Paris Day 6

Paris Day 6

Thursday 21st September
It’s a rainy day today and umbrellas were necessary during the morning. Being our last full day in Paris we went our separate ways to explore before meeting up again in the early afternoon for another adventure. I crossed the river and visited my favorite spot, Rue Saint Louis on the island. I relaxed with a coffee at Noir, a trendy spot and very unlike the usual French cafe. Definitely no outdoor seating here, but a steep, spiral staircase leading to a great lounge in the basement.
Noir coffee.
Bought myself a handbag – it’s the French thing to do. Although it is Italian, which is the case with a lot of fashion items in France. In fact one of the French boutique owners informed me that she only stocks Italian brands because they are the best! I visited a boulangerie and bought a spinach and goats cheese tart for my lunch.

Rue Saint Louis

In the afternoon we trained it to the north eastern side of Paris to board our canal cruise long boat. The cruise followed one of the canals – St Martin Canal. It’s about 4.5 kms long before it flows into the river Seine. The canals were constructed in 1825 to supply the city with fresh water to support a growing population. Interestingly even way back then taxes were levied to fund such projects and in this instance it was a new tax on wine. How very French.  There are 9 locks on the canal. Each lock reduces the water level by 3 metres. At some point about half of the canal was covered in to create wide boulevards and public spaces on the surfaces. In the 1960s, traffic had dwindled on the canal and it narrowly escaped being filled in and paved over for a highway. To this day it remains as a recreational retreat for locals and visitors.
The canal is drained and cleaned every 10–15 years and it is always a source of fascination for Parisians to discover curiosities and even some treasures among the hundreds of tons of discarded objects. We had our own personal experience with a curiosity – a sleeping bag became entangled with our propeller and required some remediation works before we reached the mouth of the canal.

Canal lock

Swing Bridge

Along the canal

Lift Bridge

Graffiti along the canal

Skylights in the tunnel

Then we joined the Seine River.
After our cruise we enjoyed a glass of Chardonnay (very popular here) with a cheese platter before walking across to the Eiffel Tower for the evening light show.

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