We had planned to cruise into Paris last July, but with one thing and another it took us a full year to make our way there on our barge. The thrill of looking up at la tour Eiffel and Notre Dame from the deck of our own boat made it worth the wait. What a fantastic way to enter such a beautiful city. We have arrived many times by plane, train or car, but this was our first approach on the Seine in our own barge.
We spent so much time café sitting that, like many café sitters before us, we could have written a book. It was fun, but we were still very happy when we called the Arsenal and found that they finally had a mooring for us.
The Port de Plaisance de Paris Arsenal is located off the River Seine on the Canal St. Martin. After four days of rocking and rolling on the river, it was a treat to enter calm waters. Now the view from our back deck was the Bastille, and because Toby was not afraid to stay on the boat, we were free to take the Metro again. (Dogs are not allowed on the Metro.) We bought a book of tickets and went about Paris enjoying our new freedom to go out and come back home as we pleased.
Summer in Paris was a nice surprise. We have always come to Paris in the off season to avoid the crowds, but there were not as many tourists as we would have thought, and the weather was great, if you ignore the 4 days of rain.
There were parades, festivals and a Sunday Skate for rollerbladers.
La Fête de la Musique on June 21st was Fantastic! Music filled the evening air throughout Paris. From what we saw as we wandered from neighborhood to neighborhood, the music seemed to be appropriate to each arrondissement. On the Île Saint-Louis there was a saxophone group and two choirs, and at the Place des Vosge there was a great jazz ensemble and at the Bastille a young Bob Dylan clone. Music was everywhere. It was a warm evening, and throughout the city the streets were full of people out enjoying the music. On our way home we walked through the streets near the Bastille where young people were dancing to bands that played on into the early hours of the morning. It was a magical night.