The "Promenade plantée"
Starting point: M° Bastille (a little over 2 miles, 12th district)
Take rue de Lyon to the beginning of avenue Daumesnil. Go up the steps at the corner with avenue Ledru-Rollin: you are now on the "promenade plantée" which, at first, makes the most of the former railway viaduct, turned into the "arts viaduct", with many artists' and artisans' workshops.
If the flowers and plants of the "promenade" are not enough for you, stop at the Hector Malot Garden (1995). It consists of two terraces. Canadian maple-trees have been planted on the upper level. Small canals have been dug into the ground and fountains adorn the terrace. Their water, from a bamboo-grove, falls to the lower terrace, where Himalayan weeping pine-trees, hydrangea, Mexican orange-trees and lavender have been planted: you can easily imagine what heavenly scents they diffuse in summer!
Beyond rue de Charenton, you come to the Reuilly Garden (3.7 acres, rue Jacques-Hillairet). A large sun-dial (1992) marks the entrance to the garden. Why not take a break?
Take allée Vivaldi, shaded by lime-trees. Right before a tunnel, you walk by the former Reuilly station, a typical example of the small railway stations built on the outskirts of Paris in the late 1800s.
Three short tunnels later, you will reach yet another public garden (3.2 acres), named after the poet Charles Péguy, who was killed in action, near Villeroy, on September 5th, 1914.
You will have the feeling you are in a forest. It is therefore the ideal place where to spend the "dog-days" of summer!
Leave the garden through the rue Marie-Laurencin exit. Superb magnolias adorn a wide open space. In order to quickly escape the din of the nearby "boulevard périphérique" (ring-road), go to boulevard Soult, where you will find the Porte-Dorée Métro station.
Pictures and more info at www.promenade-plantee.org (in French)