We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Prue, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Prue lives in New Zealand, and submitted the following report about la Coulée verte in Paris. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 1 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: French, English
Reasons to Visit la Coulée verte
Do you really want to see Paris? Then go get your shoes.
Whether you call it the Promenade Plantée, the old Vincennes railway line, the aqueduct walk, the Coulée verte René-Dumont, or la Coulée verte, this 4.7 km/2.9 mile path is the world’s first elevated park, a lush, green artery from the heart of Paris to its edges.
We will walk at the height of the leaves on the trees and back down at street level, we will go overground and underground, take tunnels and wind through a forest of tall trees. The path will diverge and remind us of Robert Frost, who ended The Road Not Taken with
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
We start at rue Daumesnil behind Place de la Bastille. This is the Viaduc des Arts: uber-stylish design and décor shops are fitted into the old arches below with the start of our walk 10 metres/33 feet above.
We are in a garden in the sky – lush ivies, blossom-laden cherry trees, roses on trellises, lime trees, green corridors, and fragrant lavender, each section like a different room in a mansion. The clouds seem to be just over our heads.
Look through the leaves. Large, white marble caryatids break out from the brilliant white art deco police station at the start of rue de Rambouillet. There are walkers, runners, and skaters, and mothers with prams. In a stark plaza, women do tai chi. We walk across a gently rising wooden bridge, look out for the sculptures, walk a grassy mall between apartment buildings, and traverse dark railway tunnels now lit and works of art in themselves.
You can choose your view – expansive, or a tiny sliver of a street off to the one side. Your perfume can be a grassy green or heady floral from the flowerbeds. Lush growth is counterpointed by stark modern buildings and then classic Parisian apartments. There are cars below and, now, no sound at all. We can rest in a cool spot or take the sun.
Like Robert Frost’s path, the Coulée verte will make all the difference to your Paris visit.
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety – 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 1 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 1 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)