It appears to be a mainstay on every itinerary that concerns Paris. Visitors to the city swear by a picnic on the Seine. Well, it is probably the most sensible way you can avoid the thronging crowds at the Louvre or the innumerable pedestrians on the left bank.
So that’s what we did. Escaped the crowds at the Louvre, because the snaking queues for tickets meant there was not a chance in the universe we were spending a lovely morning waiting our turn. So off we went across Pont Neuf, to see the beautiful Notre Dame. This was another exercise in patience, but we were game for a nice walk in Paris.
As we meandered along, through the Latin Quarter, we chanced upon a Monoprix .Bought ourselves some lovely champagne, even tulips, cheese, fresh strawberries; procured a baguette and delectable pastries from a nearby patisserie and there we were, ready for an impromptu picnic.
That’s why you sit by the Seine, I gather, to prepare yourself for a long haul of viewing various art collections at the busy museums, to endure tiring walks along busy streets. But why think about it all while you sip champagne, and enjoy the smooth creamy taste of Brillat-Savarin, as you watch everybody in the Bateaux Moches, who are probably on a very snug itinerary and therefore do not have the luxury of time that you have, to sit by the banks of the river, with your loved one, enjoying champagne and strawberries. While you throw admiring glances at Notre Dame far yonder, you can only be struck by the beauty of the medieval buildings along the banks, imposing grandiose structures that have stood witness to the ages and a river that has been a passive observer to a multitude of changes.
Finally, towards evening, we crossed Pont des Arts or Passerelle des Arts, a pedestrian bridge across the Seine for easy access to the Palais du Louvre. Built between 1981 and 1984, according to the plans of Louis Arretche, with seven arches, it is a popular summer picnic spot as also a place for art exhibitions. At present it is very popular with couples wishing to attest to their eternal love by attaching padlocks to the metal structure of the bridge while the keys are thrown down below, into the Seine.
A lovely time it is too, visiting the Louvre, towards evening, when the lines are considerably attenuated and you have at your disposal, many hours, to devote all of your attention to the great art that it houses.