So, I have a huge park as my back yard.  The Luxembourg Gardens.  A little history ripped off from the pages of Wikipedia:

The Jardin du Luxembourg, or the Luxembourg Gardens, is the second largest public park in Paris (22.5 hectares) located in the 6th arrondissement of ParisFrance
In 1611, Marie de Medicis, the widow of Henry IV and the regent for the King Louis XIII decided to build a palace in imitation of the Pitti Palace in her native Florence. She purchased the hotel du Luxembourg (today the Petit-Luxembourg palace) and began construction of the new palace. She commissioned Salomon de Brosse to build the palace and a fountain, which still exists. In 1612 she planted 2,000 elm trees, and directed a series of gardeners, most notably Tommaso Francini, to build a park in the style she had known as a child in Florence. Francini planned two terraces with balustrades and parterres laid out along the axis of the chateau, aligned around a circular basin. He also built the Medici Fountain to the east of the palace as a nympheum, an artificial grotto and fountain, without its present pond and statuary…

You can go to Wikipedia if you want to read further.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jardin_du_Luxembourg

Today, I took the long way home from school and took a tour around the park before coming back and hitting the books.  Spring has come early to Paris, so I’m sorry to say, I don’t think I’ll see it snow here this winter, but everyone in the city seems to be out and about enjoying the warmer weather.  There’s a Statue of Liberty replica in the Luxembourg Gardens as well as a tribute statue to Chopin.  There are tons of other statues but those are the ones that I enjoyed.  Around the park today, there are several areas dedicated to certain activities.   There’s a large playground for the kids, with swings, merry-go-rounds, what I thought was a fake boat mast that kids were on top of and also a puppet theatre, which I think is not open until the summer.  There are also chess tables in one area, tennis courts, a few kiosks that sell balls, kites and other knick knacks and my favorite area, the boules courts!  Mostly men play this game and mostly older men at that, but I am told the hipsters are starting to get into the old game of boules once again.  You see a lady here and there but I think it’s rare.  I didn’t see one today, but I did see one last weekend when I came round for a walk.  Next to the boules courts, there’s a little kiosk that sells crepes and coffee.  I grabbed a cup, it was instant as they only have gas and no electric power at the stand, and took a seat to watch.  Some of these guys are really great.  So, if I can resume the rules from what I saw, I can say this:

1. You put down a ring in which you will stand when throwing out the target, a small colored ball, as well as your boules, or larger balls that are some sort of metal.
2.  The first team to go gets to throw out the target.
3. Each player has 2 balls.  Ok, guys, let the jokes begin….:)
4. You can either use your balls to try to get really close to the target – OR – you can try to knock the other balls away from the target.
5. The team that has the most balls closest to the target gets the most points.
6. It’s up to both teams how many rounds they will play and then you add up the points to determine the winner.

You can tell some teams had people that were specialists in either getting close to the target or guys that had really great aim and were able to knock balls out of contention.  Anyway, enjoyable to watch. I think I’ll be hanging out there in the weeks to come.

Chess tables

Statue of Liberty

Homage to Chopin
Boules!

Coat rack for the boules players

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