REMS visit to Paris

30 August 2011

At the end of July, REMS organised a visit to Paris, led by Stanley Melinek.

REMS visit Chateau

The itinerary aimed to avoid the obvious attractions most people would already have seen. Not all items on the planned programme were included. Some were dropped in favour of more attractive alternatives, others because of lack of time.

The first visit was to the Les Egouts (Sewers), which documented the history of Paris sewers and the modern system of water purification and sewage treatment. The two systems are separate, with treated sewage being discharged into the Seine, not fed into the water supply.

In the afternoon we visited Père Lachaise cemetery, hunting, with limited success, among the myriad tombstones, for famous people. In the evening, we went to an organ recital at Notre Dame.

On the second we had lunch followed by a walk through the Bois de Boulogne and a visit to the greenhouses in the botanical gardens which contained, in addition to many tropical plants, a fish pond and an aviary.

Next day we walked along the Canal Saint-Martin in the morning followed by a canal trip in the afternoon.

A walk was planned for the fourth day, starting from the Parc de Sceaux just outside Paris. However, the park was so attractive that we stayed there most of the day. Four of us still managed to complete the walk into Paris. Two of us managed a brief visit to the Musée des Arts et Métiers just before it closed in the evening. The museum included an interesting collection of early typewriters, early gramophones and early computers.

On the last day we visited the Albert Kahn photography museum, which had an exhibition on life in Japan. The museum also has a very nice garden, most of it in oriental style.

The group had a preference for outdoor activities. We also enjoyed meals at a number of different restaurants, including two in the Jewish quarter of the Marais.

The group was happy to take things at a very leisurely pace. The weather was mostly fine with occasional rain but mostly sunny towards the end of the week. If there is one thing I learned, it is not to try to cram too many activities into the day. Tessa Belling provided the photographs.