Thursday, 6 March 2014

Jardin des Plantes: home to a thousand and one orchids

The mysterious gazebo atop the labyrinth may cause expressive dancing

Sunshine hits the 5th arrondissement
To profite bien du soleil, after my classes I headed to the Jardin des Plantes to soak up the vitamin D along with every other Parisian with a lunch break. This garden has a pretty rad history, thanks to the little Menagerie. This zoo housed all the animals that survived the French Revolution in the Royal Menagerie of the Château de Versailles, although most had been eaten or sold. Whilst it was being constructed a lion, a polar bear and a sheep (amongst others) had to live in harmony in the basement of the museum. When it was finally ready, visitors apparently spat at the lion and yelled obscenities at it since it represented the guillotined Louis XVI, and he too, was once the king of the jungle.

However, not one to release my anger on wild animals, I popped into the Mille et une Orchidées exposition to admire the crazy selection of beautiful orchids. I was definitely the youngest person there by around 65 years, however since watching this awesome video about Marianne North, I have decided that flowers are basically The Best Thing Ever for a young lady to enjoy. Transported to the Tropics I wandered the expositions in an absolute daze - the sudden warmth, the sweet smells and the complete confusion of having just stepped out of Paris and into a jungle. Magical.

Mille et une Orchidées
Only missing a paint brush...

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