Tulip mania in Paris
One of the great pleasures in life is travelling in springtime. Travelling is mostly wonderful, but I find that travelling in spring is even more pleasurable than at other times of the year. Perhaps it is the joy of basking in sunshine after a long, dark and cold winter, or perhaps that people everywhere seem to be in a better mood than some months ago. Either way, it makes me feel blessed to be alive.
This week I spent a few days in Paris with my oldest son who is studying there. We met up for lunch and dinners, but the rest of the time I spent simply walking around enjoying the beautiful weather. Paris is a very busy city and I avoided the main streets as much as possible, getting delightfully lost along smaller streets with all the time in the world to stop and admire the public planting in squares, small parks and in front of churches. And what a delight that was! Paris has gone all out in tulip mania this year!
Paris feels like a very green city with its treelined streets, four Botanical Gardens, parks and small garden squares, but according to World Cities Culture Forum only 9,5 % of it is covered by parks and green space. Urban green space has been shown to generate benefits by improving air quality and reducing temperature in the urban environment, as well as reducing stress and improving mental health for those who spend time outdoors. Happily the Parisian Government is plantings 20 000 trees before the year 2020in and to creating 800 green spaces in Parisian schools before 2025, in an effort to boost the towns greenery.
In Paris, most gardens prohibit walking on the grass because the population outnumbers parks and green spaces to such an extent that there would be no grass otherwise. However, many parks have delightful little cafes where you can enjoy a coffee, a snack or a glass of wine with the greenery. Some parks also have chairs and recliners free of charge, and at any time when the sun is out the locals flock outside to enjoy the day.
My three favourite gardens and parks in Paris are:
Jardin des plantes - the big and beautiful Botanical Gardens at 57 Rue Cuvier
Parc Montsouris - the biggest green space in Paris and the one park where you can lie on the grass and enjoy a pick-nick on a sunny day.
Parc de Bagatelle - which was created together with the castle in 1775 as a wager between Queen Marie-Antionette and her brother in-law, the Count of Artois and is situated in the middle of Bois de Boulogne.
There are of course many other beautiful parks in Paris, and if you have a favourite one do comment in the field below! I hope you have a lovely weekend, and that you get out to enjoy the tulip season. If not, here is a bucket of flowers to you!