Bois de Boulogne

If you look on your map of Paris, you will see that the 16th arrondissement is huge.  Many map books divide up the 20 Paris arrondissements into quartiers (neighborhoods).  Very sensible for the 16th.  On the East is the Seine, on the north is Avenue Marceau going up to Etoile and Ave de la Grande Armee going all the way to Porte Maillot.  And along the entire length of the west of the 16th is the Bois de Boulogne. To the south is Porte Saint Cloud and Boulogne Billancourt.

I’m just a smidge further than half way down and two blocks from the Bois.  Sunday morning, I put on my sneakers and went exploring to see what I could see.  Within five minutes, I had crossed over the Porte de Passy and was in the Bois.  Another five minutes and I was at the Hippodrome d’Auteuil which is large.  On one end is a golf course.  On the other is a swimming pool.  I’ve been thinking that I should start swimming again, that my hip would thank me.  It was a Sunday and I saw no one to ask so I left that investigation for another day.


I came to Lac Superieur.  I started to walk around it.  Runners were everywhere, many doing the Lake circuit a number of times.  And as often happens, everyone seemed to be going the same direction.  This time it was clockwise.  I was walking counter-clockwise.  Arriving at my starting point, I began walking down L’Hippodrome.  Signs kept telling me that Les Grands Cascades were in that direction.  I don’t see them on my map.


Lac Supérieur

Walking, I was mostly alone on this wide tree-lined street.  The trees had grown into an arbor over the road.  It felt like Fall.  A lot of leaves had fallen so there was green, yellow and that tannish brown that leaves get when they aren’t in Vermont but haven’t drowned in rain. In spite of the runners, it was very quiet.  Surrounded by trees and beauty produced a calm.  There was hardly any wind so the stillness seemed complete.  One could walk and think, solve a few problems, pay attention to what is around me and feel at total peace for a few minutes.

I believe Ave de l”hippodrome is closed to cars on Sunday


I passed dirt paths telling me that  if I walked north I’d arrive at Porte Maillot where I lived all May and most of June.  Porte de la Muette was northeast.  I now shop there. Porte de Passy is the next one after La Muette.  Two of my buses stop there and are often easier than taking the metro.  You have to picture Paris before cars. Those who could rode horses.  If you left Paris, you came back in through one of the gates.  These are the Portes that circle the city today.  They are often entrances onto the Peripherique which is the major through-way circling the city.  You have to get on it to go anywhere unless, like in days of old, your road takes you up to the Porte and you keep going because you are already in the right direction.


I walked for over an hour and was barely inside the Bois.  Just before I entered, I saw  a long stand of city bikes, known as Velib’.  Next week, I will rent one and see how much of the Bois I can cover.

Walking up to Porte de Passy
Fountains are everywhere so no one goes dehydrated.

I am not ready for summer to end.  It all goes too quickly.  So though it looked and smelt a lot like Fall during this walk, I’m crossing my fingers that we still have hot days ahead of us.

A bientot


Author: Sara Somers

I am retired from my first profession, am from Oakland, California, living in Paris, France since 2013. I love books, movies, and watching everyday life in Paris out my window. Please enjoy my musings as I grow into the author others say I am. I am always open to thoughts and ideas from others about this blog. I like to write about Paris, about France, about the US as seen from France. About France that the US may or may not know.

2 thoughts on “Bois de Boulogne”

  1. Sally – Your description of your new living environment is certainly intriguing! All the walking you are doing MUST be good for your hip! I do hope it works out for my friend Barb & me to come visit sometime during June of 2019! Love to you! Susan

    Susan Whitehead 177 N. Highland St. #1101 Memphis, TN 38111 901-229-2628


  2. Hi Sara, I’m enjoying your blog.  I’m going to have to focus on the 16th when I’m next in Paris.  I don’t know it well, although I’ve been to Bois de Boulogne many times, to visit Fondation Louis Vuitton (and to bring visitors), to attend Roland Garros (French Open tennis) in the spring – and to walk through the Jardin d’Acclimatisation (I may have the name wrong – anyway, it’s great on Sundays).  Once a friend and I went to the Fondation, then got on Velibs and rode to Roland Garros, at the opposite end of the park.  It was great fun.  Along the way we rode along a road (I forget the name but would recognize it) where there were a number of large vans with bright colored scarves attached to the rear view mirrors, blowing in the window.  And there were many women with short, tight dresses, high heels, big hair, lots of make-up – they were obviously prostitutes — this operation was all there in the middle of the afternoon.  Later, I told people about this and googled it – the prostitutes apparently were men (mostly Brazilian) dressed as women.  What a scene!  I learned that the Bois is not such a safe place to be at night. Bises, Esta

    From: Out My Window To: Sent: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 1:42 PM Subject: [New post] Bois de Boulogne #yiv3753723686 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv3753723686 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv3753723686 a.yiv3753723686primaryactionlink:link, #yiv3753723686 a.yiv3753723686primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv3753723686 a.yiv3753723686primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv3753723686 a.yiv3753723686primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv3753723686 | sara somers posted: “If you look on your map of Paris, you will see that the 16th arrondissement is huge.  Many map books divide up the 20 Paris arrondissements into quartiers (neighborhoods).  Very sensible for the 16th.  On the East is the Seine, on the north is Avenue Marc” | |

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