May 26, 2017

Water-Falling for the Bois de Boulogne

I'm not one to naturally pay attention to green spaces. If I hear something special about a park area, though, I will look into it and probably follow up with a visit.


About three years ago, a stationery store owner advised me to spend time in Les jardins de Bagatelle at the Bois de Boulogne to see the roses in bloom.

Apparently the second week of May is a bit too early (I'm terrible at remembering the exact seasons for plants), but what I discovered there made me totally forget about the roses, anyway.


I could hear water. I had just finished an overly priced appetizer of shrimp to tide me over for what was bound to be a long wander with no end in sight. As I tried to listen for where the water might be hiding from me, a flush of green and blue caught my eye. To the left stood a proud peacock, facing into the breeze to let the wind brush through its colorful feathers.


I decided to leave the peacock alone and get back to following the splashing water sounds. I took the path to the right into a dead end of tall bushes. I could see a stream, but had to backtrack for a better access point. I turned right again the next chance the path opened. I could smell the freshness of the water and found myself in a small clearing. Another dead end? No! To my left was a cave-like tunnel through a large rock.

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Of course, I marched right through that tunnel, and to my glorious surprise, a waterfall was careening down over the face of the giant rock!


That entire scene: the gentle waterfall, the mossy stones, the peaceful pond, the bridge in the distance...it was perfect. I almost felt like I was ruining it by just standing there, peeking into its serene and pristine beauty. I had some quiet minutes to myself, thinking about the world, life, the ability to see something so beautiful, and how amazing it is that this piece of earth is right next to Paris.


Every single time we simply pay attention to and appreciate what is around us, God rewards us with special moments. They may seem common or unimportant to some, but this world and this life are so incredibly full of gifts to us - we just have to take the time to notice them. For example, just because there are millions of butterflies, doesn't and shouldn't mean a single butterfly is any less beautiful or any less miraculous. Or peacocks!


The Bois de Boulogne already had my heart by this point. I continued my meander past the Fondation Louis Vuitton, and down along the eastern border of the park.


Eventually, I came to a lake. Lakes are great, but this lake had rowboats for rent! I didn't need to rent my own this time around, but I definitely enjoyed watching others finagle their way around rowing a boat for a while. Easier said than done. I'll stick to paddle boating!


Another reason this lake is awesome is because it has an island or two, and there is a restaurant you can row your boat to, or take a ferry! I can't wait to return and spend more and more time in this part of Paris.


I actually scheduled my first weekend in Paris entirely around going to the Bois de Boulogne. I had a four-day window after I landed in Paris before going to friends' homes, and stayed in a hotel south of the park in Boulogne-Billancourt.


It was the best way to start my time in Paris because I could relax after a crazy USA trip and start practicing my French again. There is always something more that I can say about Paris, and from this trip...

Paris en Couleur
Paris: I Love Food & Jazz


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