10 UNIQUE EXPERIENCES TO TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD WITHOUT LEAVING PARIS.
As the tea ceremony master prepares the matcha with precise gestures we observe in respectful silence ; somewhere else we let the music carry us into a magical Bollywood dance in a communicative general good mood; to recover from our emotions, in a garden of fountains, marbles and turquoise earthenware we sit quietly and listen to the wind blowing through gracious palm trees…
You think all these experiences are impossible to live without spending hours in planes to reach the other side of the world ? Well, the good news is that while in Paris, whether you live here or are spending a few days, you can let the whole world come to you and experience unique moments bathed in the cultures of other countries.
So before you pack your bags, check our 10 amazing Parisian experiences to get closer to the world, without leaving! Put-on your favourite Escadrille and let’s escape !
TRIP TO ASIA
A real traditional Japanese tea pavilion, built at the end of the 19th century by carpenters who came specially from Japan, is nestled in the heart of the Japanese garden of the Albert Kahn Museum in Boulogne. Twice a month, delicate tea ceremonies, conducted by the Urasenke school, take place there for an hour. A suspended moment, the environment immediately projects us in Japan, and nothing comes to disturb the serenity of the moment. Only 10 seats available, so book well in advance. The Albert Kahn Museum has also just reopened and it is wonderful.
Albert Kahn Museum and Gardens, 2 Rue du Port, Boulogne-Billancourt.
Admiring the mysterious smiles and faces of the Buddha of Ultimate Compassion, depicted on the Bayon Towers in Angkor Thom, is one of the highlights of a trip to Cambodia. Did you know that the Guimet Museum in Paris is home to a collection of Khmer sculptures that illustrate the great periods of Cambodian art and that has no equivalent in the West? The striking beauty of these priceless artworks, some of which are monumental, are reminiscent of tropical atmospheres and temples buried in the luxuriant vegetation of this extraordinary corner of the world.
Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts, 6 Place d’Iéna, 75116 Paris.
On Saturday afternoons, Manjula, who was born in Bangalore, transports us to India through its dance, vibrant and totally addictive. What she teaches during this class, which is open to all, is the Bollywood movies dance, a mixture of hip hop, salsa, oriental dance and modern jazz, all set to a fabulous soundtrack. The movements are very fast, the choreographies follow one another, you don’t know how to coordinate all this properly, you are gently corrected by Manjula, you move a lot, it’s incredibly intoxicating and much more exciting than an hour in a gym bicycle !
Danse Center Marais, 41 Rue du Temple, 75004 Paris.
TRIP TO AFRICA
It is a very fantasized Egypt, very cinematographic, inherited from the beginning of the last century, the 20’s, a period during which extraordinary theatres were built in which to enjoy movies, in palaces with breathtaking decorations. The Luxor is one of these, inaugurated in 1921, a stunning mix of Art Deco spirit and inspirations from ancient Egypt, real or dreamed, with its scarabs, bas-reliefs, mosaics and invented hieroglyphs. After years of neglect, the Luxor was restored and reopened in 2013, with superb arty programme.
Le Louxor Palais du Cinéma – 170 Boulevard Magenta, 75010 Paris.
IN WEST AFRICA
If, similar to us, you have a passion for textiles and patterns (at Escadrille this passion drives us every day!) then head to the Chateau Rouge district in Paris to discover wax, an African fabric with a rich history that started in Indonesia (inspired by the famous batik technique) and is now a symbol of African creativity (and you have to look for real wax made in Africa !). Wax is a cotton textile printed on both sides with vibrant colours and very creative motifs. It is very complex to produce and has an exceptional hold. We spend hours admiring the ones offered at Wax Joli Afrique, and we take advantage of being in the neighbourhood to visit Maison Chateau Rouge, which knows so well how to promote African cultures in a contemporary way.
Wax Joli Afrique. 30 Rue Poulet, 75018 Paris.
Maison Chateau Rouge. 40 Bis Rue Myrha, 75018 Paris.
In Paris there is a garden hidden behind large white walls, whose magnificence cannot be seen from the street. You have to go through the large door to find yourself projected into a fairyland of patios, fountains, marble basins, palm trees, extravagant plants, open to all. The Great Mosque of Paris is almost 100 years old and is an exceptional place to visit that is too often forgotten. Inspired by one of the oldest mosques in the world, in Fez, Morocco, it is the work of marvellous Moroccan craftsmen who created lacework of zelliges (mosaics of small coloured earthenware tiles), dyes of gold thread, and deep carpets. A place of infinite softness, where time stands still. And of course, where you can also enjoy one of the best mint teas in Paris.
The Great Mosque of Paris. 2bis Pl. du Puits de l’Ermite, 75005 Paris.
TRIP TO OCEANIA
When was the last time you sat on a bench in a museum, mesmerized ? The “Australia” section of the Quai Branly museum does just that. Displayed on a long wall, we admire and learn to read the dreams of the Aborigines who, on bark or canvas, retrace the origins of the world in pointillism with the colours of the Australian desert. A suspended moment that tells us about an antipode and a mysterious culture whose purity is very moving. Let yourself be carried away!
Quai Branly Museum. 37 Quai Branly, 75007 Paris.
Go under the Tropical Seas
The coral reefs
You don’t have to be under 12 years old to marvel at an aquarium, and this one is particularly spectacular. You can escape in particular by selecting a zone between the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer, and already a whole imaginary journey is set up in your head. Direction the coral reefs, which represent only 0.1% of the marine waters but 25% of its biodiversity, unfortunately in a bad state. We are charmed by the fishes that make us look at them with their sumptuous colors: the pallet surgeon, the angelfish, the orange butterflyfish, the mandarin, the surgeon, and our favorite, the Kaudern apogon. Enjoy your trip under the tropical waters!
Palais de la Porte Dorée. 293, avenue Daumesnil, 75012 Paris.
TRIP TO SOUTH AMERICA
If you have always been fascinated by the Inca culture, and Peru continues to be one of those mythical destinations that immediately speaks to the imagination, then you should not miss the exhibition that opened in Paris on April 16, 2022 (and runs until September 4, 2022) and which showcases 3,000 years of pre-Columbian civilization, with pieces that in some cases are coming out of Peru for the first time, along with phenomenal quantities of gold. A perfect exhibition to try and unravel the mysteries of Machu Picchu…
Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine.1, place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, 75116 Paris.
OPENING UP TO THE WORLD
BY LEARNING A FOREIGN LANGUAGE
How about learning Wolof, Quechua, Hindi, Persian or Tibetan, to name but a few? To get closer to the world, language learning is a treasure, and it is much easier than it seems. INALCO (Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales) is a venerable institution created in the 18th century where anyone can come and take language or civilisation courses. The languages taught, of which there are about a hundred, cover all continents and are not necessarily the usual ones, in fact some are very rare, and the courses can even be followed at a distance if easier. The conference programmes are also always very interesting. There are not many other places in Paris where you can immerse yourself in so many world cultures in such an incredible way.
Inalco. 65 rue des Grands Moulins, 75214 Paris Cedex 13.