As we’ve always been telling friends and visitors to Paris, the City of Light is small and compact and most sites can be explored on foot if one plans the itinerary well.
If one is coming from Montmartre to Belleville, the way out is all downhill but obviously the return, after a day’s walk, would call for the use of the metro or the bus. But if you are sporty and fit, as some of our guests have been, you can do the city on foot on the way out and back.
The other day, we wanted to go for a chinese meal in Belleville and chose to go on foot. Admittedly, the walking route is not as pretty-pretty but it does provide glimpses of real lives in Paris. We took the route via Barbes and on to Blvd. de la Vilette.
Here are some notable sites you can look out for:
See busy Gare du Nord from another angle
In the Barbes area, if you open your eyes, there are some sights to enjoy. Here, the exterior of metro station La Chapelle nearby
A glimpse of real life in Paris, a tent community of homeless people set up under the metro tracks of Col. Fabien.
Top tourist attraction of the 19th Paris - HQ of the French Communist Party by Oscar Niemeyer, who says "It is not the right angle that attracts me, nor the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man. What attracts me is the free and sensual curve — the curve that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuous course of its rivers, in the body of the beloved woman.”
It was supposed to be in the gutters in front of this building that Edith Piaf was born.
Going back from the Piaf gutter, we turned left at the first corner that led us to the entrance to the Belleville garden from the top.
The Belleville garden grounds. If you squint, you could just about see a shadow of Paris' most famous landmark at the top right of the photo
We're getting an appetite and want to head back to Belleville Chinatown, so we take the stairway down for the exit from the garden.
Nope, can't dilly dally around, although there's an inviting empty bench there. We're hungry.
Last shot with my camera whose battery died on me. Seems like it was hungry too and hurrying us to a Chinese restaurant for lunch. Which means, no photos of our Chinese feast. ;-P
Visiting Paris soon? Be your own guide!