my original walking tour

For my original walking tour, I decided to incorporate a little of my own arrondisment as well as some of the surrounding area with cultural and historical information. To start the tour, I started at my own metro stop; Metro Raspail on line 4). I am going to take you through my tour as if I was leading you as a little tour guide through my area. :) Immediately on your left when you exit the metro there is a little park on your left. I didn’t think much of it at first, but over the first few days of my trip, as well as over the past few weeks, I have found that it is a local hang-out place for younger businessmen. Each day around lunch time and then at about five in the afternoon you will find the local business men just taking a break in this little park. Sometimes they are eating sandwiches, other times they are just talking and sitting in the grass relaxing. You first cross over Rue Campagne Premiere where you will find one of the nicest and most expensive restaurants in the area called LE DUC. This is the only place I have seen in Paris since my arrival that has a Voiturier (a person who is there to park your car when you come into the restaurant. Directly behind the restaurant is the local fruit stand. The three people who work there are the only locals that say hello to me everyday and start up a conversation occasionally, and before I found this stand, I really felt that all the places around didn’t really have friendly people working there. Something as small as the daily conversation that I have with fruit guy has helped me to feel more welcomed into the “neighborhood.”

Turn left onto Rue Boissonnade, and you will pass my apartment building and the Saint Vincent de Paul Hospital on your right. When you come to the end of this street you will run into Boulevard du Montparnasse. This is the area where you begin to find the more commercial region the 14th. Take a left onto Avenue de L’Observatoire and continue straight until you run into the entrance gates of the Luxembourg Gardens. On the walk towards the gardens, you will find a very long public park where some families picnicked on the grass and old ladies played ping pong. I went through and looked at the center of the area including tennis courts, gardens, and the Palais du Luxembourg. After walking within the grounds of the gardens for a while, I headed out the same entrance and back down part of L’Observatoire. On your right you will pass the Faculte de Pharmacie. The next area that I wanted to see was the place where my host sister had said there were lots of elementary schools, so I turned onto Rue Notre Dame des Champs. Just off of this road there were about five schools that I noticed. This area is extremely residential and I’m glad that I was able to experience this part of Paris opposed to the hustle and bustle of the everyday touristy areas. This same road is where I finally found the cheap grocery store in town…only to find that it is actually much closer than I thought it was. To get back to Boulevard du Montparnasse, I took a left onto Rue Paul Sejourne and turned left onto the road. I turned right on the next street (Rue Campagne Premiere, right onto Boulevard Raspail, left onto Boulevard Edgar Quinet) so that I could go see the Monparnasse Cemetery. I walked through the center of the cemetery and ended my waling tour at the Edgar Quinet metro station.
I really chose to look at just two big areas that I knew were very famous and have a lot of history behind them (the cemetery and the gardens) so that I could say I had actually been there. The rest of the locations and places that I went were purely to learn about and recognize the area where I have been living and the places that the locals walk by, see, and go to everyday. I wanted to be familiar with my surroundings, and I figured that I could do that by listening to the locals. My reasoning behind taking the streets that I did was based on what my host sister mentioned were the areas she goes everyday or often.

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