River Seine, its banks and numerous bridges are great place for an evening or very early morning saunter. There’s something magical in the morning mist that lazes on the surface of the water. River’s stream is still calm and unploughed by hundreds of different types and sizes boats that go by the river every day. It’s soothing down the quays and there’s no sign of a busy day ahead.

It’s a different story in the evening. The quays are bustling with life. There’s endless procession of boats going up and down the watercourse. Monotonous voice of recorded tourist information passed to the multitude of sightseers on a numerous tourist vessels bounces off majestic buildings and disappears in overwhelming hum of street music, engines’ noise and car traffic. Every such procession is accompanied by bright lights pointing at tourist attractions and together with melancholic street lamps’ illumination creates unique atmosphere. In the summer river banks are busting with pick-nick lovers. The air feels up with food aromas, gasoline odour, guitars playing, people singing. Passing by that colourful masquerade one can catch bits of conversations, laughs and undying excitement.

Among all those things that Parisians use their much-loved river banks there’s one that stands out on its own- they are somebody’s home. Under some of the bridges one passes adroitly constructed, urine-stinking cardboard ‘houses’. Some of them inhabited some abandoned, or in anticipation of its owner returning after busy day in town. Sometimes one see only discarded mattresses, blankets and sleeping bags, the bridge provides a shelter.

On one of my evening strolls down the quays I came across one such household. Surrounded by cigarette buds, filthy blankets and numerous pieces of garments stood muddy, unopened bottle of St Pellegrino mineral water. Maybe it was a left over from last night’s sumptuous pick-nick?

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