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The Canal St. Martin is one of the spots I never managed to visit when I spent the summer of 2009 in Paris, so it was on my to-do list for this trip. I’m a big fan of the film Amélie, so a visit to a location from a scene in the film is always exciting for me. (If you don’t know where the Canal St. Martin scene is in the film, it’s been too long since you have watched it, and you should watch it again!) It was a lovely spot to sit and enjoy the beautiful May weather while resting our tired feet, and the place where the Canal actually runs above ground level is really cool.

Canal St. Martin on a beautiful May afternoon

The best part of our visit was when a houseboat came up the Canal and we realized it was heading straight for the locks just uphill from us. We hurried back up to the locks in time to watch the boat enter a lock, while the water was raised, then the gates to the next lock were opened, the water in that lock was raised, and once it reached the level of the upper portion of the Canal, the final gates open and the boat was back on its way. Two people on the other side of the locks climbed the fence while the second lock was filling and hitched a ride on the boat! The rush of the water was pretty loud, so I couldn’t hear the conversation between them and the boat captain–I’m assuming they knew each other, but who knows, perhaps they were hitchhikers.

Houseboat waiting for the lock to fill up at the Canal St. Martin

We finished the evening by eating at a vegetarian Indian restaurant just a few blocks away by the Gare du Nord. It’s a fun little area with amazing Indian food, and a great place to get a bite to eat before or after you visit the Canal.

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