Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Jazz in the parc

Paris never ceases to amaze. Just when I think I'm starting to get a feel for it I discover a new hidden gem. This weekend, that gem was the aptly-named "Parc Floral" in the Bois de Vincennes, just to the Southeast of the city.
(doesn't this look like scenery straight out of Jurassic Park?)

For the month of July, the park is hosting a weekend Jazz Festival. This meant that our 2.50 euros provided access not only to the beautiful gardens, ponds, forests and picnicking fields, but also relaxing music to enjoy while we explored. The photo below shows the stage where the performers were based, on the island across the lake. The sound carried to the surrounding fields however, so like many of the other jazz fans we opted to find a sunny spot to sprawl rather than join the standing crowd.
We layed out our picnic blanket on this hill overlooking a heavily lilly-padded pond and basked in the sunlight.
Close-up of the oddly tall water lily plants:
The huge leaves of these tall flowers were bowl-shaped to collect water:
I found a more traditional water lily lurking beneath some lily pads:
An ol' coot and some coot-ettes!
The obligatory cute couple shot:
Bumble bee on a sunflower (known in French as a "sun-turner" because they pivot to follow the sun)...
Once the music had ended, we took an hour or so to wander around the back of the park. We found a really cool playground (featuring steep slides and a giant, bouncy spider web that you could definitely never find in modern, sue-happy America):And an enclosed butterfly garden:

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