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).
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.
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.
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.
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.