This has been perhaps the most magical night of our trip: a private sunset cruise on the Seine, on the houseboat of French singer and songwriter Eric Vincent, who is good friends with my father-in-law. It was tough finding parking in the Bastille area, but well worth the effort.
We sailed down the Seine past one gorgeous bridge and edifice after another, each with its own long history and associated stories. Quasimodo and The Scarlet Pimpernel were definitely there with us in spirit! Flashes of literature and history came to us almost every moment - medieval times, the French Revolution, the World Expo. We appreciated our new perspective of Notre-Dame from the water, and of the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, the Eiffel Tower, and the Palais de Justice and adjacent Conciergerie, half-cleaned, half still dingy with years of pollution.
Eric played for us after dinner, and it was a moment I'll never forget. He sang and played a recent composition, Jardins suspendus, which he hasn't even recorded yet. It was such a privilege to hear a master musician and composer in his own home at his own table, making music. I wish I could remember the lyrics; all I know is it was difficult not to be a bit moist in the eyes hearing this lyrical song inspired by the war in Iraq.