After everything had quietly sifted through my head a great peace came over me. Here, where the river gently winds through the girdle of hills, lies a soil so saturated with the past that however far back the mind roams one can never detach it from its human background. Christ, before my eyes there shimmered such a golden peace that only a neurotic could dream of turning his head away. So quietly flows the Seine that one hardly notices its presence. It is always there, quiet and unobtrusive, like a great artery running through the human body. In the wonderful peace that fell over me it seemed as if I had climbed the top of a high mountain; for a little while I would be able to look around me, to take in the meaning of the landscape. – Henry Miller
February 20th 2014, the day after me and my better half were wed, we headed off on the Eurostar to Paris to spend a few days in the city of romance; the beauty of this place is absolutely undeniable and it’s a place I will definitely visit again before long.
We did the usual tourist stuff, going up the Eiffel Tower, visiting the Musée du Louvre (obviously), Arc de Triomphe, Notre-Dame and the various other attractions that must be visited when in this city; but once place that I became totally besotted with is this simple river, the Seine. The reality of it is that it’s just a river, quite polluted albeit not as bad as the Thames of the Tiber, but at the end of the comparisons in many people’s eyes it’s still just a river. For me it was more than that, something about the way this particular river flowed, the way sunlight glimmered off of the surface, turning “just a river” into a body of fluently flowing beauty and elegance.
We came down to this particular spot for a little while everyday that we were in Paris; our hotel being only a 5 minute walk from the Eiffel Tower made this location very easy to get to. To spend time here was an experience that I’ll never forget, it made me feel at one with the environment and in tune with the natural elements of such a built up area; unlike the millions of tourists flocking around with cameras constantly glued to their faces, sometimes it’s nice to take some time and appreciate a place, take in everything around, the view, the smells, the sounds and let your brain record that information. This makes a much stronger more vivid memory than just a photograph; but they obviously help for a visual recording of what you have seen and to make one able to share a memory or the view of a memory with others as I am doing now.
On our last night in Paris we decided to take a river boat cruise as the sun was setting, it was a 2 hour cruise along the Seine and as a person that’s not overly keen on boats or ships I was in my absolute element; this was without a doubt my favourite time on water that I’ve ever experienced; an 8 hour voyage across the North sea during winter season being the worst.
I’ll add some photographs that I took now to show the aesthetics of the river cruise.
Not being a photographer and at the time these photographs were taken I hadn’t had any lessons in photography, combined with the fact that I just used a standard Fujifilm Finepix digital camera; the photographs that I took were not of the best quality and it worsened as it got darker. Truth be told though I spent more time using my senses than the camera and that’s how I prefer to capture a moment, but these photographs can still show the beauty of this place and it’s somewhere that’s got to be visited at least once in a lifetime.