Belleville · exploring · garden · nature · Paris · spring · summer · tourist · waterfall

Parc Life

The sun is finally beginning to make its long-awaited appearance, spring is on its way… so I’ve decided to take a break from food, and blog about nature. Or, more specifically, Parisian parcs.

With the hubbub of daily life in the big city, it can be easy to be left yearning for the countryside a little, the green expanses of land, the trees, the plants… and, looking around you on your way to work or university, it may seem incomprehensible that such a desire could be attained with little effort.

This is where the parcs come in, some more evident than others. It’s hard to go to the Louvre without continuing to potter down the rue and catch sight of the Tuileries, the impressive array of green which adds to the beauty of the setting. Some of the jardins are easier to miss, not being situated in a central location. This is why I only discovered my favourite, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, when I returned to Paris after my year there (it’s true, I just can’t stay away!)

SItuated to the north-east in the 19th arrondissement, this park really stands above the others. Not only because of its literal height (a good number of hills increase the health benefit of a walk here too!), but also because of the treasures it has inside the gates.

At the heart of the parc is a huge lake, making it even more refreshing in the summer months. From here, you decide if you first want to attain the heights of Paris and look out over the city, or whether you want to explore the depths of the park… Let’s say you choose to delve below first. Here we go.

So, walking down the path, you see what appears to be a cave, a grotto, and, upon reaching it, you realise it is. But so much better. For there is a huge waterfall, the likes of which you would never expect to see when pottering around Paris. The stepping stones around it create a fun little game for kids everyone, hopping around and occasionally being splashed by the water – a great way to cool down.

After diving into the depths, it’s time to climb to the heights and get one of the best views of Paris. At the the top of the summit lies the Temple de la Sibylle, a striking piece of architecture mimicking that of the ‘Temple of Vesta’ in Italy. From here, you can see the whole of this great city (for free!), as well as taking in the grandeur of the park itself. The suspension bridge which hangs above the lake is also worth noting; not for the faint-hearted (/those who are afraid of heights!), this bridge creates another way up to the Temple, whilst giving the feel of being in an explorer movie (…or the Swiss Family Robinson maze at Disneyland Paris).

As well as these two main attractions, the park is also a great place to relax in the fresh air, have a picnic, and absorb some Vitamin D. So when you’re in Paris, why not break out of the tourist loop and venture a bit further out to explore a treasure like this?

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