Hello again! After writing Phantasialand and Liseberg TRs back in April, I realised how much I enjoyed drafting my impressions on coasters and parks. Unfortunately, there was no big cred in my booking plans for the coming weeks. (Yes, weeks. I'm that addicted ) Then it hit me: what about making a "cultural adventure" report about my hometown? I lived around Paris for over two decades, so maybe it would be interesting to share my experience of that big city with enthusiasts, especially with some people coming this year in France for Pégase Express. I am not pretending to know everyting about Paris - in fact, this is an opportunity for me to discover parts of the city I barely ventured into I will try to avoid clichés like the Effel Tower as much as possible and show Paris in a sometimes ordinary, sometimes unexpected light. I will also post my route so it will be easier to follow. Oh and there's some coasters in and close around Paris too, and I hope to cover them up as well! -PART 1: Latin Quarter & Carrousel- Anyway, let's start with one of the best-known districts of the city: the Latin Quarter... Dropping off the train at Luxembourg station, I headed to the right for the Panthéon. Standing proud uphill, this former church is now used as a burial place and a monument to pay tribute to distinguished French. Entrance is free for youngsters under 25 so I took full advantage of this and went inside. Even though it isn't my first visit there, I am amazed by the tall rock structure and its geometrically perfect domes. You feel really small looking up and measure how much it was an architectural achievement for the time. It looks powerful but sophisticated as well. The walls are clustered with paintings depicting French history. Here's one with some stuff around King St Louis. It was initially fairly quiet inside but then a group of school people got in. I decided to leave since French pupils are usually noisy during cultural visits! The exit leads to a picturesque view of Rue Soufflot, with the Eiffel Tower in the background. Damn it, already a cliché! I walked back a few steps on Rue Soufflot and turned right on Rue Saint-Jacques, which is home to Sorbonne University's headquarters, with its distinctive observation tower. It's worth saying that most Sorbonne's classes actually take place elsewhere though. Hundreds meters further north you'll encounter this church whose name I always forget about. Google Maps tells me it's Eglise Saint-Séverin. Fine then! It is the sign you've getting closer to the even more tourist-y areas of Paris... (You're pretty lucky if you get to experience that street being that empty.) The narrow streets of St Séverin & co. It was quite empty because I walked through on a weekday morning. But boy this place gets crowded with tourists and opportunistic salespeople alike. Lots of stands selling cheap Paris-marketed stuff as well. Too bad because it is one of the few areas untouched by Baron Haussmann's city planning ambitions. (More on this later.) If for some reason you already miss England, there's still this famous library facing the Seine river a couple of steps east. Rue Galande is another narrow street. However it is generally less busy and chaotic than the others. Plus it has this odd little green-walled house. I strolled a couple of blocks to the east to my next destination: the Collège des Bernardins. A less known case of Gothic architecture than Notre-Dame. It almost feels like some building you would rather see in the countryside. Today it is used as an educational hosting place for religion-related studies. Having been raised in the Intamin faith, I quickly moved on. South of Collège des Bernardins, Rue Monge displays some typical Haussmann-era buildings all around. I like the style, but after 20+ years in Paris, I find it quite monotonous with its shades of beige repeated over and over again. (I promise I won't complain too much about it!) Place Contrescarpe is supposed to be one of the prettier and livelier squares of Paris, but it's currently under construction. Oh well. Further south: yet another narrow street! Rue Mouffetard is known for its lively and youthful nightlife, with pubs and nightclubs aplenty. I was obviously too early for partying though! It is the kind of street you would live in in your twenties before getting tired of all the noise that prevents you from sleeping. The Jardin des Plantes borders the Latin Quarter on the east. I purposely avoided the greenhouses considering it was already quite warm and headed instead towards the hilly and shaded section of the park. I found this bizarre statue on my way, which meaning is left to your imagination... The garden also has a classical, French-style section with its rigid grid-like geometry. Here's the Carrousel mentioned in the title. Themed to animals, it costs €2,50 to ride. You can get a 20-ride ERT for €20 as well! I chose to buy an ice cream instead (not pictured). Finally, I went to this unexpected sight for Paris: its Mosque. Built after WWI as a tribute to muslim soldiers who died fighting for France, I find it quite faithful to Arabic architecture. There's some gardening/fountain stuff and a Tea House inside as well: Would you guess I'm standing in the middle of Paris? Me neither. Going to a Tea House and ordering... coffee. Trololo. The Loukoum pastry-thingy tasted pretty sweet though. After that I decided to go home and rest a bit, as the heat was reaching its peak I hope you enjoyed reading this very long report! If you liked it, I left a poll above for my next sightseeing writing which will be Part 3. Part 2 will be a visit to the Foire du Trône, the seasonal Paris fairground!