In the crisp Winter daylight the Bassin de l’Arsenal is both picturesque yet smacks of being urban. Popping with the colours of a renaissance colour palette, yet one that’s hyper-saturated. And in the near distance you can spot the Bastille monument.
I discovered this place at the time I was flat hunting. A French friend brought me here via metro Bastille. She ensured we passed by the massive windows in the metro station which show a great view of what looks like a harbour.
I usually ride along the boulevard’s parallel cycle-lane of which there are many attributed to the city’s cyclists when I’m heading into town (see the map here). There’s a handy cycle pathway which makes the route tolerable when there’s heavy traffic. One of the best things I’ve done along this stretch of water is to stroll along on the pathway alongside the moored boats.
I’ve seen groups of cyclists hanging out there, swilling beers, their legs dangling over the edge of the quayside. There’s also an open air sculpture park not too far away. Bassin l’Arsenal isn’t much to look at, from first sight, apart from a lot of moored boats. But I think the more time I spend discovering this urbanised space, the more charm it unlocks.