During my lazy hazy crazy summer days off, I have been trying to enjoy the fine weather to the best of my ability. I have been lucky enough to be housesitting all of August for an American friend who traveled home for a few weeks. Her lovely abode is right near the Seine by Trocadero and has a charming little outdoor terrace for my personal amusement. While I have been occasionally plagued with mind-reading pigeons and unruly garden rats, I have also been enjoying jogs and walks along the river, sometimes as far as Chatelet and beyond. In between my weekends down in the South, I have been trying to write blogs and several other projects, work very few hours on real moneymaking employment, and see occasional new sites about town.
Most recently, I took the opportunity of a free afternoon to venture to the Jardin des Plantes in the heart of Paris. I was actually inspired by my failed attempt to see the gardens of the same name in Montpellier last week. I walked most of the way from the 16th arrondissment, only stopping at one point to spend money I don't have on some well-needed summer dresses. (And by well-needed, I mainly mean that lingering visa stress limbo gives me every right to indulge in a little retail therapy.) Eventually, I made it to the 5th and the glimmering gardens of the afternoon sun.
More often than not, I am entirely entranced by flowers and greenery. Despite my less-than-enthusiastic stance on things like camping and roughing it in a gross insect/wily woodland creature/no access to showers sort of way, I really do have a massive affinity toward nature. I feel rejuvenated by plants and oceans and really adorable creatures that do not scurry on your feet without permission. In fact, one of my friends once told me that if I was to ever have a magical power, it would be the ability to sing (or maybe she said shriek) at such a high volume that I could attract magical critters from all around as my own enchanted army. That works for me. It doesn't hurt that my general desire to be a princess certainly fits in with the whole mystical forest metaphor.
At any rate, I spent a good long while wandering through the rows of fleurs, discovering lily pads and hidden paths and all manner of fascinating flora. Toward the end of my adventuring, I bought a nice cool bottle of water to rehydrate my parched self and began the journey back to the metro. While I was already aware that the Paris Zoo adjoins the Jardin, I was in for quite a surprise when I passed a fenced in area quite accessible to us non-zoo-goers. I walked up to the gate and, lo and behold, but there were several kangaroos lounging in the shade! Holy dooley! Kangaroos in Paris! As visiting Australia is top on my list of travel dreams these days, and I rank kangaroos only second or third to duck-billed platypi, it was for me, the perfect end to my eco-magical day.