Paris : Simon Cutts & Erica Van Horn
When we began the Porte Walks, I understood there were 21. Now there are 39. More Portes have been discovered by studying the maps. I fear there may be even more, but I am promised that we are going to hold the number at 39 which is a lot of Portes and a lot of walks. So far we have done the walks from Porte de Clignancourt, Porte de la Chapelle, Porte d’Aubervilliers, and Porte de la Villette. On Wednesday we did the fifth one which was Porte de Pantin. This means a mere thirty four more!
The walk from Porte de Pantin was our shortest walk so far. It was also our wettest. It took only about two hours and that was including a few deviations for curiosity and variety. It also included lunch. It was raining for the entire walk. It was not hard rain, but it was steady rain. Drizzle. Non-stop drizzle. It was not the most pleasant way to be walking but we are used to rain and once out in it, it is best to just keep going.
We stopped to look at the very beautiful Hopital Saint-Louis which was designed and built around the same time as the Place de Vosges. Henri IV was responsible for initiating both projects. Everyone goes to visit Place de Vosges, but I rarely hear of anyone making a special trip to this beautiful square. Maybe it is better that way, as it remains a serene and secret place in the midst of the hospital buildings.
A great many of the neighbourhoods which we walk through we would never have any reason to be be walking through unless we were doing exactly what we are doing. We are learning the city but probably a great deal of what we learn we will never need again. Every walk ends back at Rue de Bretagne. This is the centre of our Paris. EVH