End of the Line — #3 Levallois to Gallieni

When I ride the metro I am always intrigued by what might be at the end of the line — those mysterious places we never go, like Gallieni or Mairie des Lilas or Creteil  or Pont du Levallois.  So this Saturday I decided to find out what was at the end of our line — #3 — Gallieni to Levallois.

I started with Gallieni — the far end, half an hour away, because it included ‘Parc du Bagnolet’ on its signs and that seemed promising while Pont du Levallois just sounds like any old bridge over the river.  In fact we almost skipped the Levallois end because it was cold and drizzling a bit and it seemed time to go home.  So glad we stuck it out — because Levallois turned out to be the charming surprise of the day.

But first Gallieni.  It is named for General Gallieni who was a hero of the first battle of the Marne in The Great War; he saved Paris by commandeering 600 taxi cabs to take troops to the front.  Today, it isn’t so much taxis as a bus hook up for international and regional buses to the suburbs (banlieu).

It turns out – at the end of the line there is a McDonalds

and a big shopping center.  The escalators are conveyor belts so people can take shopping carts on them — there are shops below but a huge supermarket on the top floor.

This Saturday there was a place set up to have your child photographed with a parrot on his shoulder and a big happy father’s day sign as a gift to Dad.

The area is filled with low cost hotels — our personal favorite, the local ‘Mr. Bed.’  This is not where you want to be on a trip to Paris although apparently a lot of low cost tours put people here.

Not to be daunted by the general lack of charm, elevated highway system and general ugliness, we set out to locate this ‘Parc Bagnolet’.  We passed this whimsically painted smoke stack

and a lot of ‘urban art’.  (my next post will be on a walk of the 20th and 19th to look at urban graffiti; took this walk on Friday while Ed worked on his post for Firedoglake.)

We never did find anything labeled ‘Parc du Bagnolet’; near as we can make out from maps there is no such thing.  We did however find the local park not far from the bus station perched on a plateau looking out over the apartment blocks and with clear visibility clear to the Eiffel Tower.

Although it was kind of an ugly day and chilly, there were lots of people enjoying the park.

And even by the high standards of Paris playgrounds for children, this one was exceptional.  Just one example — this ‘Jeu Moulin’ or play mill.

We headed back to the Gallieni station and were tempted to just get off at our stop Malesherbes, but decided ‘in for a penny’ and drizzle and all headed for Pont du Levallois — the other end of the line.

When we first got out it looked like an upscale version of Gallieni — lots of modern office buildings and apartment blocks.

But we had to see the pont so off we went to find it.And in the middle of the bridge we discovered that we had found the Island of Grande Jatte — you know the one featured in George Seurat’s famous picture (now in the Chicago Art Institute) ‘Sunday on the Island of Grande Jatte’ and shown at the head of this piece.

Seurat also did a painting on Jatte more appropriate to our day called ‘Grey Weather on Grande Jatte’  which is actually featured in a sign along the river path.

Jatte was one of those places we hoped to visit but we had no idea it was so close by — just a few stops up from our metro stop in the 17th.

The tip where the bridge crosses includes a lovely grassy park with paths along the water.

The park includes grassy fields, gardens and playground typical of French parks.  This one though also had a a bee garden.At the end of the park, we found ourselves on a flower filled street of modern condos — ‘Monet Allee’.This area then leads into Neuilly sur Seine which is a popular pricey bedroom community of Paris.We walked back along the river to a pedestrian bridge to cross the Seine and find our way back to the metro from the island of Grande Jatte.

This is a beautiful area and the scene and the homes are stunning, but although in our walks both on the Island and off we came upon about a dozen cafes and restaurants, we didn’t happen by a single bakery — so not Paris.

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3 Responses to End of the Line — #3 Levallois to Gallieni

  1. Pingback: Interesting Paris Churches Off the Beaten Track | JANET TRAVELS

  2. Jerry and Stelly Hofelt says:

    My husband has that Seurat picture on his Discover card. I think we may try to get there when we are there in September. We will be there the whole month, and hope to do a lot of wanderings,even though we have never been to Paris before. Sorry we will miss you, as we will be in Paris in September and then leave for Colmar, Dijon,Beaune, Orange, Avignon, Niems, Arles, Marseille, and Antibes. Then leave from Nice on November 2nd. If you are in any of those places in October, we would love to meet you.
    Jerry and Stelly Hofelt

  3. Janet says:

    September is probably the nicest month in Paris; have a great time. Seurat picture is at the Art Institute in Chicago and so it was a special thrill for us to find ‘Grand Jatte’ by accident.

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