Tropical air in Paris

Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil Paris

Yesterday we enjoyed the springy weather and headed to the 16th arrondissement of Paris to visit Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil, one of Paris’ botanical gardens. I’ve had this visit planned for a long time now and finally had a good opportunity. I’m not a big fan of the 16th district as it can be a little dull, but since we took the bus to Eglise d’Auteuil and walked towards the garden through Rue d’Auteuil, I was positively surprised. The street is very cute, like walking in a little village. Closest metro is Porte d’Auteuil, only a few hundred meters away from the garden.

Jardin des serres consists of several greenhouses that present different climates and flora from all around the world, you can take a walk in New Caledonia or in Sahel. The best thing was the main greenhouse with tropical temperature. The humidity and warmth was so good for my flu that has bothered me the whole week. Finally I found a place in Paris where you can breath easily! If my husband wasn’t sweating too much inside I would have stayed there for hours… There are also fish in pools and tropical birds whose singing adds to the jungle like atmosphere, very pleasant, even if it always makes me sad to see birds in captivity.

Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil Paris

They have also the cutest flower distributor… Not sure if it really worked though.

Flower distributor Jardin des Serres Paris

We were smart to buy lunch baguettes on the way and ate them in the garden outside enjoying the sun. We were not the only ones, it was a perfect spot for the first picnic lunch of the season. The garden is situated close to the périphérique, the Paris ring road, and the surroundings are unfortunately a bit noisy. But inside of the serres it is heavenly peaceful and even the small yard in the middle of the greenhouses is quite calm.

Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil

I definitely recommend to visit this place, perfect to take in some tropical air in the midst of February!

Advertisements

How to enjoy sunny Autumn day in Paris

Jardin de Tuileries

Here comes the recipe:

  • Go see an Expo, preferably an exhibition that everyone is talking about. This way when your friends and colleagues ask what you did this weekend, you can casually say “on est allé voir l’expo…”, cite a name of the artist and drop a few comments about it. This weekend we went to see Mexique exhibition in Grand Palais, safe bet. I was bit disappointed that there was so few Frida Kahlo paintings but was happy to discover Diego Rivera and few others.
  • Take a stroll in a park, preferably Tuileries or Jardin de Luxembourg. If you go to Tuileries, have take away hot chocolate at Angelina, don’t be repelled by the constant queue, usually there is a cart outside that sells the famous hot chocolate. It’s like having liquid chocolate with a straw, yum yum. Sit in one of the green chairs and enjoy the sun, you know that next time you will see it, it will be February.
  • Wander more in the city and visit occasional book stores. For English books I’m fan of WHSmith which is conveniently just outside Tuileries. It’s not very hippy but I always go out with a new book (except this Saturday when my husband reminded me of all those books in our shelf that I didn’t read. Next time I go alone.)

Angelina

That was my Saturday, pretty good one. So that the weekend would not be perfect, today, just when I was having coffee with a friend in Odeon, it started raining cats and dogs. Having optimistic nature, I never carry umbrella with me just in case. Rain didn’t stop so we went to a tourist store to by umbrellas, but I thought it was a good idea to by a rain cape instead, Paris written all over it. It was not as cute and funny as I thought, it was actually pretty ridiculous, at least when I wore it in metro. Shame.

So there you go, DOs for a sunny Paris day and DONTs for a rainy Paris day! x

Louvre in the sunset

Petit weekend in Marseille

Port of Marseille

Last weekend we headed for a Petit Weekend in Marseille. I had heard somewhat controversial experiences about Marseille and was not sure what to expect. Maybe because of that I was very positively surprised and I can truly say that Marseille is the most interesting city that I’ve visited in France, after Paris of course… Wondering from one neighborhood to the other you find so many different things, in one district you’ll find North Africa, in one black Africa, in one hipster area with small art galleries and boutiques, then typical French city with its big boulevards and statues, and finally an ultra hippy museum district. Not to mention the amazing arid islands outside Marseille, îles du Frioul and one of the most beautiful places I’ve been, les Calanques. We must have walked close to 20 kilometres per day during the weekend, from one neighborhood to the other and hiking on the coast and in the islands.

Marseille

Syrian restaurant in Marseille

Oriental store in Marseille

We stayed in Mama Shelter Marseille which ended up being easy and cozy option for the weekend. The hotel is not located in touristic zone and we ended up discovering the little side streets on the way to Vieux Port and the center of the city. Notre Dame du Mont area close to hotel was lively at night with many restaurants and even more bars..

Port of Marseille

We started the weekend discovering Mucem, Museum of European and Mediterranean civilizations,and we were not disappointed. The entry is for free and you have amazing views to the sea to the harbor of Marseille on the top of the museum. You have to pay to get into the exhibitions, but since weather was good we contented to admire the beautiful architecture and amazing views.

Mucem Marseille

Mucem Marseille

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Later in the afternoon we took an Uber to give us a ride to les Calanques. Not totally recommended as our driver got lost on the way… On the positive note he had to stop the “meter” and we got a ride close to Cassis for 30 euros, not a bad deal. We got out by the restaurant Presqu’Ile from where we set off to hiking trails. We visited two of the Calanques and took a dip in the sea in Calanque de Port Pin. Highly recommended. On the way back we walked until Cassis and took a bus there to return to Marseille.

Calanques de Marseille Port PinOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Also Notre Dame de Garde garde church is worth visiting,  if only for the amazing view over Marseille and the Mediterranean.

View over Marseille from Notre Dame de Garde

Since we took evening train back to Paris and still had time, we took a ferry from Vieux Port,Marseille harbour, to Iles de Frioul. Highly recommended! These arid islands allow you to totally disconnect. Bliss. In harbour there are many restaurants and cafés if you get hungry on the way.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We also liked a lot quartier du Panier, district just behind the Marseille City Hall. It is an interesting area with many art galleries, restaurants and cafés. Rue des Pistolets had a nice plaza with many terrasses, if we would have had more time we would have stayed for a verre.

Quartier de Panier Marseille

All in all, I highly recommend going to Marseille! So many things to see or do. And only 3.5 hour train ride from Paris… If you have a tight budget, you can get great deals with Ouigo which leaves from Marne-la-Vallée.

That’s it for now, good night! x