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Bateaux Mouche approaching Notre Dame Cathedral on the Ile de la Cite'.
If there is one thing that Parisians can depend on, it's the constant traffic throughout the city. That traffic doesn't stop at the water's edge.  On any given day or night, you can find water taxis, boats for sightseeing tours, commercial and private barges, police and harbor boats, and even house boats and barges which have been converted into wonderful floating homes.  The most famous boats on the Seine are called Bateaux Mouche (bato moosh). The word bateaux means boats.  A mouche is a fly, like the insect. There are always plenty of them plying the water with their decks full of tourists, snapping photos and listening to recorded highlights of the historic city which stands proudly and comfortably along the banks.  A cruise on a bateau mouche is a must-do tourist event for morning and night. As you cruise along and see Paris during the day, it is at once ancient, yet modern and busy. As night falls, you understand why she is called the city of light. 

 
The sun goes down and Paris transforms into something incredibly romantic and majestic, sparkling in the dark.  A surreal and beautiful way to end the day.
If you want something a bit more comfortable and tasty, there are several dinner cruises available on the Seine.  Most of these companies offer at least two dinner sailings and slowly lumber along while you sip wine or champagne (or both) and enjoy the views of Paris over a gourmet meal. It's much cheaper to dart along on a bateau mouche, but I promise you it's worth it to splurge at least once and enjoy the fine food and wine which add to the french experience.
If you have the time to walk along the quais of the Seine, you might stumble upon the Bassin Arsenal, also called Port de l'Arsenal.   It's near the site of the Bastille prison which was torn down during the revolution.  The boat bassin now houses boats and barges, moored there until the owners come aboard and drive them through Paris and along the canals of France and Europe.  Some barges and house boats are permanently moored at the Arsenal port and the owners live there or rent them out as vacation rentals. Climb a few steps and you leave the quiet, peaceful port and are suddenly in the middle of busy Paris near the site of the old Bastille and the modern opera house. 
BUT THAT STORY WILL HAVE TO WAIT FOR ANOTHER POST...  

 


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