Dinner at Le Dôme, shopping at Galeries Lafayette, riding around the gardens of Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte in a golf cart - sometimes it seems that tourists get to have all of the fun. Fortunately, my father-in-law's visit gave Stephane and me a very good reason to momentarily forget about the long list of things that we still need to do before we travel to the U.K. on Thursday and savor the beauty of Paris.
If you haven't already done a Bateaux Parisian lunch or dinner cruise on the Seine, I hope that this photo report will give you a good idea of what to expect: panoramic views of many of the most important monuments, live musical entertainment and a better-than-expected meal. The black line on the above map indicates the route that we traveled during the two hour "Paris Irrésistible" cruise.
My four-course lunch included Nicoise salad Paris fashion, lamb stew made with shoulder of French lamb, a selection of cheeses, strawberries in red fruit juice, rhubarb compote and almond slice, a glass of champagne, white wine, red wine and mineral water. If you're extremely observant, you'll notice that I forgot to take a photo of the cheese course and that someone already took a couple of bites of the almond slice. Lack of restraint is one of the many reasons that I'm not a food blogger!
To keep distracting public announcements to a minimum, all of the guests are given maps with brief descriptions of the monuments. Thanks to my father-in-law's impressive knowledge of the city, we didn't even need the bilingual instructions to look starboard to see la Conciergerie or port to see Notre Dame because he could easily identify the buildings lining the river. Not only has Werner been making regular trips to Paris since 1948, but he also knows about the latest exhibitions, trendy restaurants and current events. This always comes as a surprise until I remember that France is one of the major sources of news and entertainment for the French speaking part of Switzerland.
A sentimental man, Werner became nostalgic while listening to the live performance of La Vie en Rose. With a far away look in his eyes, he told Stephane and me that we should make the most of our time together. Cruising along the river, that's exactly what we were doing!
Cheers! While admiring the cityscape, we appreciated the friendly gestures of the people relaxing on the banks of the Seine.
Bateaux Parisians two-hour lunch cruises start at €55. We decided to go with the €80 premier option so that we would have a prime position in the bow of the boat. While a lunch cruise is the perfect way for someone with limited mobility to enjoy the sights of the city, I would not recommend it for a serious photographer who wants to take pictures of the monuments because there is a lot of glare from the panoramic windows during the day. In any case, it's better to relax, appreciate your meal and watch the sights of the city unfold in front of you.
When the entertainer started singing "New York, New York" rather than songs about Paris, I was momentarily confused until the boat turned around and revealed Lady Liberty in all of her glory.