Join us on our travels around Europe aboard our Dutch Tjalk Francoise

  • Jill Budd

    After 6 years aboard our Narrowboat Matilda Rose in the UK, we took the plunge and shipped her across to Europe. After 2 years in Europe we knew we didn't want to return to the UK so took the plunge and purchased a 1902 20 mtr Dutch Tjalk called Francoise and are now continuing our travels of the waterways of Europe in a buxom wench

  • January 2017
    M T W T F S S
  • Meta

Rat run through Paris

Posted by contentedsouls on 20/01/2017

We arrived at Notre Dame just in time to watch the lights go from red to green – hooray! Slightly disconcerting as you arrive, because all the trip boats coming upstream turn there before heading back downstream; mostly cutting straight across our bows. Also disconcerting was that, having entered the one way system on green, we were still encountering oncoming shipping… er missus! Oh well, there was plenty of room for everyone anyway.

P1190357Bateaux Mouche and Notre Dame

Glorious weather although the temperature was –1, add to that a not inconsiderable wind chill factor and you’ll know why I didn’t spend many minutes sat on the bow taking photos. The other reason I didn’t sit there for long was because each time one of the little bullet shaped water taxis (no photos – they go so fast I couldn’t even capture one in ‘sports mode’) shot by, the resultant wake broke waves over Francoise’ bow – not the right time of year for a soaking. It was the right time of the year for the trip though; there was relatively little traffic about and we were able to enjoy it whilst still keeping a good look out. We saw loads of people taking photos of us from a bridge whilst the water broke over us – what wouldn’t I give for one of those photos.


As we came back to the (supposedly) one way bit by Notre Dame the lights were red and, whilst we were checking the timings, we were called by the skipper in the bateaux mouche behind us (in several of the photos). He asked if we wished him to speak to us in French or English – not being an appropriate time for French lessons or ambiguities, we chose English. He told us to continue on but move to the left as there would be oncoming traffic, when we reached the main intersection again he advised us to return to the left bank. I’ve thought about this ‘one way system’ long and hard, but it still makes not one ounce of sense. Nor does going against a red light on the Seine in the centre of Paris but if you have a trip boat up your bum and the skipper tells you to go ………….you go.

Excitement over, we slipped back up the lock onto the Marne and our mooring at Maisons Alfort. Sunshine, excitement and adrenalin were the best tonic ever and we had the most wonderful day. We had stayed here until we were well enough to make this trip – now we were free to continue on our coddiwomples.

9 Responses to “Rat run through Paris”

  1. vallypee said

    Lovely post and photos, Jill! Considering the weather, you took a lot of pics! What a glorious day you had. I hope the rest of your coddiwomples goes well too. Where are you off to now?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. andywindy said

    WOW Thank you for the pictures, that really was some day trip!
    Who knew that even the River bridges in Paris are vying to be the most beautiful?
    I hope they look after the working model of the Statue of Liberty, as an imigrant Her big sister may be being sent back soon.
    Didn’t expect to see a Tall Ship that far inland though, I’m guessing that she didn’t get there by Sail ! (Imagine the mess one could make of that.)
    Now I know that they’re designed for maximum views and for bad weather capability but that bateaux mouche is some ugly, or as the locals over here put it ‘Oogly as Sin’.

    So a good day’s reporting, thanks again. I’ll leave you with one thought, I bet you’re glad you didn’t attempt that in MR.


    • I love the bridges – some were missed as my camera has become very tempermental and things are getting missed by the time I’ve persuaded it to work; captured most of what I wanted though.
      It would be quite something to see big sis come up the Seine on her back on a peniche!
      The trip boat may be ugly but it’s skipper was charming!

      We did the Thames Tideway on MR, as you know. I don’t think I’d want to do this in a narrowboat – much, much, choppier. Would probably be OK but I don’t think I could have relaxed and enjoyed the trip. Francoise’ big, wide, sweepy uppy bow instills great confidence.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ianmccauley2014 said

    Yes, great photos and lucky weather. Really needs a movie camera to be running also. I’ll keep that in mind for when we do this. Do you think you can, or need to loiter or go slowly? Seems like the poor helmsperson isn’t going to get much of a look see if you are travelling at speed!


    • We weren’t pushed or bullied by anyone and just slowed right down and pulled over when stuff came up behind us as there is plenty of room for everyone to overtake. The exception to this is the ‘sort of’ one way/no overtaking bit by Notre Dame – even then the trip boat backed off and didn’t hassle. HOWEVER, it isn’t exactly the height of the tourist season – a few trip boats, water taxis and normal commercial traffic. Probably best to ask on the DBA for info for someone who’s done it in season.

      One more thought Ian, do it twice swapping the helm.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. suenpSue said

    WOW back to normal then you two! So pleased after your rather dreadful couple of weeks. Fabulous pics and a journey you have always been looking forward to and now done.. Brilliant! Looking forward to seeing you both soon xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Can’t wait. I hope you have a goodly supply of thermals and flannelette, the arrival of the new stove before your arrival is looking increasingly unlikely!

      I’ve bought out the local supply of hot water bottles.

      Liked by 1 person

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