A Very Parisian Sunday Treasure Hunt
Updated: Aug 4
This is the sixth Queer Martha treasure hunt that takes you to some of the most Parisian parts of Paris hidden in plain sight. Check out the Romantic Treasure Hunt, the Trip Through Time Hunt, and the Highlight Hunt, and the Death and Destruction Hunt, and the Multicultural Hunt, too. The hunts all begin in the Luxembourg Gardens and take about 4 hours each, though you are encouraged to stop to eat and drink throughout the trip. The treasure hunts don't actually lead you to a final pile of booty - the treasure is getting through the course and living to tell the tale.
You need 2 euros and a metro pass to complete this hunt. You must do this treasure hunt on a Sunday. It is recommended that you bring a water bottle.
Happy Sunday! You are about to embark on a very French treasure hunt. You must arrive at your first destination between 11:00AM and 2:00PM. Getting there only take 30 minutes
1.) Begin your journey in the Luxembourg Gardens. Leave the garden by heading west toward the Pantheon. As you walk up the street that leads to the giant domed building, turn right when you see the blue bike sign. When you pass the bike share on your right, you know you are on the right street. Continue straight. As you make your way up the hill, make sure you are on the same side of the street as the brick building that says, “Institut de Géographie.” Follow the road as it curves and turns into the Gay street. Now go straight. Keep going straight. If you are thinking about your professional orientation at number 41, you are doing well. The road curves and changes names, but you should keep going straight. Soon you will see another brick building that says, “Institut National Agronomique.” Turn left before you pass this building. Take this tiny road until you reach the cobblestones. Turn right on the cobblestones until you see the crowd by the church. Join in the fun and experience a Parisian tradition that is making a big comeback.
2.) From where you stand now, head to the fountain. Turn left. Continue straight. You will reach a tricky intersection. Continue straight through it. If you pass a building with signs for typography and lithography, you made the right move. Take the right side of the fork and ascend the stairs. Continue toward the bikes. The building on your right is the Sorbonne Nouvelle's main campus. Keep going straight. After the street changes names, you will eventually pass a gate with a sign that says “museum.” Go inside the gate. This is a traditional French garden – very formal rows of plants. Turn right and walk away from the big building toward the other end of the garden. Exit the garden and immediately turn right. Continue walking around the crazy intersection until you reach the river. Turn right, then continue straight. At any point, feel free to descend the staircases to walk along the river. When you reach the building with the bright green façade, enter it. Welcome to the Cite de la Mode et du Design – what more French than haute couture? To prove you were here, find the photo booth hidden somewhere within. You may need some wanderlust to find it.
3.) Once you gather your proof, exit the building onto the banks of the river. Your next stop is a symbol of the frivolity typical of the French. It is also a symbol of how the French do things right. Head toward the bridge with two sets of arches, large on the bottom and small on the top. When you reach the bridge, take the stairs back to street-level and cross the river. Continue straight until the road dead-ends, then bear right. Here there are two roads with nearly the same name. You should be on the “Boulevard”. If you are on the “rue,” take the next left up to the “Boulevard.” After the train tracks pass you overhead, you will see a small park. Continue with the park on your right. When the park ends, turn left. You will know you are on the right street if you pass a small “ruelle” on your left. Continue until the road bends around the point of a triangle. On the other side of the triangle is the gate to a park. Enter the park. Immediately after entering the park, there will be a wooden kiosk on your right. Take what it has to offer and feel the joy "bubble" through you. Savor it, and enjoy the fact that this is a city-funded service.
4.) Walk up the steps. At the top, turn left. Continue until you exit the park. Descend the staircase. Turn right. Continue until you see the metro. Get in the metro. Take the train that goes towards Balard. Ride the train for 13 stops. The name of the stop you get off at should be music to your ears. When you alight, check out the National Monument in front of you. It is true that underneath the structure there are canals and boats to move around. The building you are looking at is as much a symbol of Paris as the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame and represents the French appreciation for the arts. It was the most expensive building built during the French Second Empire (It was finished in 1875), and some say the only true masterpiece of the period. Stand on the steps of the building and face the street. There is a café to your right with a green awning. Note the name of the Café. Find the street nearby with the same name as the café. When you find it, you will see a large column in the distance. Head to the column. Continue straight through the square with the column until you hit a garden. Enter the garden and continue straight until you can exit the garden. Cross the river on the pedestrian bridge. On the other side, you will see a familiar face. Descend the staircase next to him. When you are at the river, enjoy pat yourself on the back.