All the things that have happened in Paris … All these buildings recalling the belle époque and can-can dancers in the Moulin Rouge, as painted by a certain Toulouse Lautrec. The Seine is its lifeline, and if you can bear to tear yourself away, it leads to beautiful Normandy: to blossoming apple trees, brown cows, lush green valleys, Calvados, oysters and creamy Camembert. Every kilometre of the river is of historical and economic significance. Rouen is virtually an open-air medieval museum. It owes its wealth to the sea port, where more than 3,400 ships call every year. The Seine is the key to the nation’s soul, and sailing on it gives a glimpse into the heart of France.