Now is the month of Maying: walking, cycling, secret gardens, and velo being an anagram of love …

Many of our friends around the world – perhaps the luckier ones – are spending the month of May on vaccinations and the related worrying.

Our Parisien friends in the meantime have been getting onto their bikes (or “vélos”).

The talk-of-the-town in recent months have been about vélo – the French word for bikes – being an anagram for ‘love’, which, by the way, comes from cartoonist Didier Tronchet’s “Short Treatise on Vélosophie”.

They are also being told that cyclists feel more connected to the weather and to other humans too!

Well, philosophy aside, we notice that Paris isn’t very large: in fact, Paris is tiny compared with many of the world’s top-tier cities, and it’s mostly flat too.  The city proper is equivalent to 7 percent of London and 13 percent of New York City, by size.

Have you ever walked from one end of Paris to the other?  We haven’t quite, but we’ve certainly walked half of it, say from the Tuileries to the north east end, or along Canal Saint-Martin from its “city” end – whether the Gare de Lyon, or the Square Bayre, or Place Vosges, essentially anywhere south, south-east or south-west of the Bastille – and crossing the suburb of Pantin (that lies outside of the 75000 Paris post-code) to the complex at the north-eastern end of the city’s perimeter that is the La Villette complex of museums, parks and buildings.  It doesn’t take that much more than an hour.  And a walk along the 37 bridges of Paris is an unforgettable and not-to-be-missed experience, even if we’d suggest blocking out at least 5 hours for that.  Or – have you done the full length of the rue Saint-Dominique from Solferino to the Champs de Mars then continue west along the southern bank of the river (with a look back onto the double-decker Bir-Hakeim bridge) until Parc André Citroën, about a 5-km walk that traverses a good part of the rive gauche?

In fact, we have even walked a large chunk of the radius of London: and we recently shared our love of – and some ideas about – walking in London as the world was in the midst of its first Corona lockdown …

But, isn’t May the perfect time to be on a garden-and-flower trail?  We dream of doing the secret-garden-of-Paris itinerary whether by walk or bringing a bike: and here’s our map of the secret gardens of Paris which is definitely rather handy (click on the map to see the details behind each of the icons).