Friday, May 22, 2009
jour no. 22 - le bateau
I've always wanted to do this! Maybe our leisurely afternoon cruise wasn't as glamorous as Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant dining on a fancy bateau (i.e., no fab hairdo, no moonlight, no international intrigue, and no Cary Grant), but still: it's great. Despite the pushy crowd, despite the crackling speaker, despite the tour guide who gave ten times as much info in French as in English - I loved it.
There are a slew of different tour boat companies on the Seine, and each has a different array of boats. We chose Bateaux Parisiens, which has a dock right across from Notre Dame, and lucked out with the boat: it had an open-air top deck, and then a small section of seats in the stern, which we wisely chose, thereby avoiding most of the crowd, as well as the tourguide.
I didn't learn very much about the monuments and other sights, thanks to that crackly speaker and the tour guide's abbreviated English version (after giving a load of history and fun facts and architectural points in French about whatever sight we were seeing, she'd then say something like, "On your right, the Concorde"). But it was a lovely day, and overall, the experience was just as satisfying as I'd hoped. And I picked out a couple of options for my future home (either an apartment on Ile-St-Louis, or a bateau like this one; you can all come for dinner).
Plus a couple of "only in France" moments: the tourguide announcing halfway through that we'd be stopping for five minutes for the crew's dinner break (!!!), and a bizarre over-aggressive-French-guy-in-training with great hair who put the moves on Katie.