Monday, May 6, 2013

oh, so,

the reason I called the last post we'll always have Paris was because this has always been our "go-to" city outside the US.  we came here for the first time together on the first trip we made to Europe together - it was a trip to Burgundy and Alsace-Lorraine but we ended in Paris and stayed for almost a week.  that was now more than 15 years ago and we have been back numerous times since. 

we went back later that year in October - and then another time over the Christmas holiday and three times for my birthday in various years and at least three spring trips over the years- so it has been and remains the first choice for a "get away" of a week or less... and because we have been there so frequently we don't feel like we have to squeeze everything into one trip-  so this time we made plans to explore the promenade plantee because we hadn't been there before and to revisit the d'Orsay and Montmartre...

because the weather was fabulous on our first full day that became the obvious choice for the Promenade Plantee...

(the following info is from wikipedia)
The Promenade plantée is an extensive green belt that follows the old Vincennes railway line. Beginning just east of the Opéra Bastille with the elevated Viaduc des Arts, it follows a 4.7 km (2.9 mi) path eastward.  At the western, Bastille end of the parkway, it rises 10 m above the surrounding area and forms the Viaduc des Arts, a line of shops emphasizing highly skilled arts and crafts. The shops are located in the arches of the former elevated railway viaduct, with the parkway being supported atop the viaduct. The parkway intersects the Jardin de Reuilly near the rue Montgallet and descends to street level. At that point, it becomes a mall and then follows the old railway right-of-way below street level towards the east, passing through several tunnels. As it reaches the rue du Sahel, it splits, with one portion continuing to the beltway, and the other terminating in the square Charles-Péguy along the former path of a branch line that once linked to the Petite Ceinture railway. The high-level route has some enclosed sections, as when it passes between modern buildings, and some open sections with expansive views. In addition to the jardin de Reuilly and the square Charles-Péguy, the Promenade Plantée also includes the jardin de la gare de Reuilly.

While other abandoned railways have been converted into parks and parkways, the Promenade Plantée is the first green space constructed on an elevated viaduct.

And therefore, it is the model for the NYC High Line (see blog entry of 9/13/12 and 10/12/11) and since spring had just sprung in Paris, we were there just as the flowering trees were in full blossom and the tulips and daffodils were blooming...

here are some of the photos- - - we started out taking the 12 line of the Metro from Rue du Bac and transferring when we got to the 1 line - which is now very modern cars which are all open from one end of the train to the other- then we got off at the stop for the opera Bastille - which is exactly over the River Seine (houseboats anyone?) and has windows which overlook the river.

then we walked a short distance behind the opera to the entrance and went up the steps to the walkway-

as you can see - we hit it just right for flowering trees in bloom!

birds were nesting-

and we were in green space despite the streets being right below us-

you could see them when you reached a former rail overpass-

a little closer for some detail on the buildings we saw-

and then you would be back in green and flowers-

punctuated by more views of city and buildings along the way-

and more green-

signs along the way let you know where you were on the path-

then we reached the place we planned to exit and it was up a stairway to the street and across the street to the Metro Line 6 which we took back to Montparnasse and switched to the Line 12 train to Rue du Bac!

a quick stop at the hotel and then out in the neighborhood for a pizza lunch  two worthy personal pizzas - very nice service and a reasonable price for lunch!

after lunch we strolled back to the hotel and did some window shopping- but I will save that for the next post...

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