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The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - SU­SAN KUROSAWA

ANNE Chenais wel­comes me to her ‘‘of­fice’’ — the driver’s cabin and ticket booth of a lit­tle blue train parked at 9 rue Lagrange in the 5th ar­rondisse­ment on Paris’s Left Bank. This en­er­getic French­woman is tak­ing on the big guys —the le­gions of ho­pon-and-off dou­ble-deck­ers that rove the boule­vards with the pur­pose­ful­ness of ad­vanc­ing armies — to give vis­i­tors a more in­ti­mate per­spec­tive of the cap­i­tal. Chenais’s ‘‘train’’ is an ar­tic­u­lated ve­hi­cle of three car­riages that trun­dles along the back­streets while pas­sen­gers lis­ten to a recorded com­men­tary via sup­plied ear­phones. There are five itin­er­ar­ies, some avail­able only on week­ends when traf­fic is lighter; I opt for the Cir­cuit Artiste (from a rea­son­able j12 for 75 min­utes; de­parts 1.30pm). We progress through bo­hemian St-Ger­main-des-Pres to the In­valides and fin­ish at the colo­nan­des of the Lou­vre; we pass the fa­mous haunts of the Im­pres­sion­ists and the Ex­is­ten­tial­ists, im­pos­ing 18th-cen­tury man­sions, lit­tle churches and hid­den gar­dens. We peer down lanes with names as in­trigu­ing as rue du Chat qui Peche as Piaf war­bles on the sound­track. More: an­other-paris.com.

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