Awaken To Luxembourg East Side!

Bonjour mes ami.

Let Pan seduce you with his flute when you  enter the Eastern Gate of the  Luxumbourg Gardens. The Eastern side holds a particular fascination for me and it will for you too. My french awakening came early that day as those gorgeous iron gates spread open. (You can enter anywhere between 7.15 and 8.30am depending on the month).

You may have to traverse a chorus line of joggers circumnavigating the park and who are sweating it out oh so early, but once you’ve darted through them, a solitary statue of Pan is waiting to greet you from on high. He dances above a circular bed of yellow tulips with his pan flute piercing the morning mist.

I once read somewhere that the pan flute sounds like an”echo of the heart and mind’ and I could imagine its lilting sound penetrating the stillness of the Luxumbourg that morning.

Many tourists give in to the other gates of the gardens but try starting at the Eastern Gate next time you’re in Paris. Go early when the air is deliciously crisp and the morning dew still glistens on the gravel underfoot.

What else can be found on the Eastern side? Well, besides exploring this corner of the twenty two and a half hectares of Luxumbourg Gardens, you will find the famous ‘Grotte du Luxembourg’  or these days known as the’ Medici Fountain’ built in about 1630.

This beautiful fountain pays honour to Maria de’ Medici, (second wife of Henry IV) and the Foundress of the Luxumbourg itself. Being an Italian girl (whose father was the Grand Duke of Tuscany), the sculptor  incorporated many elaborate florentine touches for her.

Some men go to great lengths to please a woman. Did you know that the water for her fountain had to be carried all the way from the Seine when it was first installed within the garden?

Once you’re outside The Luxembourg again, you’re a short walk to other fabulous French icons like the Sorbonne  (Paris University), The Pantheon and St Sulpice.

When you’ve had enough walking, there is a treacle of cafes and restaurants up and down Boulevard St Michel and St Germain outside the Eastern Gate. Fancy a coffee here perhaps?

Au revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese Waddell

P.S.  Always remember to  dance to your own tune. Be the Pan!


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