Ile de la Cité is easily accessible through Notre Dame cathedral or Pont des Arts where you will find the Square du vert-calant and the famous “love-lock”. You know that famous place where locals and tourists attach a “lock” to make a wish or demonstrate their love forever … or something like that!
We first noticed l'île de la Cité on the Bateaux-Mouches tour. Passing in front, the island gave us this peaceful impression and we instantly wanted to visit. We saw people sitting on the edge of the concrete basking in the sun and imagined ourselves there. After a long day of sightseeing around Paris, our opportunity struck and we accepted. We consider ourselves fortunate for the experience since we came very close to missing out. Just moments before arriving on the island, we were searching for a patio to have a few drinks. What we discovered on that island that day was far greater than any patio !
Everyone seemed to be having a drink, either wine or beer and we felt like we missed out. We found a nice quiet spot under the trees at the far end of the island. We sat and felt blessed with a beautiful view. At this point, we were just missing the drinks. And what do you know, all of a sudden we had first class service, a couple of Heineken beers for the both of us by an anonymous fellow !
Just sitting there after a long walking day and be able to relax it was a kind of insight and meditation saying “OK … Let's enjoy Paris!”.
Great things in life are free, and we were just thankful to experience this spot. We could rest and reconnect with nature after a long day of sightseeing. For those looking for a more vibrant or exciting interaction, we found musicians near the main entrance entertaining the crowd.
According Wikipedia the “Ile de la Cité” is one of two remaining natural island in the Seine river within the city of Paris (the other being the Ile Saint-Louis) and it’s the centre of Paris and the location where the medieval city was refounded. Really interesting.