Sunday, 25 October 2009

Autumn in Paris

I took a longer break than I anticipated mostly because settling into Paris took a while, but also because wildness is tricky to spot in this city, at least at first glance. Parisians are quite conscious of the environment to judge by the efficient recycling schemes, popular bike-hire system and the volume of adverts that promote brands as green. I’m quite hopeful that there will be lots of ecological French activity to blog: by chance, the first French-English conversation group I went to was themed ‘Going Green’, and we’ve already received a circular from the mayor of our district who has written a fistful of books on sustainability.

But as autumn is in its glory I’ve been hankering after trees. Just round the corner from our flat is an ingenious little park, the Jardin Atlantique, built across the roof of Gare Montparnasse (a major city train station).

It’s a curious place, circled by tall office blocks with Tour Montparnasse looming above them all. Train announcements and other sounds from the station platforms resonate through the ground. Like all Parisian public spaces it’s also carefully organised with lots of municipal activities: tennis courts, boules court, ping-pong tables and so on. There’s a very impressive children’s play area, including this lovely canopy walkway. 

A little marsh area rustles under the tower.

On the way back today I was struck by the sunlight in these birch leaves. 

While taking photos I thought I may as well take a photo of the view from another of the same roundabout’s exits. 


  1. Hi Kathleen,
    wonderful blog you was a delight to find a post this morning on Paris as I only found your blog about a month ago.
    This garden over a city rail station is indeed curious. I shall look forward to seeing what you discover over time,

  2. Hi Sophie, thanks very much for the comment - I'm glad you enjoyed the post.