Leaving Paris is never an easy thing to do. There’s the tearing away of oneself from the place itself, then the rounds of farewells to all of one’s friends in the port, then one last trip to the bakery lest we should starve on our sea voyage of four hours or so, and finally the settling of the bill and the descent onto the river through that last lock on the Canal St Martin.
While one of us was overheard discussing the benefits of getting away early, the other was wondering just exactly what part of ten in the morning that referred to.
But we were away, for a short while up the Seine bidding our last farewell to that same “Train of Wood” which finally arrived in Paris last night, before turning onto the Marne and bracing ourselves for the masses of recreational vessels happily if sometimes haphazardly spending their Sunday in exactly the same way we were.
We were expecting the rowers and the sailors, and shouldn’t have been surprised by the kayaks or stand up paddle boards, but really when we arrived at Lagny to discover “our” mooring consumed by kids in plastic steam roller things, it was surely a sign that the end of the world is nigh. Surely this is the only country in the world where a town can hold a water festival, and in doing so bans actual boats from using the waterfront!
Even the hotel barge had to vacate it’s permanent mooring to make way for the dozens of activities on offer. Children were able to sample without cost, every kind of water craft, learn to water ski, fish in the river or in a pool suitably stocked. There were bands and music and odd musical instruments with which five year olds could make squarking sounds, and donkey rides and farmer’s hats and paper making.
We’d have given up our mooring for a week if they could have found a way for the magic to last beyond the evening.