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Travel Post: Paris with many parks and a fond farewell

It’s Wednesday, and I’m sitting in a train that has just departed from the Gare de l’Est and is rapidly gaining speed.  My initial destination was going to be Reims, but I got home last night and discovered an anxious message from my penfriend – apparently, Paris had been having big and rather violent protests during the day (several of which I appear to have just missed), and the SNCF strikes were on again.  I considered my itinerary – Paris to Reims, Reims back to Paris, Paris to Kaiserslautern – and decided that the odds of at least one of these trains being cancelled was quite high.  I have been *extremely* fortunate with strikes and everything else in Paris, but there is such a thing as pushing one’s luck.  So I cancelled all my Reims bookings and am now headed straight for Mainz a few days early.  I’m sad to miss Reims, but I had visions of taking days to get myself to Germany from there if the trains stopped…

I decided that Monday, the day when most museums are shut, would be a good day for walking around the 19th and 20th arondissements and crossing off some of the parks on my list (I had a LIST, oh yes.  It had chocolates and patisserie and museums and parks, all sorted by arondissement and by priority, and with the arondissements grouped by proximity, so that on any given day I could choose which collection of items to cross off.  It is possible that I am a tad over-organised, but I was a Catherine with an AGENDA, which included at least a brief visit to every arondissement in Paris, and there was no time to waste!), so I started the morning by exploring the park at Buttes Chaumont.

My inner Metro geek was delighted to discover this involved going on line 7 bis, which I haven’t been on before.  I spent a little bit too much time on my journey trying to work out which Metro lines I had been on during this trip.  Certainly 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 7bis, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.  Probably 4 and 6.  Probably not 8 and 9.  Certainly not 3b.  I did a fair bit of walking and bus travel, and didn’t take notes.  Next time, I shall be systematic…

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This is actually a modern park, and I think a constructed one.  It’s very hilly (if you look at the Crypte Archéologique in my previous post, you can see the Butte Chaumont even on the map of the pre-settled area of Paris), very popular with joggers, and has unexpected water features and a gazebo.

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