The walk along the quays on the other side of the Canal Saint Martin is a different experience of Paris than one finds in the most elegant districts of the city. Here is the older surviving landmarks of the neighborhood – The factories, warehouses, dwellings, taverns and cafes- hint at life in the 19th-century industrial working-class world. here are the tree-lined quays, the charms of the old iron footbridges, the inevitable fishermen, the river barges and the still waters of the broad canal basins. A stroll along the canal, which connects the bassin de la Villette with the Seine will evoke images of the Pernod- drinking working class Paris of Jean Gabin and Edith Piaf.

Tips for walkers.

The Starting point is Place de Stalingrad to Avenue Jean Jaures. Length is 2 miles ( 3.5 kms). The nearest metro is Stalingrad , the bus No 54 stops there and No 26 at metro Jaures.

Hopital St-Louis. The chapel is open ( 2-5pm) Friday & Sunday, the courtyard is open daily.

Stopping off points.

Etnic food shops and restaurants abound in Rue du Faubourg du Temple and nearby streets. Quai de Valmy has also plenty modish restaurants and bars ( Antoine et Lili, la 25e image, l’atmosphere ) and is lined with benches to rest on and there is also a shady public garden on Boulevard Jules Ferry.

Anne Suire