A flâneur in Paris in winter

Paris is the perfect city for a flâneur  like me – someone who walks out the front door, turns left and keeps walking with no apparent destination in mind.


An early morning stroll along the Right Bank of the Seine finds the police divers in the river underneath a bridge looking for who knows what, and the sunny weather makes for a pleasant walk through the now closed road tunnel on the river bank.

The degustation menu for lunch at the very traditional, very French restaurant Le Fermette Marbeuf in the 8th arrondissement requires another long walk afterwards with my lunch companion, who is seemingly also happy to wander aimlessly around the streets of Paris.  Roaming around the 15th arrondissement, we find ourselves at the start of the Île aux Cygnes, and decide to see where it goes.

Île aux Cygnes is a man-made island 0n the Seine, nearly a kilometre long. At the end of the island, it is home to one of the quarter-size ‘working drafts’ of the Statue of Liberty. One of three copies in Paris, this is the largest and easily accessible on foot. The others are at the Musée d’Orsay and another can be seen at the Musée des Arts et Métiers. West of the Eiffel Tower, this area of the Left Bank of the Seine is home to some sizeable river cruise boats, and some long boats the size of small apartment blocks.


We are still walking after sunset in Paris – about 8km after we started. The clear weather makes it a good evening to visit Tour Montparnasse. Very few are braving the cold on the terrace of the 56th floor of the tower, but the 360 degree views of Paris are clear and spectacular. Other that the Eiffel Tower, Saint-Sulpice, Val-de-Grace and the Invalides are easily seen from the rooftop.




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