Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thursday 18 December - Bagnolet, Charonne and Hotel de Ville

The trains on line 3 are getting a little dated now.  They were the last ones fitted with the manual door lock levers which have to be lifted to open.  An old lady on the train was not strong enough to lift the lever and had to be helped.
It was cloudy today but no rain and there was a little sun. It was a good day for walking except with temperatures around 13C it was pretty warm in our winter coats. We took the Metro to Porte de Bagnolet and walked along the rues de Bagnolet and Charonne as far as Lodru Rollin. From there we went along Ledru Rollin to the park created from the railway viaduct to the Bastille. 
Tram T3b on a nicely grassed section at Porte de Bagnolet
 The area is quite interesting. There are many small businesses many of which had unusual names frequently in English. The city has gone to great lengths to improve the area with small parks and a few pedestrian areas. The kids are still in school and we came across several groups on outings. A lady dropped two baguettes on to the wet sidewalk, they had slipped out of the paper in which she was carrying them. One rolled in the wet. We didn't stop to see what she did.
A small urban park off rue de Bagnolet
Pedestrianized street off rue de Bagnolet
We passed over an unused section of the old Ceinture railway
The station was still standing including the Ceinture sign
Ledru Rollin. This is part of the viaducts that brought the high level railway into the former Bastille terminus station.  This urban park now stretches for almost 5 km,
Lunch was at a restaurant just off the rue de Rivoli, no tarte tatin this time. There was a good exhibition of photographs at the Hotel de Ville. This traced the changes that have taken place since the 1930s, paying attention to social problems. The rioting in 1968 was covered, showing the way street paving stones were lifted and used. The lack of food and housing after the war was also covered. The annual exhibitions at the Hotel de Ville. An added bonus this year was that we were able to walk straight in. There was a waiting line when we came out. 

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