My theme – “26 Things I’d Like To See During Our Trip To France”
Q is for “Les Quais de la Seine”
What is this? Qu’est-ce que c’est ?
Mon dictionnaire (dictionary) describes the word “Quai” as “un trottoir le long d’un cours d’eau”, in English, “a sidewalk along a waterway.” In Paris, the river Seine winds through the whole city and thus there are many such “quais.” In fact, the “Quais de la Seine à Paris” are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
During my little “overview” of Paris last summer, my friend and I walked along a few of them. We saw Les bouquinistes – outdoor booksellers (but sadly did not have time to browse their stalls), we waved at the people on les bateaux mouches, we did a lot of chatting and gawking and people-watching as we walked. We learned some sobering history. (just click on the link.) (a whole other topic, this…it’s not possible to truly understand another country’s conflicts, but no matter what, a memorial like this one tugs at my heart if for no other reason than the devastating loss. I just visited the Vietnam War memorial in Washington, DC, with some friends who are Canadian and recently took dual citizenship…one of them expressed just this sentiment, telling me that even though he had no family, friends, or personal connections to this monument, he felt the strong emotions nonetheless. The memorial in Paris did the same to me, and I managed to learn just a little bit more of the history at the same time)
Where is it? Où est-ce?
Well…it’s alongside the Seine river in Paris, of course 🙂 There are many miles…no…there are many kilomètres (yes we will embrace the metric system when we travel outside the US…it really makes so much more sense anyway!!!) of quais along the Seine river in Paris. We took this picture as we were zooming down the quai toward La Tour Eiffel…you can see how clean the path looks here and that a guitarist has taken up temporary residence on the bench in the picture. Sadly, we did not hear him play.
Why do I want to go there? Pourquoi est-ce que je veux y aller ?
Because I only got un goût (a taste) of this during my dash across the city, and I think it deserves a closer look. Especially les bouquinistes, although my husband has warned me that it is not possible to lug a bunch of books home with us from France. I think I can sneak a few in my bag, though. I really really love books, especially used ones, ones with history, and at the moment, I am creating a little collection of French books! I love them. I love that I can order them from the internet, but how much more precious are the ones that I have received as gifts from friends in France, and I would be delighted to bring home a few when I go there myself!
And you, dear A to Z-ers? Et vous ?
What are your favorite sights along the Quais de la Seine? Dites-moi !