Sunday, October 2, 2011

Canal St-Martin and Nuit Blanche

Canal St-Martin runs from the Seine near Place de la Bastille to Parc de la Villette in the northeast corner of Paris.  It's about 3 miles long, with about a mile of it underground.  It has 9 locks, a number of passarelles or pedestrian bridges, as well as bridges that swing open or lift up.  Yesterday we decided to take the 2 1/2 hour canal boat tour.  Here's the boat entering a lock with a passarelle overhead.

And here's the boat in a lock that is filling with water.

The canal tour sounds much more interesting than it actually is.   The 2 1/2 hour length was way too long.  We could have walked the entire distance and back again, even allowing for traffic, in that time.

Nuit Blanche (white night) is an idiom meaning "sleepless night" in French.  The first Saturday in October it also means a huge art event with 118 exhibits scattered throughout the city, starting at 7:00 p.m. and lasting until 7:00 a.m.  We focused on the exhibits in the Montmartre-Pigalle area.  "Black Cloud" was an installation of 30,000 black paper butterflies attached to the large arcade of a school near the Anvers Métro stop.

And "Barbed Salt Lamps" was installed in the nave of a church near the Abbesses Métro stop.  It's made with salt from the Dead Sea.

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