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Springtime in Paris

Paris, at its heart, is a walking city. It is not very big, approximately 105km² in size (for comparison, London is about 1500km²), and there are many lovely small streets and hidden gardens to explore by foot.

Promenade plantée

Now that the weather has been rather pleasant again after a very long winter, the amounts of time I’ve been spending walking across parks have also increased significantly. I’m also very lucky that Jardin du Luxembourg sits between home and work, so it’s not as if I’m taking massive detours!

But first, let’s start with last Sunday. Oh, that glorious day that felt more like it was summer rather than spring… I assumed the entire population of 2 million plus who live in the city (minus a handful few who had to work or were sick therefore stuck indoors) were out in force, either for a picnic, a walk, a jog, a cycle, or a drive.

Cyclist

Picnic at Lac Daumesnil

F and I cycled to the Bois de Vincennes, and the area surrounding the Lac Daumesnil was packed. I guess it didn’t help either that the Foire du Trône is on site at the moment. There were absolutely no spots to park the Velib’ – we finally found one at St Mandé – and decided instead of walking back and join the throng by the lake, we would cross the woods itself and later made our way to the Lac des Minimes.

Signpost

Apple blossom

The Bois de Vincennes is an interesting place to be. Given the vast acreage of the woods, there are inevitable unintended partitions that give rise to more specific and particular demographic of visitors. There are a few family spots, a couple of sporty sections, a couple of exhibitionist corners (I saw way too many exposed torsos and tiny boxers in passing), and a large central open meadow where just about all kinds of going-on were observed, including the regular sun-tanning crowd and the not-so-infrequent (very) tactile couples. People-watching is indeed an interesting pastime.

Vincennes

Obedient dog

The Lac des Minimes is just another small stretch of walk away, catering mostly for families and there are also rowboats for hire for anyone interested in navigating around the large boulders amidst the lake. Such a shame though, there are some works on-going at the moment thus reducing the seating areas along the lake.

Lake houses

Lac des Minimes

However, the luxury of being able to go to large parks just outside of Paris is pretty much a weekend thing. During the week, I am content to have the Jardin du Luxembourg as my strolling ground. For a change of scenery, I can walk over to the Jardin de l’Observatoire too.

The French Senate

Flowers

The gardeners of the Jardin du Luxembourg are currently trying to replant some of the flowerbeds, so the central area (next to the pond) still looked a bit bare when I went by this morning. On the other hand, many peripheral corners are now planted with blooms in hues of purple, lilac, violet, plum and fuchsia – they are beautiful sights for the sore eyes.

Tulips

Tulips

This weekend, garden and park exploration is going to continue, provided the weather holds. Parc de Montsouris is on the visit list for Sunday (picnic!) and I may also go over to my old “home”, Cité U, for a leisurely visit. I would like to see the cherry blossoms in the courtyard of my old building, and come to think of it, I’ve never really showed off Cité U properly on this blog. It merits an entry on its own. Let me see what I can do ;)



Category: Paris

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8 scribbles & notes

  1. emma says:

    Great blog! I also love doing picnics in Parc Montsouris, and especially at Cité U. – It’s probably one of my favourite places to hang out in the summer! So, looking forward to read about it ;)

    • Lil says:

      Thanks Emma! I had a quick peek at your blog earlier and it looks like you’ve been on a lot of fun trip – I particularly need time now this weekend to read through posts on Greece as I’m heading there in June!

  2. med says:

    great weather indeed and everyone are out soaking it ;)
    hope it holds and we will have more great entries with pics soon hehehe

    • Lil says:

      So far, the sunshine holds but today the temperature starts to drop again. It’ll be a bit chilly this weekend but that’s not too big a deal as long as the blue sky is out there ;)

  3. Janice says:

    I have never seen the Jardin du Luxembourg so quiet and clean. My last visit to the garden was in mid-January. It was sunny but freezing cold that day. The pond was frozen and the birds (hundreds of them) were really, really hungry!

    Hey, it was nice meeting you yesterday.

    • Lil says:

      Well, a couple of reasons contributing to the “quiet” Luxembourg Gardens – (1) it was early in the morning, before 9am, and (2) the police have sealed off the area from the public after heightened security so only staff at the Senate could go in.

      It was really good to see you yesterday and have a fabulous trip! Catch you when you get back :D

  4. Sarah says:

    Doesn’t the sun make everything look so much nicer! :)

    • Lil says:

      The sun makes everything look infinitely much nicer, especially after that long and grey winter. Have a good weekend in the south!

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