Paris Transportation

The Tenth Arondissement contains two of Paris' six major railroad stations: the Gare du Nord and the Gare de l'Est. Also found here is the Canal St-Martin which links the Seine to the Ourcq. It not only provides transportation for produce coming from the north, but serves as an aqueduct to supply Paris with water. And Fritz lived near the canal when he was fourteen.

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Gare du Nord

The Gare du Nord handles trains going north from Paris. When we arrived from Amsterdam on the Thalys high-speed train, we ended up here and took a taxi to our apartment. When we left via the Eurostar train through the Chunnel, this is where we came to catch it.

Paris has six major railway stations:

In the US we are used to transportation hubs: you fly into O'Hare, walk a mile, and catch another flight out. Sometimes, if your travel agent goofs, you fly into JFK, take the shuttle to La Guardia, and take off again. You check your luggage through to your final destination. Train travel in Europe doesn't work that way. You bring all the luggage into the car with you and either pile it up at your seat, like this young lady, or leave it at one end of the car. If you are passing through Paris, you are likely to have to take the luggage and yourself from one station to another by taxi (unless you are brave enough to try to do it via Metro.)

Canal Saint Martin

Before there were railroads, there were canals. A network of canals ties the navigable rivers of Europe together. Some, such as the North Sea canal or the Rhine-Danube canal still carry a large tonnage of cargo, but others are maintained for the sheer lazy pleasure of gliding through the countryside in a leisurely fashion. These are too narrow for large barges and have hand-cranked locks to accommodate changes in level.

The Canal Saint Martin cuts through the tenth arondissement providing a cool, tree-lined waterway perfect for strolling or just sitting. Rotating drawbridges carry traffic across, interrupted by the occasional pleasure boat on an outing. The canal goes underground as it leaves the tenth, and reappears just past the Bastille where it opens out into the Arsenal marina which connects it to the Seine.

Paris XIX°

Parc des Buttes Chaumont

The Parc des Buttes Chaumont isn't in the tenth arondissement, it's in the nineteenth, but it's the only thing we saw in the nineteenth, so I'm just sticking it here for my own convenience.

Paris is built on and of limestone. The Buttes Chaumont park is a reclaimed limestone quarry (cf. Butchart Gardens.) Lakes and islands were constructed, linked by bridges. A waterfall tumbles through a grotto. It is planted with exotic trees and shrubs.