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Published: June 24th 2017
Eiffel Tower at night
the boat we were staying on had a view of the Eiffel Tower
Geo: 48.8567, 2.35099
Landed in Paris and got our luggage. It was much warmer than we had expected and we had to
push the luggage quite a ways to get to the Roissy bus. We decided to take the Roissy bus
and then catch a taxi on to the boat. We did not arrive in Paris until 8:15 and by the time
we had gotten our luggage and walked to the Roissy bus it was late and did not want to have
to walk around trying to find where to go that late at night. The Roissy bus is a direct
bus to the Opera metro stop and allows you to catch your breath before heading out into
Got a taxi and he knew where the Bir Hakim bridge was and got us there in short order.
Looked over the railing down to the Seine and you could see the boat! Since we were not
sure where the road down to the boat went we climbed down the stairs to the boat. Will do
something else when we leave!!!! But before we headed down, decided to go was across
the street to a shop that was open and see what they had.
This was around 10:00 pm but
things were still hopping and the Eiffel Tower was lit up and it all looked magical.
It was a crepe shop and they were able to sell me a couple of croissants, milk and a bottle
of wine. What more could I want. Managed to make it back across the street with no
spillage! Francois had told us they would be home and we had to call to let them know we
were there. Glad to have a phone that we can make international calls from.
Both Martine and Francois came to greet us and show us the ropes. Martine speaks more
English and so she was showing us where things were found, how to open the door to the
refrigerator, turn the lights on and off and so on. Did it quite rapidly and as a result
had to go knock and ask to be shown how to open the cabinet door again and through trial and
error turn off the lights upstairs and turn on the lights downstairs!
This is an operational boat so the cockpit (is that correct?) is where the kitchen area is
complete with a half-circle table up against the
ship wheel. Fortunately the wheel is
secured to keep it from moving. We sat up there and had part of the bottle of wine and
marveled we were really there.
The bedroom is a nice sized room with inset cabinets and shelves around the room, and a
separate shower area and separate toilet. All the the cabin was polished wood and
beautiful! The bed was one of the most comfortable we have experienced.
Because we have lived on a boat before, the movement of the boat from boat traffic did not
cause us any problems; in fact slept until 8:30a.m. The next morning could get more of a
feel for the boat and surrounds. There is another couple living in the other part of the
boat and we are in the wheel room and what must be the captain's room. Was plenty of room
Found the metro stop just across the street from where we came up from the Seine. The
Fraprix grocery store was just a couple of blocks from the intersection and had all we
needed. Got ourselves settled in and did another short walk to check out the neighborhood.
Francois had told us we could use the table
the Peniche on the Seine
We stayed in the one to the left
and chairs on the front of his boat and so we
had ourselves a drink and snacks and enjoyed the view of the Eiffel Tower as the sun went
Our second morning Robert was not feeling well and we just had a low key day. While he
rested, Laura worked on journal, cooked meals and enjoyed watching the boat and pedestrian
traffic around us. There are tour boats constantly up and down the river, as well as
working barges moving up and down loaded down. Had to marvel at their ability to work
around each other. The bateau is literally right below the Bir Hakim bridge and so we got
to enjoy the pedestrian traffic on the bridge as well. The Bir Hakim bridge is the second oldest bridge crossing the Seine. It is two levels, top level trains and bottom level vehicles and pedestrians. Pont Bir Hakim is in the center and was a popular place for wedding parties to have their picture taken with the Eiffel Towel in the background.
By the third morning, both of us were under the weather. Sure we were run down from all the
non stop fun we had been having but did not
get out until the evening. Seemed to be a great
deal of police activity up and down the river including one time two police zodiacs almost
swamped a cabin cruiser moving downstream. Think this could have something to do with the
Paris Climate Talks but not certain. The boat was a great place to relax and rest and try
When we had planned this trip, Stefan and Marianne, our friends from Switzerland had made
plans to meet us in Paris for the weekend. We were going to meet where we had done so on
another of our meetings in Paris at the Restaurant Le Train Bleu in the Gare de Lyon station
second floor. This is great place to meet as you enter one of the busy train stations in
Paris and can wander amidst all the people coming and going to catch trains with
destinations all over Europe. Le Train Bleu is on the second floor and from there you can
actually watch the trains arrive and depart.
They arrived and we all had a glass of wine and caught up on each others news. We met
Stefan in 1995 when he was on sabbatical from his job in
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
We met Marianne the following year and have met each other both in the United States and in
France and Zurich Switzerland where they live. This was our 20 year reunion and decided to
find somewhere to eat close to the train station so all of us could easily head to our
places we were staying.
Found an Alsace restaurant nearby that seems to feature grilled meats, potatoes and cheese
and salads. All had something nice to eat and then called it a day. Made plans to meet the
next day late in the afternoon so we could continue resting. They had some museums and
exhibits they wanted to visit and so said our goodbyes.
The next evening we agreed to meet at a place on the Seine that was near the Eiffel Tower.
It was nice to walk along the embankment from our bateau to the restaurant. There are
several places along the way where people can stop and sit and watch the boat and pedestrain
traffic. This path along the embankment was busy all hours of the day with people biking,
running and walking along. Had a dinner and drinks and then made plans to
met again in the
afternoon the next day.
The next morning did most of our packing for the departure the next day and then took the
metro to the Opera stop to buy our tickets for the Roissy bus back to the airport. From
there we walked over to the Printemps building. This is a high end department store eight
stories tall with great outdoor deck with great views across Paris. Christmas decorations
were up in all the bottom floor display windows. They were something to see. Many of them
were scenes from various popular movies with figures that were in motion. Then there places
where if a child stood on one of the steps in front of the display, their face would appear
as the character. It was quite the scene to watch the children getting their picture taken
or just standing in awe of what they were seeing.
From there headed up to the top floor and had a croissant, fruit salad and coffee and went
outside and enjoyed the view from the various directions. It was a leisurely walk and felt
good to be outside and feeling somewhat better.
Made plans to meet with Stefan and Marianne at the Point
St. Michael bridge and from there
decide what we would do for the evening. We took the RER from Bir Hakim to the station
right by the bridge. Since we had not actually walked to the Eiffel Tower we had not been
in the great crowds of tourists that were out and about when we reached the bridge.
Fortunately we did not have any problem meeting up with them. Decided to walk around for
awhile and just check things out. Do enjoy just walking the streets of Paris especially in
the central city. Walked to the Place St. Michael, which is one of those favorite and
special places for us. On our first trip to Paris, we stayed around the corner from this
area and really did enjoy the fountain that is there.
From there wandered through some more neighborhoods and stopped in at an old bar and had a carafe of wine. Dinner was at a Oriental fusion restaurant. The food was delicious and we
all had something different. Walked back over to the bridge and said our goodbyes until we
see them again. Train ride home was uneventful.
A little out of order. Francois, two days before we left
we got to watch the boats coming and going all day long
came and told us there were going
to be some people coming onto the boat and could not exactly explain but when they did
arrive, he had a neighbor that was from the US living in Paris explain to us what was going
on. The Alphonse, name of bateau, was having the annual inspection to prove it was
seaworthy and could move up and down the Seine. Passed the inspection and all was well. He
then explained they were going to the country for the weekend and made arrangements for
where we should leave the key. We asked Martine to call for a taxi for us that would come
down to the embankment by the boat so we would not have to haul the luggage up the stairs.
The next morning we were up and off loaded everything across the narrow ramp and the taxi
arrived and got us to the Opera stop in time to catch the Roissy bus to the airport. So now
on to Venice. What a wonderful anniversary present we gave ourselves!!
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