insider tips: SIGHTSEEING – Paris

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So, you’ve spent an entire day inside the Louvre, a half-day at Musée d’Orsay, and you’ve walked around the Jardin de Tuileries. You’ve waited in line to take a peak inside the beauty that is Notre-Dame, and you’ve most definitely picnicked in front of the eiffel tower. You’ve seen the catacombs and Sacré-Coeur, and you may have enjoyed a show at the Moulin Rouge. You’ve eaten baguette, croissant, and pastries to your heart’s content (for now!). So what next? Here’s one insider tip for you my fellow traveler.

 

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The Promenade Plantée, also known as Coulée Verte René-Dumont, is a 4.7 km (2.9 mile), elevated garden/walkway in the 12th district of Paris. Resting 10 meters above the busy streets, atop the remnants of the Vincennes railway tracks, it would be easy to miss this hidden gem if you didn’t know to look for it!

Gratefully, my husband lives within walking distance, so I came here for a run and some outdoor exercise on my recent trip. For a step-by-step video of that workout routine, click here!

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I am beyond blessed to have been introduced to this beautiful greenbelt on my very first trip to France. I make it a point to go for a run on the promenade every time I visit. In a city filled with so many people, it’s a luxury to feel the solitude you experience while walking through this park. This was my first time seeing the city during springtime, and this garden has never been more beautiful! My heart was so happy being up there with all the flowers and greenery, like cherry trees, lavender, rose bushes, and those cute little white flowers I don’t know the name of.

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The promenade is just east of the Opéra Bastille, and runs parallel to the avenue Daumesnil. It sits atop the Viaduc des Arts, which is a row of very nice art studios and boutique shops. I’ll often finish my run on street-level just to peak inside the windows and catch a glimpse of artists, or some of their unique work!

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Jardin (garden) de Reuilly-Paul-Pernin intersects the promenade. My first summer in France, I caught a ton of local Parisians sunbathing there.

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#couplegoals

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This is where you enter, near the Opéra Bastille. There’s also elevator access!

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FUN FACTS

(Fun for me because I’m a nerd. Possibly boring for you if history isn’t your thing, so feel free to keep scrolling!)

  • It was the first rail-to-trail park constructed in an urban area. The next being New York City’s High Line in 2009!
  • Designed by landscape architect Jacques Vergely and architect Phillipe Mathieux, the Promenade Plantée was inaugurated in 1993 as part of then-president Mitterrand’s ongoing Grands Projets. The projets included the Louvre pyramid, and the Opéra Bastille.
  • The eastern portion is reserved for pedestrians. The western portion is open to cyclists and those on foot! If you’re a cyclist or rollerblader, hit that sh*t up!
  • The Vincennes railway line began in 1859 and closed in 1969.
  • More elevated gardens will be popping up all around the world: London, Washington DC, Toronto, and Rotterdam.

Future travel destinations? I think so!


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Traveling can be exhausting. You’re trying to do so much in such a short period of time. You’re balancing personalities, and preferences. You’re outside your comfort zone. I love all that. So much. But that doesn’t mean I don’t need a break from it for like an hour. Exercise does that for me. It’s my me time. I cherish it.

So if you need a respite from the insanity, come up here alone, take a walk or a jog, or just sit with your favorite treat and zone out.

And if alone time isn’t your thing, bring your travel companions and experience this spot together! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Would you want to go here? Or did you already know about it? Feel free to comment below!

Have an amazing day!

XOXO ~Michelle~

eat like a local: CAFE DES ANGES – Paris

 

I just love the picnic style table cloths! So freakin cute, and they instantly give a comfy, laid-back vibe.

In addition to the amazing and varied menu, there was a brunch special written in chalk on the wall. Oh so trendy 🙂

Paris. One of my favorite cities in the world, and one I’ve been lucky enough to come back to on a regular basis for the last 2 years. One thing I was DETERMINED to do in my lifetime was to plan a trip, and travel out of the country, ALONE. Me, myself, and I. No safety net, no other opinions, no voice to follow but my own. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t coming from a place of oppression, quite the opposite. The idea sprouted at the ripe old age of 18, while beginning my undergrad studies at Cal State Northridge. Studies my parents worked hard to provide for me (thanks Mom and Dad!). I just saw the potential for growth. Self evolution. Challenge. All things I needed, and still need.

Travel changes you, whether alone or not. It forces you to be exposed to other cultures, and literally expands your mind. Not everyone has the urge to travel alone, but if you do, if there’s that itch inside of you that just won’t go away, then by all means, DO IT! And if you want to travel with friends or family (both things I love too!), then DO THAT! Follow your heart. Don’t ignore those deep wishes. I worked, and saved the money, and researched, and planned. It was a journey, every step of the way, and it changed my life. Quite literally. I met my husband on that first trip to Paris. 🙂 His Mom, my now mother-in-law, began as my sweet and kind airbnb host. She invited over her daughter, her daughter’s boyfriend, and her son, Baptiste (my now husband). And, well…the rest is history! 🙂 That being said, I had an early introduction to living like a local while visiting the city of lights.

How pretty is that glassware!

Handsome devil 

So, enough about me, let’s get back to the food and this awesome restaurant in Bastille, which is in the 11th district, in Paris. Bastille is a trendy area, full of great shopping, and a ton of small cafés such as café des anges. This was my second time here (last time I got their cobb salad), and both times I was very happy with my meals. The place is always packed, so don’t be shocked if your seated within arm’s reach of your neighbor, that’s just how it goes. Small cafés, lots of people, you gotta do what you gotta do. And for me, it’s an amazing part of the experience, but for others it’s hard to adjust to since seating in LA (and across the US) is pretty spread out.

After a long plane ride, a burger was in order.

I got their veggie burger made from chickpeas. It was delicious and hearty despite being a vegetarian meal. And can we talk about those fries. I mean, c’mon. Those babies were cooked to crispy perfection. Just look at the golden brown goodness. *drool* And a salad included! No longer forced to decide between one or the other. My kinda place.

I’m not a big red meat eater, so this was my kind of burger 🙂 Chickpea patty!

Those potatoes were insanely delicious, rich, and decadent.

French bread...my weakness.Barely slept, and fresh off a plane, but nothing a fun hardo and an aperol spritz can't fix ;)

Barely slept, and fresh off a plane, but nothing a fun hairdo and an aperol spritz can’t fix 😉 So if you’re in Paris, and want to eat like a local (or you need some yummy vegetarian options) make sure to stop by café des anges! You won’t regret it! Have an amazing day!

XOXO ~Michelle ~

 

66, Rue de la Roquette75011 Paris, France

Café des anges, trip advisor