French Friday – Bateaux Mouches

bateaux mouchesClichés do not become such without reflecting some truth, right? This is certainly the case when it comes to seeing the sights in Paris. It may be exhausting to wait in line and wade through crowds, but can you really say you have ‘done’ Paris if you skip out on the Louvre, Notre Dame or the Eiffel Tower? There are just some places and views that need to be seen for oneself.pont alexandre and grand palais (Grand Palais and Pont Alexandre III)

I had always taken the “eh, it’s for tourists” attitude when it came to the Seine river cruises. These barges boats, filled with hundreds of tourists, zoom up and down the river day and night, dodging bridges, commercial vessels and lighting up the city with megawatt spotlights after the sun goes down (never stare directly into the light – trust me). Several of the companies even offered multi-course dinner cruises for (what I considered) extortionate prices – not only had I heard that the food was utterly mediocre, but I also couldn’t fathom sitting inside a boat, facing a table full of food when the perfectly lit skyline of Paris zoomed by alongside you.under the pont alexandre (Pont Alexandre III, from below)

However, as my time in Paris was growing short this summer and I was deciding what things I could not miss before leaving, several friends reassured me that taking one of these rides – either at dusk or after the sun went down – was a must-do. It is such a different perspective, they told me, to see the city from the river – to view it as a bustling port of sorts – and realize how central the Seine is to the identity and function of the city itself. houseboat(Houseboats moored on the Seine)

I had my chance when family came to visit in late July. After (too) many hours standing in line for the Eiffel Tower (something else left for those last days), it was wonderful to get on our barge-like motorboat, soak in the last rays of late-afternoon sun and see the city as I never had before. We chose to stay away from any variety of dinner cruise (because of the aforementioned price and distraction) and decided on the Bateaux Mouches based on personal recommendations. We were not disappointed – it truly was a different, even more beautiful city when seen from the Seine. Especially as the sun dipped deeper into the sky and the clouds spread out around us.assemblee nationale (Assemblee Nationale)

For a fun Friday frolic, I’m including an armchair tour here. Enjoy! orsay(Musée d’Orsay)

louvre(Louvre spotting)

waves(Waving from the tip of Ile de la Cité)

pont neuf(Pont Neuf, from below)

notre dame front(Notre Dame, from the front…)

notre dame back(…and from the rear)

quai front(Paris quai-front housing)

dancers(Dancers practicing river-side)

hotel de ville(Hôtel de Ville)

paris plage(Late afternoon Paris Plages – the summertime ‘beach’ next to the Seine)

another(We are not alone – a passing Bateaux Mouches in front of Pont des Arts)

invalides(Sun setting as Les Invalides peeks over the railing)

eiffel tower(And, of course, we end with the monument to rule them all – the Eiffel Tower)

4 responses to “French Friday – Bateaux Mouches

  1. really makes me want to go…

    • There is something magical about Paris in the summertime – long, drawn-out evenings, sunsets that blaze across the sky and a city that does actually slow down and enjoy itself. I would highly recommend it! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Weekly Travel Theme – Peaceful | Researching San Diego

  3. Nous avons réservé par http://www.ely1212.com un repas sur les bateaux parisiens, cette traversée était super romantique , nous retournerons pour la st valentin

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