Sunday, August 28, 2011

Quartier du Jardin des Plantes

Yesterday I went to the farthest side from my apt of the 5th Arrondisement; this part is called the Quartier du Jardin des Plantes, since as it says the Jardin des Plantes is there.

The first stop of this walk was at the Place de la Contrescarpe, a nice little fountain surrounded by restaurants and ice-cream shops, I was so out of breath by the time I got there that I forgot to take pictures, I will go back and take pictures later, sorry :S.

Then I went to the Arenes de Lutence, which are ruins of an ancient roman arena. Before Paris was the one we know today, it was known as Lutencia, and it was under the Roman Empire. After the romans were out of the area, this arena, was destroyed, and buried under other constructions. Many, many years later, as areas were being distributed, for new constructions this “Arenes” were discovered, and preserved since. These kinds of arenas were used by the romans for theater presentations, as well as gladiator shows. The history sounds pretty impressive, but I found the Arenas, lacking something, I guess I might’ve been expecting something more. Not much to it.


The next stop was the Jardin des Plantes. I only went to a small part of the garden, since I was getting late, and I really wanted to catch the Rue Mouffetard still open.  Well this is a real pretty garden, it was originally created to grow medicinal herbs, and from there a botany school developed, which is still there. The museum of natural history is also found here, as well as the “Menagerie” which is the oldest zoo in Paris. I didn’t see any of this, but just the part that I saw tells me I definitively have to go back to see the rest of the garden. 



College of Zoologie inside the garden

The garden has the First Lebenon cedar planted in Paris brought from the Kew Gardens in the UK

Right as you exit the garden you will find the Mosquee de Paris, again since I was on a hurry I just took a picture of the outside, but will go back to visit, since it said to have a nice tea room, the actual mesquite in the center of the complex, and Turkish baths.

Finally I got to Rue de Mouffetard, this is one of the oldest streets in Paris, and the daily market, also one of the oldest ones.  All the way up to the street, you find, different kinds of store, fromageries (cheese shops) boucheries (meat markets), restaurants, chocolate shops, boulangeries (bakeries), etc.

I also found this cute store, which I just though was lovely with only wood toys.


The overall ambiance, is nice, people going into restaurants, or just buying food to prepare their own. There are several pubs as well as fondue restaurants, even a couple of Mexican restaurants in the area ready to provide students with meals, being that they are really close to the Sorbonne, and its various campuses in the area.

I really liked this street, and I am pretty sure that as soon as I start working and getting some money, I will be going back to spend a few euros in some real nice ice cream shops I saw, as well as to try some chocolates, and breads I might find on my way : )!!!

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