Friday, 27 March 2015

The Ultimate Mission: To Walk the Whole La Petite Ceinture Railway in Paris Pt. II

So this post is a continuation of the previous post which you can see here. I probably never walked more than four stations in one go. This was mostly because every now and then there are barriers that were just too difficult to get through. But here I am trying to make sense of it all and put it into a coherent "tour" of the tracks. So the last station we looked at was Gare de Bel-Air-Ceinture, following this is Gare de l'Avenue de Vincennes.

For the non-Frenchies reading this, "gare" means station. Though you will probably figure this out. It appears in the name of each station so go figure...


Gare de l'Avenue de Vincennes

This bit is very colourful (not surprising when you see the next few), and is the start/end depending on your perspective, of my favorite part. That is, now my old favorite part has been destroyed, ahem I mean renovated. 

ABOVE: Presumably the platform of this "station." As you can see this whole area has been attacked by colour and mildly nonsensical English. BELOW: "Rain is Pink" and "Free Smile." Well at least they are happy.

BELOW: I like this one. I seem to like chunky iron bridges. Is that weird? I hope not. And Here are some more photos of the area (and the next few stations).


Gare de la Rue d'Avron

This part of the track is VERY lively. We walked through coming from the other direction to this virtual "tour" I am writing for you now. We ran into architecture students, graffiti artists and all sorts. 

This man had a groovy hat, sadly I did not get a very good shot of him...

This station didn't just have the little buildings you see scattered here, but also this, which of course we could not get into (we had a peek nonetheless).

The next station was Gare de Charonne-Marchanidises but it was destroyed, so I am not sure exactly where it was. We deff walked through it but as there was no sign of it I was not aware of it.


Gare de Charonne

I first went to Gare de Charonne totally unaware that this is what it was, I was attending a concert in the now renovated La Fleche d'Or. Given the "ceinture" sign and railway clock, I worked out pretty fast that I was standing in a petite ceinture station. Given that the singer was pretty rubbish it deff was a highlight to the evening...!

 (NO I can't get away ^^)

Underneath the station however it is even more interesting. There were so many obscure structures hanging about. I found it fascinating. My friend however was quite content just watching me flit about- to be fair he had been down the catas the last few days and I had only been down there one night so probably had more energy than he!

Its like an industrial wonderland!


Gare de Melimontant

OK, so if you read my last post you saw my last warning. But I am warning you here again. Between this station and the next one is a really long tunnel, in the middle of this tunnel my friend and I had our cameras and phones and money stolen. So perhaps skip this bit. I have reason to believe that they hang out there often. It is NOT worth it and there is zero chance of getting away from them. So do yourselves a favor. Don't bother.

Furthermore the station no longer exists. So why would you bother?

But here are some photos anyway because the first two times I went through I was lucky.

The tunnel we were mugged in.. Yes that tiny speck is how far away the light is. So don't do it.

This is just before it.


Gare de Belleville-Villette

Here is another "station," there is little sign of it existing now. Nonetheless I have spent a surprising amount of time along here. Just before this, most probably around the site of the now also destroyed Gare de Paris-Bestiaux was this huge iron bridge I had been seeking out that now goes over the canal in Parc de Villette. 

 Aside from this bridge there is not much here now. But the bridge serves as a pretty easy way to get to the next station which is quite interesting.


Gare du Pont de Flandre

The first time I saw this it was through a hole in the fence by a metro exit, where I took the photo above. I promised myself then that I WOULD get inside it. And I did a few months later. Now there is a man living in there running some kind of dance club out of it. He is very friendly, but I am rather untrusting of people that are THAT friendly. He also some how had wired up electricity, TV, the lot. It was actually pretty luxurious in comparison to where I was living at the time.

Just some little details I liked.

 I will probably do a whole post on this station at some point because I took a lot of pics here.


I think this is probably the end of part II, I will have to write a part III for the rest. Wow this is becoming so long!

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