Over the next few blog posts, I’ll be sharing a little about my adventures in Paris, about walking and taking the metro to see the most important and notable sights, well, not all of them. When you fall in love with a place, you have to, as a rule, leave some things undone to make sure you come back (I know you like to look for excuses to travel!).
By luck, we found ourselves in a little ground floor apartment in central Paris, a short walk from the Seine on the south bank. I love that feeling of leaving an apartment, letting the door slam behind you and being placed instantly in the city, an avenue or boulevard; of being thrown out into the bright, loud world full of traffic and the busy people doing anything and everything all at once.
Nature offers a delicate balance and I admire and applaud cities that know the importance of green spaces. So, naturally, our first stop was Jardin du Luxembourg. The French really put a lot of effort into making their gardens really, really awesome. If you keep your eyes open in Paris, you’re bound to find someone working away pruning a tree or planting spring flowers (the kind of behind-the-scenes travel eye candy that I’m a little obsessed with).
These beautiful French and English style gardens are right near the Latin Quarter and are spread over 25 hectares. The Jardin du Luxembourg dates way back to 1612. Queen Marie de Medici, interestingly enough, wanted gardens in Paris that were somewhat like the Boboli Gardens in Florence (in my opinion, this garden is way better). The grounds include a forest, pond, apple orchard, rose garden beehives and a greenhouse. There are modern and classical statues and sculptures dotted around the space. Keep an eye out for the Medici Fountain, Orangerie and Pavillion Davioud. Loose chairs are randomly strewn about (a welcome sight for tired feet). If you stick around, you may be lucky to be in the garden at the start of a free concert or even a photography exhibition.
For the budget traveller, one big advantage of this park is that it is free. Jardin du Luxembourg is open from 7:30 to 21:30 in summer and from 8:15 until 16.30 in the colder months.
Tip: Have some Petit Prince biscuits at hand to snack on (if you’re trying to blend in) and feed a few crumbs to the friendly sparrows (if you’re trying to stand out – as a tourist).