Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Panama Canal, Schmanama Canal

Who needs the Panama Canal, when you can see one right in the heart of the Paris's 10th arrondissement AND have a fabulous lunch to boot? Yes, H and I are in Paris, just for a few days, he to work, me not.

My friend, S, showed me the Canal St-Martin, just down the road from the Place de la République. Imagine a canal on a residential street in a big city and that's what this was like. Buildings on either side and a walkway along it...the canal was amazing. And this wasn't exactly Amsterdam, so it was completely unexpected!

We walked beside it and then S had obviously arranged for a barge to come just as we were there. The good news is that we saw various locks opening and closing with the barge sinking in the water. The bad news was it was JUST at that moment that my camera failed. Luckily, I was with a gifted photographer.

Picture by S

The canal's locks were no joke. Warning arms came swinging down to close the streets that crossed the canal. The actual bridges swung to one side.

Picture by S

Gates closed. The bottom sluices opened to allow the lock to drain. It was very, very cool.

We followed our nautical adventure by lunch at

This is what we had:

Basically, it was a Greek salad; and a Salmon Turnover (Chausson) with all kinds of goodies on the plates.

We couldn't turn down dessert - cheesecake, garnished with framboise purée.

More food and fun to come...


Tracy said...

Hey, if you like canals, you don't have to go to Paris, for Pete's sake. Just mosey on over to Rochester and I'll show you a great big one that has locks, bridges, etc. ... it's called the Erie Canal.

But I suppose Paris has its charms. :-D

Have a great time. I'm envious.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Okay. I'm totally envious as I always am when you post about your travels. One of these days I'll make it to Paris, canals and all. These photos are totally gorgeous.

But Panama does have its charms. (

Emiline said...

Ohhh, I love Paris.
That canal is cool.
The lunch looks great.

Would you move to Paris? I would.
Have you seen Ina yet?

Sue said...

Why didn't I think of that? Of course, Rochester IS the obvious choice for lock-viewing.

Hi Rach,
Wow! Were you in that huge boat in that huge canal going through a real lock? Now that's lock-going at its most amazing. And I certainly haven't ridden any horsies here.

Well, you forgot to give me Ina's address. I was going to go over there today. I'd recognize the INSIDE of the apartment, though, from the episode where she served all the goodies she got at the local market. Oh, her phone number would help too...

Would I move here? Faster than you could say no more Neelys or Danny.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Well, you can move to Paris if you keep blogging from there.

The ship went through one lock, then we tendered to shore and viewed the rest of the canal via bus and train. Pretty stunning scenery. Lots of breathtaking jungle. The horsies were at the next stop in Costa Rica though.

Sue said...

Hi Shortie,
You're too sweet.

That sounds like a great trip. Really interesting and gorgeous too.