Along the canal

The top picture - and these two - may be representative of a canal where fewer barges now seem to berth along the quays.

I took a rather long walk the other day, maybe some 20 km (12 miles), starting at the end of the Canal Saint Martin (see previous posts e.g. here and here)…

… with the Bassin de la Villette (see previous posts e.g. here, here and here) and then walking along the Canal de l’Ourcq…

… first as it is running along the Parc de la Villette...

... and then I left Paris and continued to Pantin…

… and all the way to Bondy.

I’m not going to tell a long story about the Canal de l’Ourcq here (you can find it here if you wish), but just remind you that the canal was initiated during the Napoleonic years to – then – offer potable water to the Parisians. Today it provides about half of Paris' requirements of non-potable water – for sewer systems, gutters, parks… , but although non-potable, the water is considered as clean enough for swimming (see again here).

The canal is of course also to some extent used for cargo traffic, today mainly for building material (I have not been able to find any statistics) with a wish to increase this kind of more ecological transport. There is also some limited leisure boating, maybe not so attractive for longer trips - the canal ends (or rather starts) in a cul-de-sac.

Today quite a lot of housing projects take place along the canal, offering a nice, peaceful environment.  But, there are of course a lot of traces of what “has been”.  

What perhaps is really striking along the canal is the ever present street art. Well, I don’t know if street art is the correct term here, but I don’t think there is anything named canal art.

There has even been some sponsored art, covering complete walls.

Some of the artists were actually in full activity during my walk.

Addendum :
The Saint-Denis Tourism office obviously found this post and made some positive comments. They asked me to make some links to a special event, some kind of street art festival, and also to a more general article about the Ourcq Canal, which I do with pleasure, just click!  


MadAboutParis said...

Very compelling!
Just curious Peter...was that 12 miles one-way or round-trip?

Anonymous said...

¡Un articulo impresionante!
¡Esa primera foto es bellisima! Y es tambien muy simbolica para los que alguna vez se dedicaron a la navegacion.
Maria Russell

Studio at the Farm said...

I loved this post, Peter! You have so many wonderful photos here. And the "canal art" is fantastic! I truly enjoyed the walk along the canal, especially as I am recuperating from hip replacement surgery. But I will be up and doing long walks and riding horses SOON!


claude said...

Cette balade me semble plus cool que celle qu'on a faite sur le canal du Midi.

PeterParis said...

Mad about Paris: No, I found a metro! :-)
Anonymous: Gracias!
Studio... : I hope for a quick recovery!
Claude: Un peu déçue?

Studio at the Farm said...

Thank you, Peter :)

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