When we talk of lift bridges in England we think of the back-breaking structures built by canal companies when funds became too tight for elaborate brick or stone structures.
|rue du Crimee bidge fully raised for the trip boat|
If you want a free boat trip on the Canal St. Denis then take the short walk from the canal junction at la Villette past the first lock to where the Ave. Corentin Coriou crosses the canal. Here you will find a shuttle boat (navette fluvial) to take you to the shopping centre - Le Millenaire .
Powered by electric thrusters and running every ten minutes for twelve hours every day these little water buses will whisk you under the Peritherique and turn sharp left into a redundant commercial basin where something over 140 shops occupy a modern shopping mall. (yes, I do US English too!) Total journey time about six minutes but it is free
We were fortunate to discover this around 7pm on Saturday night and so avoided the shopping crowds. We also avoided spending any money as the shops were all closing up by the time we arrived.
Not to be outdone by the floating trees recently launched by C&RT the Canal de l'Ourcq has its own contribution.
It is rather limited in its cruising range being powered by a single outboard motor and also being tethered to one bank of the canal.
Of course you cannot trust the French to play by the rules and so this installation (that's what they call art nowadays) is a pedestrian bridge which is moved aside for the gravel boat to make its way.