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The Wonder of the Wooden Sailboats

7.14.2014
Wooden sailboats at Luxembourg Gardens
Wooden sailboats at Luxembourg Gardens
Wooden sailboats at Luxembourg Gardens
Wooden sailboats at Luxembourg Gardens
Wooden sailboats at Luxembourg Gardens
Wooden sailboats at Luxembourg Gardens

Pushing about the wooden sailboats in the Grand Basin at Jardin du Luxembourg has become a favorite pastime for my boys. I've mentioned to them how generations of children played with the same 1920's boats... and realize it may not mean much to them now, but hopefully one day their memories of these times will be marvelous and fond.

The gliding toy boats, the backdrop of the French Senate and the Medici gardens are images I used to see in my French classes in the US - in short films with silly characters illustrating a new concept or vocabulary word. It was always hard to catch the lesson because the scene behind them was much more captivating. So for a long time these enchanting boats have been engrained in my mind... they've always been magical, and even more so now...

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22 comments

  1. Lovely to see these wooden boats and the scenery around, Catherine, and especially your son enjoying them. I was wondering how they are gathered up as there is no power. Silly question, I know, but curious of me. Also once a chicl oushes off the wooden sailboat does he/she just watch it sail around?

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    1. Thank you Beatrice :) Yes, the sailboats basically rely on the wind and gentle nudges of the children to move around... the little ones then watch and wait for their rented boat to glide close to the edge of the basin to give it another push!

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  2. I have also read about these boats and seen photos of them :) when I read French in school.
    Beautiful photos you show today !!

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  3. yes beautiful. In the little town where I grew up there was a little wooden sailboat sail every Sunday in the pond and all the children would come. It was fun. They still do it on our Independence day celebrations.

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  4. This is such a darling post. I love wooden sailboats and that tradition. Too bad you do not see that too often in the states.

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  5. There is something so nostalgic and beautiful about those little wooden boats. Is it the boats themselves or the setting? Or both?

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  6. Fantastic photography both color and bw and love the 'wonder of the wooden sailboats' ~ love to be there ~ thanks, ^_^

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

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  7. Lovely how the pops of color are scattered about the water. I also love the photo of the sails all gathered together on the cart. A fitting red, white and blue theme for Bastille Day... :-)

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  8. Pushing about 1920s wooden sailboats in the Grand Basin... much better than video games and i-pads!

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  9. What a fun activity for little boys, and sort of timeless, too. The boats are so graceful and pretty, especially in that wonderful setting.

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  10. This looks like a perfect pastime for little boys (and girls). It doesn't look too busy there. Will you go ou to watch the Tour arrive in Paris? I think of you as I'm watching the stages.

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    1. For these shots, we arrived (for the first time) before the boats did (around 11am) which was so exciting because I finally got a shot with all the boats on the cart :) and my boys were able to choose their boat (US and the octopus :). Thank you for reminding me about the Tour, I was so caught up in the World Cup (and was crushed by the defeat of both the US and French teams)... will definitely try to catch the Tour arriving into Paris!

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  11. Sailing in Paris = my perfect day! Lovely photos, Catherine!

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  12. My grandfather (a Newfoundland fisherman, died before I was born) had a sailboat called "The Nelson" that sank in a storm (1939). They lived and worked on it for 6 months of the year. I thought of it when i saw your wonderful photos. There is something magical about moving across the water in sailboats. Your boys are fortunate because you understand something about life that is intangible but crucial to happiness.

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    1. I'm sorry about your grandfather Carol... he must have lived a remarkable life though, amid the sea and sky in his enchanting sailboat. Thank you so much for your very kind words, they touched me so...

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  13. Thinking of Paris while sitting in French classes and now you are living there! Paris will be part of your sons life....how lucky are they? Wonderful pictures of a day . Hope you will see the Tour - forgot about it.For once I was watchung the World Cup and we were ecstatic ( we are Germans) with the result.

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    1. Ahh yes Karen... Congratulations!! What an outstanding performance by Germany in the World Cup! My husband and I watched almost every match (at least the ones I could stay up for... USA's midnight matches were a bit rough). Though one month of matches is too short after waiting four years, I'm going through a bit of withdrawal ;)

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  14. How I would love to visit Paris! Beautiful captures.

    Twinkle Eyed Traveller

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  15. Your posts always bring the biggest smile to my face. I love the simplicity you capture. There is such a pure beauty to them. I'm always left feeling wistful to be part of your images.

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  16. These boats have so many stories to tell and they are special characters in the city life because they are linked to the dreams of all the children who've played with them...

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