One day my husband was talking to a man from Oregon who has been living in Paris for many years now. They started talking about gardens in and around Paris, and he told my husband about a special place that few people seem to know about.
Parc de Bagatelle.
There were vast, beautiful fields, plenty of green grass that you could WALK on! (it's forbidden to walk on the grass on most parks in Paris), waterfalls, streams, caves, gigantic trees, and best of all, there were hardly any people. At times, it felt like we were the only ones in this huge, magnificent, secret garden.
When my in-laws were visiting, we decided to trek out to the Park. It's located about 45 minutes from the center of Paris, and you have to take the metro and the bus...and then walk a little ways to get there. When we all got off the bus, in apparently the middle of nowhere, I had my doubts as to how great this garden could be. Was it just going to be a field with a few rose bushes? Foolish, doubting woman.
As soon as we walked up to the gates, we could tell our efforts to make the journey would be well worth it, and I was further blown away after we entered. The garden was seemingly endless. There were several peacocks wandering about the Parc, and for some reason, when there's a peacock present, people go bonkers. Don't you squeal a little, even if it's just on the inside, when you see one? They're so delightful.
I'm sure the distance, the lack of a Versailles castle, and the (incredibly modest) ticket price, deters some visitors. But if you're like me, someone who enjoys a leisurely walk through nature without people breathing down your back, I would say it's worth carving out some time to visit.
We were about a week or two too early, but there were several peony bushes ready to bloom that were planted around the little palace. The parc is also well known for their roses, which I'm hoping to see this summer. Next time, I plan to pack a picnic and stay for the day...or as long as my children can handle it.
What do you think? Have you ever heard of Bagatelle? If you haven't, I hope you can visit someday.
Everyday 9:30AM- 8PM
Entrance Fee: 2.50€ per person