Flight cancelled – two words that bring dread and chaos to any traveller. As I walked through the airport doors to begin this year’s journey to France and Greece those were the words that appeared next to my flight number. I won’t bore you with the details of how long it took to sort out except to say that my insurance company and I will be getting to know each other very soon. Eventually I made it to Paris feeling tired and a little despondent, but my spirits soon lifted. I was in Paris!
I’ve been to Paris more times than I’m prepared to admit and the last few visits have had me wondering … will I ever get tired of this city? So far the answer is no. Paris is like an old friend who greets me with open arms, and then surprises and delights me with something new and interesting to see or do.
This time it was the Promenade Plantée – a beautiful garden path on top of a mid-19th century viaduct. Built in 1993, it was the world’s first elevated park walkway and inspired the High Line in New York. The path begins at the Bastille, just behind the Opera House and winds through the 12th arrondissement for 4.7km, eventually reaching Bois des Vincennes. As you walk through rose arbours and alongside lush green gardens you are also given a birds eye view of some very interesting architecture.
The first section of the walk is above the Viaduc des Arts – 45 beautiful broad red brick archways occupied by artisan workshops and showrooms. Along the path are staircases and lifts that take you down to street level where you can see glass blowers, jewellers, furniture makers and other craftspeople at work.
Another highlight was a visit to the fascinating Musee Yves Saint Laurent, where I saw many of his stunning creations and the actual workspace where he designed them.