River Seine, Paris

Paris

Route: Paris

Area: France

Date of walk:  13th June 2019

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 6.7 miles

Ascent: 300 feet

Weather: Sunny intervals, a few showers

A few months ago we’d booked a holiday with Inntravel ‘Hiking in the Bernese Oberland’, and had arranged to travel to Switzerland via rail. The train schedules gave us the chance to have an overnight stop in Paris, with sufficient time for a short afternoon walk. We were based in the Saint‑Germain‑des‑Prés area of the city, not far from the River Seine to the north. The area is well known for its restaurants and cafés, and in the past was the home of many well known playwrights, musicians and philopophers, including Oscar Wilde, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre 

We set off in the general direction of the River Seine, with a vague plan to walk along its banks, visit the Île de la Cité, and return via a different route. I’ve included the route which we walked just for the record, but as is usually the case with city walks it’s best to go where your fancy takes you, rather than follow a prescribed itinerary (click here or on the Map Page icon for the route map)

After passing numerous bustling cafés we arrived at the north bank of the Seine and turned right along the Quai de Conti, joining the riverside path below the road. A little further along we reached the Île de la Cité, one of the islands in the River Seine. The island is best known for being the home to Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the most widely recognized symbols of France. Sadly on 15 April 2019 the cathedral caught fire, destroying the spire and the oak frame and lead roof. It was speculated that the fire was linked to ongoing renovation work. The main structure was left intact, but firefighters managed to save the façade, towers, walls, buttresses, and stained glass windows. Despite the damage, and the fact that renovation work is being carried out, the cathedral was still a magnificent sight

We crossed one of the several bridges onto the Île de la Cité and walked back along its north shore, crossing back onto the south bank via the Pont Neuf. From here we retraced our steps for a short distance before heading back through the streets of Paris to our hotel. It had been an enjoyable meander, and a good limbering up exercise for the hiking in Switzerland which is to follow over the next few days

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