CrashBoomBang

the travels & travails of an escaped lab rat

Paris: the Seine

Think of any of the world’s greatest cities and you’ll soon realize the vast majority of them are situated by, or on, the water.

There’s a good reason for this. Historically, the practical benefits of easy access to water are exactly what encouraged people to settle down, and eventually what helped some settlements evolve into a major metropolis.

The Seine is a relatively slow-flowing (and thus easily navigable) river, rising near Dijon, flowing through Paris, and eventually emptying into the English Channel. It essentially bisects the city, separating it into la Rive Droite and la Rive Gauche. The divide is more than just physical, with the Right Bank being the more proper and upright face of Paris, and the Left Bank being its liberal, academic, and bohemian side.

The section of the Seine that passes through Paris is well maintained. The pleasant paved banks, which run along great lengths of both sides, provide very picturesque places to stroll…unless, of course, you plan on taking that stroll after a particularly heavy rainfall — bouts of wet weather have been known to sometimes trigger “sanitary sewer overflow”, resulting in untreated sewage being discharged into the river. I’ll leave it to your imagination to decide how pleasant a stroll along the Seine would be under those conditions…

A river runs through it.

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