Spring has arrived! The winter has finally released its icy grip on Europe. It’s clearly visible! The winter sleep is finally over. There’s nothing like sunny mornings, pleasant evenings and the promise of summer-to-come to cheer us all up. The springtime aria of flowers warms all the senses like nothing else.
Spring hits harder in the countryside. But I’m not a country girl. I’m totally a city girl. I can’t imagine myself living far from the buzz of the city. I enjoy the spring in one of many city parks. These stopgaps of wild nature usually do the trick.
When I think of Paris, its parks don’t come to my mind first, not even a second, third, forth, or fifth thought…. Paris is a rather a concrete city. Greenery isn’t to be taken for granted here. When you are used to cities like London or Warsaw, then Paris might appear as a concrete and gray city. It has some parks indeed, but they are usually well hidden, fenced in and planned from A to Z. No place for the wild here.
The most famous park of Paris bears the name of another country. The Luxembourg Gardens is one of the most beautiful green areas of the city, with the many people who come here when the weather is nice. It is the second largest public park in Paris and is famous for its calm atmosphere. It is a perfect place to walk around and I can guarantee that you would enjoy that walk to the fullest. It is a perfect place to lay down outside, on a blanket, on a sunbed or on a towel. But it is a bit too cold for that yet.
The park is full of trees, planted very carefully, equal distance from each other. When I visited their branches didn’t have many leaves but had some residents already. The sound of baby birds could be heard in the entire park. They were all chirping for their breakfast of worms and bugs. Yes, it was the spring at it best!
The park is very green but not colorful. There are only few flowerbeds where the tulips are planted. But tulips don’t usually have a fragrance, so they are only a beautiful display of diversity.
Inside the park I found the Luxembourg Palace built in the 17th century for the mother of King Louis XIII of France. It dominates the north end of the park, along with a large pool where Parisians read the newspaper or just soak up sun. The pool is the headquarters of Parisian ducks. Well, at least it looked like that.
Victor Hugo, who made Notre Dame Cathedral world famous, made The Luxembourg Gardens not less known. The gardens are featured prominently in the novel Les Misérables. It is here that the principal love story of the novel unfolds, as the characters Marius Pontmercy and Cosette first meet.
The Jardin des Tuileries is no less a charming place than the gardens. It is a very popular tourist attraction. It is one of Paris’s most visited gardens thanks to its central location between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde. It is popular for a reason. It offers fountains and shade in addition to beautiful greenery. Perfect to cool down during a summer heat wave. Like the Jardin du Luxembourg, the Jardin des Tuileries is one of those parks where you can grab a chair for free and sit wherever you like. A lot of residents of Paris spend afternoons here that way. The park isn’t huge, but you can happily spend here an hour wandering around or soaking up the sun.
In contrast to The Luxembourg Gardens, The Jardin des Tuileries is full of flowers. My first reactions of the park was “Oh my gosh, what smells so good here?”. And the response to this question could simply be Nature. It was Nature that smelled so heavenly! This time of year, Nature is the sweetest perfume possible. From the fragrant flowers, to the scent of growing grass, it’s the best smell ever, and no scented candle or perfume can even come close to replicating it.
Spring! It’s such a fleeting, fantastic and fascinating moment in a circle of life. Savor it!