Thursday, 17 September 2015

A Cruise on the Seine.. in the rain....

Well it didn't rain all the time!

We had arranged to meet up with my daughter, Jane and her partner, Stephen who were staying in Paris for a few days.

As part of the day we pre-booked an hour's cruise on the Seine with Vedettes du Pont-Neuf, which proved a good choice. The rain certainly didn't spoil our enjoyment and at one point the rain cleared long enough for us to go on the top deck and get some photos..

The student of tourism who was our guide for the cruise was both informative and interesting, pointing out the landmarks en route:

But it was the less obvious points of interest which we found most fascinating.

The first photo, below, shows the Gare d'Orsay, which now houses the Musee d'Orsay. I was surprised to learn its history.

To read more on this here. (Also more of the Musee d'Orsay tomorrow.)

The Alexander III Bridge has in its centre the arms of Paris, flanked on the upstream side by nymphs of the Seine and on the downstream side by nymphs of the Neva, marking a strange alliance between Paris and St Petersburg. To read more, see here.

At the centre of the next photo is the smallest facade on the Seine in Paris. It has only two floors and two windows (but probably costs the earth!)

Pont-Neuf, dating from the 17th century, was the first bridge to be built without houses on it. The faces carved on the front of the bridge depict the friends and ministers of Henry IV, so the people could mock them each day as they passed!

This last, shows Jane and me, with Stephen unintentionally hiding behind Jane. Colin did a good job to get a semi-decent photo, as I was full of a cold and certainly not at my best!!

We followed the cruise with a visit to Notre Dame Cathedral where a wedding was taking place. Colin captured the sheer boredom of the bridesmaids and page boy...

It was a grand ceremony but not surprisingly it lacked any sense of intimacy. I certainly don't think I would have wanted to get married with hordes of tourists filing past!

Lunch followed and then the next stage of our day in Paris: a visit to the Musee d'Orsay.

More of this tomorrow!


Susan said...

Paris-Orléans isn't P&O, which stands for Peninsular and Orient, a British shipping company.

I didn't realise that the Orsay was designed by Victor Laloux. He designed Tours Central station too.

Colin and Elizabeth said...

Thanks, Susan. What was I thinking?! Will correct!