Paris started as a city on an island in the middle of the Seine River, and the river has always been important part of the city and its charms.
Richard and I have taken several walks along the river banks. You get a wonderful perspective on the city from the water’s edge. In those areas where there are quays along the water, you find many people sitting, picknicking, and lounging, dangling their feet over the edge and enjoying a sunny spring day. (Surprisingly to us Americans, where prospective tort liability has caused the landscape to be littered with fences, barricades, and warning signs, there are no railings at the water’s edge.)
The quays also are a good way to get from point A to point B quickly and pleasantly. Richard and I made very good time walking from the Ile de la Cite to the Musee d’Orsay along the waterfront. If you walk along the quays, you avoid the traffic light at crossing streets and you don’t encounter nearly as many fellow walkers. You also see things that other might miss — like the classic carved heads that line the underside of one of the older bridges crossing the Seine.