Paris, France: Seeking nature in the city of lights
Paris has a resident population of just over 2 million people. It is one of the foremost travel destinations in the world, hosting 40 million tourists per year. It is a very busy and exciting place, which can be overwhelming to a solitude seeker such as myself. So while I toured this big, beautiful city, I looked for hints of mother nature. Here is what I found…
The city sprawls 41 square miles and is the largest city in France.
There was not much wildlife to be seen in Paris, only the occasional birds – mostly pigeons. I saw some domesticated dogs and cats but I didn’t see a single squirrel or anything else. The city is dominated by humans and there are not many other creatures living there. There is no real biodiversity or natural ecology.
The bustling city is covered in brick, stone, and asphalt but there are hidden gems that can be found. There are private and public spaces that are home to trees, shrubs, and flowers. There are miniature gardens that line many of the busy streets replete with palms, yucca, and shrubs, as well as short colorful flowers such as pansies and daffodils. Many of the balconies feature window boxes filled with ferns, ivy, and a variety of flowers. It is quite common to find a fresh flower arrangement adorning the tabletops of fancy restaurants or bundled in the arms of street vendors.
There are many opportunities to spend time outdoors in Paris. You can walk the city streets, dine at the many cafes, shop at the outdoor markets, or do a little plein air painting. Sometimes there is even a bit of romancing. Public displays of affection have become synonymous with the alluring city.