Tuesday, March 13, 2007

petit bateau...

Petit bateau is not just a very popular children's clothing line in France, but it also means 'little boat.' (I have a point to this French lesson, trust me.)

So, with spring time here... I decided to spend my last few days in Paris (yup... we're almost at the end!) walking and enjoying the sunshine and sites. A wonderful place to walk and be sluggish (which this city promotes, by the way, because of all of the chairs in public places. Not just benches... but chairs too!) is in the Tuileries, in front of the Louvre.

With it being a Sunday AND beautiful weather... it was packed... adults and children alike. And a favorite pastime for the little ones is the... you guessed it... little boats! There are a couple of large fountains in the Tuileries... so you set your little boat a sail!


Now... I got more and more intrigued by watching the parents and children play with the boats. (Honestly... forget the kids... I want a boat!) I wasn't sure if all of these children and their parents made the boats (where am I, in 1952... yeah right) so I wanted to see how were built and function.

Basically, the structure apprears to be that of a normal sailboat...


And simply enough, you get a light stick (they had bamboo sticks with an end cap of black fabric tape on it) and put it on a block on the stern (rear) of the boat (which is a great idea, because it helps kids, or people like me that know nothing about boats or boating terms, to know which end is the rear!)


And then you give it a good push and you're off... and hopefully the wind will do the rest!


After watching for a while... and getting lots of odd looks from parents because I was taking bunches of photos... I decided I should speak to somebody and find out any information I could. And as I went to turn around... there he was... the boat rental man. For 2 Euro, you could have one of these beauties for a 1/2 hour. Not too bad, seeing any child looses interest in just about anything in about 3 minutes.

So, I spoke with him (he looked like a rough old sailor) and he said he had made them when he was a child. I asked politely if I could take a few close up photos... and she asked if I was a spy... I laughed and said no.


But maybe I really am a spy, seeing I'm posting the photos? Hmmmmmm.

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