HOME AND AWAY
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.