Dispatch from Paris- Discover the Newly Pedestrianized Riverbank

Berges de Seine, ParisThe Berges de Seine has officially opened, transforming the Left Bank between the Orsay Museum and the Pont d'Alma into a playground for young and old alike. The brainchild of beloved Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoë, the Berges project takes back one of the city's prettiest urban vistas from the car traffic that used to clog the quays.

There are a slew of chic little eateries, surrounded by lounge chairs and tables topped with checkerboards. Landscaped with pretty installations, chill-out areas come with bean bag chairs where folks lounge while taking in the river views. A children's climbing wall has been erected near the Pont Alexandre III, with ropes and footholds assembled on the base of the old bridge itself. There's even a small ramp for skateboarders.

Close to the Pont d'Alma, five barges-- linked by walkways-- contain a floating garden with Eiffel Tower views. Bathed in the breeze off the river, a row of chaise loungers watch the passing boat traffic. On a recent stroll, we marveled at the architectural details of the bridges, like this golden lizard (pictured). Bref, a marvelous addition to the ancient city that keeps getting prettier with age.

Photo via Twitter.com/MaryWNicklin

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