In my salad days in Paris, the first five years I lived here, my apartment was a few steps from the most elegant Place des Victoires. And when the summer days of Paris Plages came to cheer the city as well as to provide a beach to those who weren't going to see one otherwise, I often walked along the iconic Seine early in the morning when the activities and stands in the plages were not yet open. The lounge chairs were empty, and few people took their promenades.
I enjoyed my walks along the Seine. They're one of the things I miss most about not living in the center of Paris. They were a treat that inevitably lifted my spirits and made me feel a little more whole.
This summer was my first in the 20th Arrondissement, and so it was that I had to plan a proper visit to Paris Plages. I needed to sit down at my favorite riverside café, sip a café crème, and while away an afternoon or at least a bit of one.
My Trip to Paris Plages
I crossed my favorite bridge in Paris, the Pont des Arts, where I could see the blue flags of Paris Plages whipping a welcoming hello in the wind.
I followed the steps down by the water where I discovered a flotilla of baby ducks with their mother. Have you ever seen so many ducklings floating in the Seine?
The festive giraffe of an Eiffel Tower marked the gates into our Paris Plages.
The range of activities always amazes me. Some events remain the same from year to year, and others are new. This year we have foosball, and tons of players are kicking up their foosball heels.
The Lone Wolf and I sat down at our favorite spot along this river we both love and ordered our afternoon cafés. In my humble opinion, this is one of the prime spots along the Seine when Paris Plages has shut down the roadway beside it.
I love the green of these chairs. The color makes me happy, and the empty chairs look poignant, as if they had a story to tell.
I can't remember seeing so many barges going by in such a short time. I wanted to be on one of them and slowly sail away. I love the water and the air I breathe when I'm out on a boat. The chug chug chug of the motor adds a rhythm and a base note to the lapping liquid lull.
I hope you all have a great week! Summer is ending. We can already feel the Fall air in Paris. Parisians will soon be headed home from their holidays.
In the last days of Paris Plages, I'm taking a few days off. Going fishing (so to speak), dear readers. Unless I get a wild hair, you won't see me here again till next week.
Bisous and À Bientôt!
Unless otherwise indicated, all photos by Beth Arnold.
---Beth Arnold in Paris