Water in a landlocked city

Paris does not immediately spring to mind as a particularly aquatic city. There is the Seine of course, but its filthy like any big city river. Most of France is covered in coastline though and the country has produced great sailors and great seafood recipes (bouillabaisse!), not to mention the timeless trend of the sailor stripe.

Batobus, ©Soma

There are actually several ways to get your aquatic fill in Paris, most notably the Batobus, the Musée National de la Marine, and the Paris Aquarium. All can be enjoyed in one watery day. I began my journey at the Batobus station at Hotel de Ville. The boat breezed beneath all the bridges, passing the Louvre, and approaching the Eiffel Tower. I disembarked at the Champs Elysée and made my way to the Musée. If you are into model sailboats and battleships, then this is the museum for you. It is highly disorganized, but if you aren’t too bothered by nonsensical or nonexistent thematic and historical progression then you should appreciate the wide array of all things nautical.



The Aquarium is just a quick jaunt from here, so sadly there was no need to get back on the Batobus. The aquarium was like any other B grade aquarium I suppose, certainly not of the same caliber as those in Berlin, Valencia, or Lisbon. Highlights included a movie theater showing the BBC Planet Earth series and a Chinese carp petting pool. Curiously the last rooms of the aquarium were dedicated to cheesy Hollywood paraphernalia (think the Governator’s original suit) without even the faintest ties to water. I mean if they had that old catamaran from Waterworld I might understand. It was truly bizarre and cast and very creepy light on the whole experience.


The long and short of it is, if you miss the water, get on the Batobus and troll up and down the Seine. If you want to see some model ships go to the Musée National de la Marine, and if you really want to see some fish wake up early and smell them at the fish market. Don’t bother with the aquarium.

For more prices and schedules for the Batobus: http://www.batobus.com/

For more information on the Musée National de la Marine: http://www.musee-marine.fr/site/fr/accueil-musee-national-de-la-marine

Currently there is an exhibit here entitled “Tous les bateaux du monde” (all the boats of the world) with even MORE model ships! http://www.musee-marine.fr/site/fr/EXPO-TOUS-BATEAUX-DU-MONDE


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