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Hidden Paris: Canal St Martin to Mouzaïa

I love friends who make effort to visit Paris more than once. It means this city is no mere checklist item for them; it also opens up the possibility of leading them to Parisian neighbourhoods where few visitors venture in because they still need to see the Louvre, or Notre Dame, or Montmartre, and the likes. Don’t get me wrong: these are good places to see with much to learn (art, architecture, culture, etc) but after bringing one friend after another to the same set of places, it’s a nice change to be elsewhere, you know?

Canal St Martin to Mouzaïa

Canal St Martin to Mouzaïa

After a lovely brunch near the Canal St Martin (more on that next time), I invited SL to join me on an exploratory walk towards Mouzaïa, another purported “countryside” of Paris that lies in the 19th arrondissement. I don’t often come by this part of the city either, as I normally play explorer to discover the nooks and corners near where I live instead. Our trail took us from Canal St Martin to the small hilly streets by Colonel Fabien, then towards Parc des Buttes-Chaumont to continue towards the villas branching out from rue de Mouzaïa. And voila, the photos of things and places we admired on that wonderfully sunny September afternoon.

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Vantage Paris

Another fun thing about organising my archived photos is the realisation that, over the years, I’ve been very lucky to have seen Paris from many vantage viewpoints around the city. Nearly all of these locations are accessible to everyone all year round, free or ticket-requiring. If you are looking for a place to see Paris from higher grounds (without breaking the bank by hiring private flights), up up you go!

Viewpoints of Paris

1. Eiffel Tower: This is an obvious one, and my last visit there was as a family outing. We were very pleased to have a wonderfully sunny weather, despite strong wind earlier that day which caused closure of the top-most level. It had reopened by then, but the crowd trying to access it was too crazy for us to even consider tackling. The mid-level viewing decks worked perfectly fine for us.

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Day 163: Parc des Buttes Chaumont

Parc des Buttes Chaumont sits near Belleville and since I was in the neighbourhood for lunch today (excellent authentic Thai food, if you’re wondering), I could not resist taking a walk there for some post-lunch afternoon stroll. Not longer as off the beaten path as it used to be – yes, tourists have discovered this little gem in the north-east of Paris, although they seem to head straight only for the belvedere – it is still one of my favourite places in town.

Perhaps it is the memory that I’ve attached to the park. I was visiting Paris one summer before heading to Italy, staying with a friend, and for the first time, explored the city extensively by car, and the park was one of our visited places. I remember us sitting on the slopping hill, basking in the sunshine while talking about our dreams and aspirations for the future. How simple life was back then. I was idealistic, naive even, with so much I aspired to do. It was very good time.

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