I got an early start this morning to catch a 2-1/2 hour cruise from the Quai d’Orsay, along the Seine, then, through a series of locks, up the Canal Saint-Martin to the Basin de la Villette. The cruise doesn’t offer a thrill-a-minute but I found it a relaxing and enjoyable trip, especially on this brilliantly sunny (though chilly) day. Here’s a shot that will give you an idea:
The trip also goes through a 1.2 mile tunnel that passes directly beneath the monument in the center of the Place de la Bastille. The trip ends at La Villette in the 19ème, a massive complex that includes a park, exhibition halls, a music museum and a gigantic science museum called the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie. I spent a couple of hours at the science museum. It’s very well done although it was jammed with kids because this week is school holidays.
I’ve posted a set of photos from the day that are more a travelogue than truly exceptional images: Canal Saint-Martin and La Villette Photo Set
This was the first evening when it was nice enough to have dinner out on my terrace. Consistent with the principle of happy repetition, the meal was exactly the same as my first one here:
I’m going to miss Montorgueil terribly when I have to leave, in just a few days. Not to mention how I’m going to miss Paris in just a few (well four) weeks!
[In case anyone is really into canal locks there’s an interesting feature of Canal Saint-Martin. It was initially built with a series of ordinary single locks. When it was decided to cover the first section it was necessary to level that portion and take the locks out. This in turn required a lot more elevation to be gained by the rest of the canal. The solution was to double each of the other locks by adding a second lock of the same size. This in turn creates a unique situation. When the lower lock starts to fill the level of the upper lock is the same as the portion of the canal above the upper lock. This level, however, is about twice the height of the walls of the lower lock. It looks as though the lower lock is about to be overflowed! But since the two locks are the same size, and the upper gates on the upper lock are closed, there is in fact just enough water from the upper lock to equalize the two at the right level. I can’t think of any other situation when you would see a water level above the upper gate of a lock that exceeds the height of the walls of the lock.]