Apr 22, 2010

How creative parisian are! They converted the disused railway line into an elevated walkway and planted with trees, flowers, cherry trees, maples, limes, roses and lavender. This planted walkway known as Coulée Verte or Promenade Plantée. The walkway starts near the beginning of avenue Daumesnil(12 th arrondissement), south of the Bastille opera house, and is reached via a flight of stone steps or lifts with a number of similar access points all the way along. It took me to the Parc de Reuilly, then descends to ground level and continued nearly as far as the périphérique, all the way to the west entrance of the Bois de Vincennes.

Walking the first part, along the viaduct which is the most attractive stretch. I could enjoy the view of the street below. Small architectural details such as decorative mouldings and elaborate wrought-iron balconies that I wouldn't normally notice at street level come to light.

The viaduct have been converted into attractive spaces of artisan’s studios and craftshops. Known as Viaduct des Arts. The workshops house furniture and tapestry restorers, interior designers, cabinet makers, violin- and flute-makers, embroiderers and fashion and jewellery designers. I found a full list and map is available at 23, avenue Daumesnil the location of SEMA (Société d'Encouragement aux Métiers d'Art). The viaduct ends around halfway down avenue Daumesnil, but the Promenade Plantée continues to the Jardin de Reuilly, an inviting, circular expanse of lawn, popular with picnickers and bordered by terraces and arbours. The open air café made a good refreshment when I was walking the length of the promenade.

The next part of the walkway is the allée Vivaldi, a road lined with modern blocks, but then I entered a tunnel and emerge at the other end in the old railway cutting, a beautiful stretch, a canopy of trees and flowers, below the level of the surrounding streets. At this point the path divides into the path for pedestrians, and the other for cyclists, taking me to the disused railway tunnel, until I saw a wrought-iron spiral staircase. The right hand path up to road level, turn right onto the ring road, and then left under the flyover. Turn right onto busy boulevard de la Guyane, and a short walk along brought me to the Bois de Vincennes.

Station on Paris metro : Bastille