Simple sailing

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  • Luxembourg gardens
  • On a warm spring day in Paris I wander to the Jardin du Luxembourg (or Luxembourg garden in English), one of the largest parks in the city. People are sitting on chairs all around the carefully manicured gardens enjoying the sun and the company of friends, a book, or just their own thoughts. It’s a quintessential Parisian scene.

    In front of the Palais du Luxembourg children play with model sailboats on the Grand Bassin duck pond, pushing them off into the waves with a long stick then running to meet them wherever the wind carries them to. It’s an activity that dates back nearly a century and it looks just as much fun today as I’m sure it was back when the boats caught those first winds in their little sails.

    Today the very same boats continue to sail across the Grand Bassin, chased by excited children who chose their boat from a small pushcart that rents them for thirty minutes at a time. Each boat carries a the national colors and flag of a country, and there’s even a pirate ship too. For sure that would be the one I would have chosen. In fact, if I’m honest, the big kid in me wanted to rent my own boat and spend some time in the sunshine pushing it out onto the waves with a baton. Some other time perhaps.

    Stand at this location using Google street view.

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