Travelling is not about going far, but about going off the beaten track. The journey can start in Ile-de-France, a region teeming withexceptional landscapes.
#1 A PAGODA IN THE 8TH ARRONDISSEMENT
At the corner of rue de Courcelles and rue de Monceau, Mr. Ching Tsai Loo’s pagoda is a small part of China in the middle of Haussmann-style buildings. This orphan, son of Chinese peasants, arrived in Paris at the beginning of the 20th century as a simple student and built his fortune by becoming an antique dealer of Asian art objects. He got his own back on his life with this majestic four-storey house which, at the time, attracted the wrath of the neighbours. Nearly a hundred years later, this architectural landmark amazed passers-by and tourists who stopped suddenly in front of it.
#2 THE DOULTON HOUSE
This incredible facade is hidden at the end of a small street in Maisons-Laffitte. It was exhibited by England at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1878. Therefore, it is called the « Maison Doulton », in reference to the Royal Doulton, the name of the pottery factory that shaped each of its details in terracotta. You can find it at number 30 avenue Pascal. And as a bonus, you can walk past the Maisons-Laffitte Equestrian Centre!
#3 A WORKSHOP RUE DE CHARONNE
As you pass in front of number 77 of the rue de Charonne, slow down, you will find some unusual landmarks behind the door. Come in (it’s open during the day) and look up. These former cabinetmakers’ workshops from the late 19th century have not aged a bit. Don’t forget to sneak up to the top, the first floor is just as beautiful to admire.
#4 THE VILTAIN FARM
Shopping is not necessarily reduced to pushing a shopping cart through shelves. At the Viltain farm in Jouy-en-Josas, you can shop in the open field from April to November. You can fill your wheelbarrow with fruit, vegetables and even flowers thanks to the 50 hectares of land. You will just have to resist the urge to start the tasting before you go to the checkout. The « Farm Market » shop is open all year round and offers products in short channels. More information on viltain.fr
#5 THE OURCQ CHANNEL
The Ourcq Canal is a unique natural landscape only 15km from Paris. To enjoy it, simply get on your bike and head for the Poudrerie forest park in Sevran, in Seine-Saint-Denis. It is always straight ahead following the banks. You will see the city disappear with each new pedal stroke. Once you reach the 140-hectare Poudrerie park, you will be immersed in the greenery and can, if you have strong calves, go a little further to enjoy the scenery. The canal extends 96km long to Mareuil-sur-Ourcq. It is possible to return by train by taking your bike on board Line P.
See more on transilien.com