Wednesday, April 21, 2010


If you either have never been or if it has been awhile since you last visited Le Jardin du Luxembourg in the 6th arrondissement, now is the time to go back. My goodness, the flowers are in bloom! Horticulture is certainly another one of the French people's special talents.

When entering the park at the Rue Soufflot entrance you will be greeted by several different statues, each surrounded by a sea of color coming from the ubiquitous varieties of flowers, specially designed for the statue. It is a floral admirers delight!

You will next reach the large watering hole where both kids as well as adults who wish to remember their childhood can rent an impressive toy sailboat that can be pushed out into the open with a stick. In 2010 the going rate was 2€ for a half an hour excursion and 3,50€ for one hour.

If boats don't strike your fancy, there are quite a few other things for the kids to do.  There is a playground, a swing set, pony rides, a ferris wheel and the famous puppet shows are held in the park each afternoon. Everything costs a few euros. So, make sure to bring some cash with you or your kids might just get a little antsy.

If you didn't bring the kids, sit around one of the lovely fountains and enjoy the sun or if you need a little shade, hang out on the benches that are sprinkled under the glorious trees aligning the outer edges of the park. Believe me, it will be easy to spark a little romance here. That is because the French don't mind public displays of affection. C'est trés normal. So, feel free to do a little making-out yourself while you are here.

Overlooking the park is the Palais du Luxembourg, an impressive former palace commissioned by Marie de Medici in 1612.  It now houses the senate and one can only marvel at the grand view the senators must have from their office windows.

So, if you decide to keep the kids busy or if you would rather just lounge around yourself, you can either come for a short visit or go ahead and make it into a day trip.  Just pack a lunch, and your wallets. You will be happy you did.

Please note, that the flowers are in bloom for approximately six months of the year.  So, if you arrive in December don't expect to see any.

Also, I would like to fill you in on a secret.  Even though there aren't any signs posted, it is "forbidden" to walk across the grass. I put the word forbidden in quotations because when I hear that word in my head, it is Marlon Brando's voice as Superman's dad when he pronounces to our hero repeatedly, "It is forbidden to change Earth's history," or something to that effect.  Of course, Superman doesn't listen and changes history anyway.  Needless to say, the word amuses me.

However, in this case, be forewarned that if you do decide to walk across the grass, the police will make a big deal about this. With arms flailing through the air and whistles blowing, an officer will approach you adamantly complaining that you are making a huge mistake against the king and country...ok, maybe not the king, just the state and country. Of course, you can always play the dumb foreigner card, but honestly, it's not worth the trouble.

Interested in learning more or if you wish to sign up for the horticulture courses held in the park, please visit Parc du Luxembourg.  

Thank you for reading and bonne journée !