Puffer jacket – check; wooly scarf – check; comfy shoes – check (no not the Homy Peds honey…le tres chic Nao Brazilian sneakers); sunglasses – check. It’s 5 degrees outside and I’m off to do what the Parisians do…take in some rays by wallowing in the garden. However I’m not choosing just any old garden, I’m heading for Les Jardins du Luxenbourg. Here are my fave highlights…cue collective sigh…
Kiddies sailing model boats in the Grand Bassin, the main pond in the centre where ducks interrupt even the best sailing capabilities and parents trample one another in their efforts to ‘help out’.
A bunch of folk deep in concentration playing Petanque. Many had magnets to lift their metal balls to them rather than bending down to pick up (try wording that without inciting a raft of guffaws!), an excellent idea for the diehards.
Burnt copper, gold and sun bright yellow leaves swirling across crisp manicured lawns and colorful well tended gardens.
Statues, monuments and fountains, many wearing veils of soft green moss, some proudly exposed, others more discreet like the Fontaine de Leda tucked behind the beautiful Fontaine de Medicis.
Green metal chairs draped with folk reading books, newspapers, magazines, slurping from Chinese noodle boxes, sipping coffee, dozing (you can pick up your chair and park it exactly where you want)
Lovers entwined, whispering, kissing. This is where Cosette and Marius (Les Miserables) first met therefore entirely appropriate. Same sex couples swinging their children and all dressed as glamorously as their parents.
A vintage Carousel, humble in comparison to the one under the Tour Eiffel but just as thrilling for the kids were squealing with delight, had just stopped for lunch here. (There’s also a clever little marionette show in the grounds)
A gazebo full of mismatched band members sporting crazy hats and playing wildly random notes in a sort of synchronized chaos with their conductor.
Two very sore feet attached to legs that have just traversed the second largest Park in Paris to observe a microcosm of Parisian life against the milieu of the French Senate, housed in the Palace.
Two interesting facts:
Marie de’ Medici (Mother of Louis XIII) of Italian descent had the Luxembourg gardens laid in Italian style having been inspired by the Boboli garden at the Pitti Palace in Florence where she spent her youth. (Thanks Penny)
The park has an extension beyond the gold tipped black wrought iron grill and gates along the centre of rue de l’Observatoire where at the very end is a fantastic statue of four nude women supporting the globe beneath which turtles and fish spout water.