Topic of the day: Le Jardin du Luxembourg
“Le Jardin du Luxembourg” (the Luxembourg Gardens) is my favorite park in Paris. Paris is my favorite city in the world. I started travelling to Paris when I was 21 years old. I fell in love with the city instantly. I studied French and French art from the ages of 13-19 so you can imagine that visiting this city for the first time helped bring everything to life.
At some point over the next year I will be sure to share ‘my guide’ that I give to friends visiting the “City of Light” for the first time, but today I want to share my love for the Jardin du Luxembourg. It is a grand park, the second largest public park in Paris, located in the 6th arrondissement of the city with the focal point of the Luxembourg Palace which currently houses the French senate. Here is a little geographical background for those of you who haven’t traveled to Paris yet – the city is split up into 20 “arrondissements” (administrative districts/areas) and the area of the park is located on the left bank of the River Seine which separates Paris.
When I first walked into the Jardin du Luxembourg I was overwhelmed by its’ beauty. There is a large palace and pond in the center and many activities to explore throughout the park. I couldn’t even begin to compare the actual park to what I’d seen in textbooks…. it really is a playground for children and adults alike. I must have taken over a roll of film of what I saw that first visit. To name a few of the wonders I saw included: beautiful red clay tennis courts, a place to play “boule”’ (French style lawn bowling), a playground for children, beautiful flower beds perfectly manicured, a “guignol (puppet theater) for children, model “bateaux a voile” (sail boats) for rent which are located near the pond, and metal chairs painted green set up all over the park for you to take a break and take in your surroundings.
Since that first visit I have been drawn back to this park over and over. In the summer there are many people lounging on the chairs, and I too love to do this while people watching or reading a book. For the month that I spent living here I was at the park daily walking and taking everything in. I would often bring my Walkman here listening to my favorite songs wondering where my life was going. Returning with my parents and later with my family the park has continued to amaze me. Bringing my children here on our last trip we spent some time playing in the park and sailing the model sailboats which are controlled by a stick and the wind, not operated by remote control. Being in the Jardin du Luxembourg seems to always calm all my nerves, put me at peace, and bring a smile to my face. I cannot wait until I have the opportunity to return to this place that holds such a special place in my heart.
Topic Tomorrow: BoxTops for Education