Thursday, April 9, 2009

Canal Saint-Martin

The Canal Saint-Martin in a 4.5 km canal in Paris dating back to the days of Napoleon I. It opened in 1825, shortcutting a long loop in the River Siene. The canal is located on the eastern side of Paris in the 10th arrondissement, right next to Thomas' apartment for the semester. Nowadays, as far as I can tell, it is primarily used as a hangout spot and tour boat route. The most impressive part of the whole operation was the old-style pivoting road bridges and locks that allowed the boats to pass thru.

Here, the van is stopped on the stationary part of the road, while the rest of the road deck has swings out across the canal to the other side of the road.

How does a boat float uphill? Here's how... In this shot, I'm standing on a pedestrian bridge over the canal, right in front of one of the locks (or is it a dam?). You can see the doors holding in the water from the section above. There are a bunch of spectators on the next pedestrian bridge waiting to watch the tour boat pass thru.

This is a view of the road bridge, canal, and steps to the pedestrian bridge from the window of Thomas' apartment. Whenever a tour boat would pass, the booming French voice of the boat tour guide would fill the apartment.

Here comes the tour boat off in the distance. The car barriers are coming down.

Here, the road has swung off to the left and out of the way.

The tour boat passes thru the open road and under the pedestrian bridge.

Now I'm looking off the other side of the bridge. The boat is in the lock in the picture above. The doors open slowly, the water level rises, and the boat floats to the top.

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