Catching up and quirky parts of Paris

Before leaving Newcastle, we’d made arrangements with friends to catch up when they arrive in Paris while we’re here. So, we’re up a bit earlier and off to find Gare Saint-Lazare, which is easy enough via the Metro.  The interesting bit then becomes finding a rendezvous point that I’d suggested with no real knowledge of the station or its layout and just the info on Maps to assist.  We still manage to find each other and spend a couple of lovely hours just chatting and sharing experiences.  It’s interesting how nice it is to have another couple to chat with idiomatically after a few weeks of being within your own cocoon of existence within different places.

paulaandleonWe had fun catching up and Leon had fun trying out his new panorama app on the iPad.

We left Paula and Leon to catch their train to Normandy as we headed back down into the metro for the trip back across town to Bastille and our anticipated look at the Promenade Plantee, a wonderful adaptive reuse of an elevated railway that served as an inspiration for the famed Highline in New York.

accessAfter an overly expensive coffee at Bastille, we grab a couple of Velibs and ride east to where we can access the Promenade Plantee via some steps where Avenue Daumesnil enters Rue de Lyon.  The first section of the Promenade is pedestrian only, but a lovely walk, up amongst the trees and greenery.

It’s a beautiful day and it’s a great experience to take part in enjoying the creativity and lateral thinking of the people who thought to transform an unused piece of infrastructure in such a beautiful way. (Click the thumbnails to see larger versions of the pics.)

promenade1promenade2 promenade3




viaducdesartsFor part of the Promenade, we need to return to street level, but enjoy the walk along the Viaduc des arts where a variety of design shops create beautiful objects to suit a range of uses.

It’s around lunchtime by this stage and it’s nice to see the people from the various businesses bringing their tables and chairs out into the sunshine to enjoy their break together.  We walk on to find the next access point to get back up onto the Promenade.

apartmentsAt one point, the Promenade has had apartment blocks built on either side of the pathway and we marvel at the way that the whole project has integrated the renewed and the new.  signpost




It’s not far now and we can access 2 more Velibs and ride the Promenade off to the East. There’s a small selection of some of the ‘feel’ of the cycleway as we ride to the end.

It really is fabulous to see the way that this path is so well used and should validate the vision of those who championed the creation of the Fernleigh Track in Newcastle.  It’s sometimes difficult to adequately assess value in simple dollars and cents; but the value to communities and our experience as humans is enormous.

export lines wood





As often happens, there can be serendipitous outcomes in interesting ways and our trip along the Promenade was no different, as we found a Turkish restaurant for lunch and had some fantastic food and a chance to unwind and enjoy the sunshine before riding on back into more central Paris.

After cycling back to Bastille and then along the cycleway westward, we decide that it’s time to head back to our ‘home’ for the week, and dock our bikes at a Metro station before wandering home via Republique station.

penforthThere’s time for a few hours of relaxing before a quiet drink at our adopted ‘local:’ Chez Prune, before having an excellent late dinner at La Patache..a hundred metres or so from our base.  Excellent lentils and pork for Lynette and a great dish of ribs that fell off the bone for me, washed down with Rose and Pelforth Brune. Very local and authentic food.

All in all, a very nice day, with friends, sunshine and a lovely walk and cycle, topped off by excellent food and a drink or two.



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