There are moments in life when doing something as simple as a picnic with friends turns into something quite magical. I’m not really one for drama….or am I....but my first experience with Buttes Chaumont was nothing short of extraordinary. There for a picnic to say au revoir to a friend as she returned to London, I fell in love. NOT with a boy as would have been preferred but with a park.
BUTTES CHAUMONT – correct me if I’m wrong but pretty sure it’s the 3rd largest park in Paris and I have to say a well-kept secret!
You come out of the Metro (7bis Buttes Chaumont is my preferred-and if you know what’s good for you, take the elevator) and walk into the park and be instantly relaxed.
The highest point of the park is the Belvedere of Sybil a stone monument soaring high into the sky. Modelled off the roman Temple of Vesta in Tivoli, Italy it has nearly 360’ degree views of the park and in my opinion, it is the best spot to view Sacre Coeur.
There are 2 options to get to the 30 metre rocky peak, a fantastic suspension bridge which crosses the lake or the ‘oh so creepy ‘suicide bridge’ on the southern side. Seriously that is what it’s called.
The park was commissioned by Napoleon III and was part of the development plans under Baron Haussmann. Merci Haussmann! Originally a quarry for gypsum and limestone, the park is now home to many indigenous and exotic plant life, case in point I stumbled across a Bottle Brush walking over suicide bridge. (For those not in the know, it’s a native Australian plant)
Cliffs, waterfall, puppet shows, theatres, three restaurants, a plethora of green grass to picnic on, AND rumour has it TWO waffle stalls!! What’s NOT to love people?
*returning to the magical moment, mes amis et moi watched one of the best sunsets I have ever seen, the photos don’t do it justice but hopefully you will see why I love it!
(this is my roman goddess pose...)
oh the park closes on dusk each evening, give or take 30 minutes, and a polite young man rides around on a scooter blowing his whistle at everyone to let them know......