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Published: March 20th 2018
What do you call a company that sells you tickets, takes your money, in the full knowledge that they can’t provide their service ? Batobus Boats!
We started the day with coffee and croissants at a little cafe near the Notre-Dame and went looking for our ‘hop on hop off’ boat service. After yesterday, Sue wasn’t too keen to walk to the Eiffel Tower and back, so I booked tickets for a boat service that allows you to get on and off at 8 different spots; it was ideal. Unfortunately, due to the recent flooding in Paris, this service was suspended, but luckily for them their ability to take your money wasn’t.
Unperturbed, the metro bus service became our next option and after a 20 minute walk to the stop, and an interesting discussion with a driver who entertained us with a near perfect imitation of Manuel of Fawlty Towers, we were back on track.
The Eiffel Tower would never be on my list of things to do but Sue was very enthusiastic, well, insistent might be a better word, so in the interests of fairness, and the thought of my solo trip back to Spain at the
The Eiffel Tower
It must be odd having this as the structure in your local parliament. Oh, and never enjoying any peace because of it.
end of the year, I moved it to the top of my list. The Eiffel Tower is an amazing architectural feat, and without bothering to delve too deeply into its purpose, I am confident that it is some sort of communications Tower run by French Telecom.
Is it just me, or does anyone else out there think that by placing their name on a booking or showing an interest in a place, they activate a renovation or maintenance schedule for the same place? The Eiffel Tower was surrounded by a corrugated iron fence, intended to conceal intensive earthworks, comprising of diggers, trucks entering and leaving , and barriers diverting the public from all the best advantage points. But it was still worth a look and it shouldn’t take 3 visits to Paris in order to finally tick it off. The queues are very long but we just wanted to see it, so no problems there. Scaffolding seems to feature on many tourist destinations these days, so much so that it is clad in a printed image of the structure it hides.
As we were leaving to catch the bus home I noticed a Batobus Ticket office at the
From The River Side.
It’s a bit like Uluru. It’s difficult to move far enough away to fit it all in a picture.
edge of the Seine River. The guy assured us the boats were running to a varied schedule and we could complete our trip. A pleasant ride to the Musée d’Orsay, an art museum housed in a repurposed 1900 railway station, allowed us to visit an amazing collection of impressionist, post impressionist and realist art, all housed at this museum. After our foray into the art world we wandered back to the boat mooring, only to be told the full service was not working. Suddenly there was a need for a bus again but we are now savvy to the system and crossed the river to get into our district.
After a late lunch of savoury and sweet crepes with coffee, we walked up the Boulevard, called in for another coffee on the way, and slipped into the warm comfort of our room.
Tomorrow Paris is over for us. It’s been a busy, fulfilling 3 days and it feels much longer. The smells of food cooking, exhaust fumes and some version of tobacco are never far away. You could even find this hotel blindfolded by following the warm laundry detergent scented air blowing out of a basement vent as
From the Batobus Boat Pick up Point
Notice a boat? It led us on a different adventure and through a quiet part of Paris we would never have visited.
you approach the doorway.
The mosquito squadron buzzing of hundreds of motor scooters is a constant companion, occasionally broken up by the threatening tones of much bigger bikes. Cars compete with trucks but both part ways at the sirens and dual blue lights signalling emergeCNY vehicles need space. The traffic is chaotic, travels at high speed close together, and still seems harmonious. The police travel, and book cars, in groups of 3 and always appear from nowhere when traffic needs sorting.
In spite of the busy disorganised nature of Paris, it’s apparent that a conscious effort is made to preserve and maintain any gardens and playgrounds. In a city of predominantly appartment dwellers I imagine these little green spots serve as havens to escape from the concrete and noise. Luxembourg Gardens, a short walk from here, is well patronised by families, joggers ( does anyone in Paris not jog), and tourists mesmerised by the symmetry and condition of this park. We are back on the 24th of April, in transit, but there’s not many places better to spend your last night of a European holiday.
We’re travelling by train to Luxembourg tomorrow to meet Tim and Natalia,
Never look back, nothing changes.
Having been approached on occasions for directions, this very Parisian man was glad he had a map. And the accent wasn’t fooling anyone.
and commence the next phase of our trip.
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