Rhonda's Comments: Harry doesn't look too fussed.
Rhonda's Comment: Daphne's first day at the market.
Rhonda's Comment: They certainly weren't smiling after taking their first sip of their tea. The smell and taste was horrendous.
After a restful afternoon and evening we all were keen to get going to see some of our selected attractions. We bought all-day passes on the rail network which were also usable on the buses for 8 Euros each which is so very cheap and efficient so we went up to the Eiffel Tower, built in 1889 for the world fair and as it is 324 meters high we had some ideas of going up to see the sights, however, when we got there the only leg open with lifts operating had queues of hundreds and hundreds of people, worse than the waits at Disneyland for those who have been there. You could walk up to the first level if you wanted to battle the steps so we flagged that and took photos from ground level only. We then walked up to the Trocadero which is across the river and up on a hill and gives great views of the tower and surrounds and houses the National Maritime Museum and the Museum of the Man which focuses on over population really. After the slog to the entrance we found that the Maritime Museum was closed until Wednesday so we then had to decide if we wanted to come back the following day. Next we went down to the Metro and again caught the train to Arc de Triumph which is the final resting place of the Unknown Soldier and is a wonderful memorial and when you recall how Hitler strutted his troops through it and then Charles de Gaulle marched his French Free Troops through it after the war was won by the Allies. It has remained as one of the worlds most remarkable war memorials and is surrounded by about 8 lanes of traffic negotiating its way around before turning out to travel the 12 main roads which come into and leave this centre point. We stood for about an hour just fascinated at the traffic flow and amazed that there were no crashes as the cutting across lanes etc was something to see.
Rhonda's Comment: The three oldest kids in the class!!! I want one of those red hats.
After a LONG walk down the Champs de Elysees, one of the major thoroughfares where so many of the worlds major retailers like Nike, Swatch, Cartier, Louis Vutton, Mt Blanc, Hermes, Hugo Boss, Armani, and Mercedes, Peugeot, Toyota, and some of the other major world known car brands show off their latest and even future design models. Fascinating but the costs again are huge with a Smoothie milkshake costing 7.50 Euros and a small bottle of water costing 3 Euros at any shop so we eventually returned to the boat after some 6 hours of walking and sight seeing, glad to rest our feet and prepare for tomorrows adventure.
This day turned out even hotter than the day before but we still needed to get out and about to see the sights which we had missed yesterday. The visit to the Maritime Museum was first and fascinating with some wonderful models of old sailing craft and military ships along with examples of French marine technology right through to the Jules Verne trophy which was won by Sir Peter Blake and his crew being the fastest boat to go round the world in under 80 days. The paintings hanging on the walls are magnificent and would grace any art gallery anywhere in the world and depict famous sea battles and adventures which had taken place over the centuries. One great model which is shown in the enclosed photos was built by a crew in 21 days including all the carvings and gilt layouts and huge rowing oars. It has to be seen really to be believed that this task could have been so well carried out in this time frame as set by the ruling junta of the day.
The evening was so beautiful that we sat out on the roof of the boat and just wondered how lucky we were really to be sitting in the centre of Paris just loving the ambience and the views from the marina but looking forward to heading out on the Seine again the next day to see more of the suburbs and to turn south east towards the burgundy district but before we get there we will travel through a lot of towns and countryside.
We arrived at Samois-sur-Seine which has a dock hidden from the main river in a byway and is a delight with restaurants a-plenty and a nice selection of shops. On top of this we were entertained in the evening by two young fellows playing jazz guitars in the restaurant opposite. It was hard to realise that such complicated music could be played so well by such young folk. After a very pleasant and calm night there, we moved off the next morning to get to St Mammes which is at the junction of the Seine and the Canal du Loing. While being a delightful town, this is very busy waterway due to the number of barges which overnight here or are based here due to the easy access south-east or due south. Along some banks the barges were moored up to 5 abreast and I guess there could have been 60 or more tied up along the way. One of particular note was 79meters long with a pusher of 20meters and its gross was 2240kilos so imagine trying to stop that in a narrow stretch of water or worse still trying to get out of its way.
With the promise of a beautiful day to follow the great morning we awoke to set off to a nearby wharf where we refuelled and then set off down the Canal du Loing, however, within approx 2 kms we were attracted to another marina which offered great moorings so we tied up knowing that within walking distance was the town of Moret-sur-Loing which dates back to the 12th century and has an amazing mix of ancient to mid ages to modern structures and is so very pretty. We seem to keep saying that this country gets prettier the further we travel. Photos in this blog will assist you in seeing why we were so taken by this area so decided to stay overnight before entering the first lock on our journey towards the Burgundy District.
We can’t help but notice how friendly and helpful the French people are even when we have difficulty communicating with them. They seem to go out of their way to assist or offer advice and we are delighted as we are with the whole country we have toured through so far and we are told there is still better to come.
Locks - 119
Klms - 735