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On Sunday Parisians go strolling,

On Sunday Parisians go strolling, in the parks, in cemeteries and on the boulevards, so that's what we did. But first they have coffee, preferably sitting outside on such a nice day as this was. Unfortunately finding a seat at any of the cafes required that je ne sais quoi known only to Parisians, so when we saw the Coffee Company on rue Mouffetard, featuring lattes and smoothies, we knew we were all set. Even though we looked tres Americaine walking along with our grande lattes in paper cups, I thoroughly enjoyed the size and flavor of a Paris equivalent to Peet's. With coffee in hand we proceeded along Boulevard Montparnasse and into the cemetery where we found the interesting and graphic monument in the upper lefthand photo but never could find what we'd come looking for, Jean Paul Sartre's grave. Across Avenue du Maine, we eventually reached the Gare Montparnasse where we climbed the stairs to explore the roof garden covering the entire train station. Quite different from other parks we'd visited, this is an example of contemporary garden design around the theme of the sea, in tribute to the Atlantic bound TGV train. Packed lawns and pathways proved it's success but to me it seemed to be too many different ideas in too small a space. Back down again along Boulevard Montparnasse we paid our respects to the Hemingway haunts, La Coupole, Le Select and Le Dome, and headed towards home through the Jardin du Luxembourg, shown below. Though this too had crowded paths, the open expanses of green, and vistas like this one up the stairs and between the trees to the Pantheon, allowed for views that were all your own. Going the last blocks towards home through the narrow streets paralleling Boulevard St. Germain and the Seine, the droves of people walking toward us made it look like everyone was coming from some big event we'd missed. But it was just a human chain of people out enjoying the day and they probably felt the same as we approached.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 20, 2001 4:49 PM.

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