Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A Secret Garden

We've been in Paris!

Back in June, Susan mentioned the waiting room at Montparnasse station. On very hot (and very cold) days it is the best place to wait for your train - but not a lot of people know it's there. On days which are neither too hot nor too cold there is an even better place to wait - the station-top garden.

It is accessed by a set of stairs in front of the waiting room that are signposted to a carpark, car hire, and the "Jardin Atlantique".

I quote from Wikipedia: "
The plan of the garden is inspired the historical role of the Gare Montparnasse as the train station that connected Paris to Brittany and the Atlantic Ocean. One theme is that of a ship; the lamposts resemble the masts of sailing ships, and there are two elevated walkways on either side of the garden which resemble the bridges of ships. The visitor to the garden is supposed to feel like a passenger on a cruise ship surrounded by a circle of office buildings."

The rest of the article is here.

I don't know what part of the ship this is
meant to be - preferably the outside, I hope
Waving grasses to remind you of the beach.
An open place to play
Even the kids get a ship of their own.
(with the Montparnasse tower as backdrop)
Although there were a couple of classes of school children doing P.E. (poor blighters) and a number of office workers having lunch (likewise), the garden doesn't seem to be utilised much by people waiting for trains, which is a real pity. It's a really nice relaxed spot, so completely different from the very un-human scale hustle and bustle of the station underneath.

Next time you have to catch a train to the Loire Valley, get to the station early and have an explore upstairs.

Simon

4 comments:

  1. had no clue that was there....thx

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  2. We stayed in a high rise hotel near the station a couple of years ago and had a good view of the garden. I can't remember seeing any using the garden at that time, but we were very high up!

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  3. It's on of the most secret public garden in Paris. And a lovely one. Thanks for letting your readers know.
    Pascal

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  4. Dang! I had an hour to kill at that station a couple weeks ago. I knew that there was a garden up there, but I assumed (silly me) that it was not accessible to travelers. I've looked down on it from up in the observation deck of the tower.

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