views of the Eiffel Tower bathed in gold, the apartment buildings of the rich with views of the river and the ghostly Notre Dame rising over the trees.

Paris - Eiffel Tower city lights full moon

Imagine, they built the Eiffel Tower for the World's Fair in 1889, after which they were going to tear it down again. It was supposed to be a temporary structure. It has now become the city's icon. Another interesting fact - when Van Gogh left Paris in 1888, it was under construction. When he came back in 1890, it was completed. Wonder if he ever went up the tower. No mention of it in his letters.

But much of the fun was the people on the banks and the bridges, cheering, waving and yelling as if we were something special, not just one of a dozen boats doing this constant circuit.

Watch the video to see what Parisians do on spring evenings. What cheap entertainment, what a nice way to live.

Paris - night eagle on bridge

Night hawks on the bridge. The eagle protects us all.

It got me thinking again about the differences you see in Paris versus most North American cities. Although we make use of our parks here, it’s not en mass hanging out and picnicking. The only other place I’ve seen it is on Mont Royal in Montreal on Sundays. Maybe it’s a French thing? Are the rest of us too uptight?


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