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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The principle of this thread is the same as the original Leaving Paris thread, so if you're not familiar with the rules and the way the pictures are selected, check the original thread for an explanation. The pictures come from Google Street View, as in the former thread.

This time I have selected the shortest route. If you are in the very heart of Paris and you suddenly feel claustrophobic and wish to reach the open countryside, this is basically the shortest way to get there. There is no countryside closer to the center of Paris than the one we're gonna reach with these pics. The reason why the urbanized area doesn't extend as far from the center of Paris on this route as on the other routes is essentially because of CDG airport, which has prevented urbanization in that part of Greater Paris. So as you'll see on the last pics, we're not so much reaching a "real" countryside as we're reaching what can be more properly termed some undeveloped lands below CDG's flight paths.

The route to reach the closest countryside from the center of Paris crosses the dreadful "Banlieue Nord", i.e. the northern suburbs. These suburbs are the most ethnic, the most poverty-stricken, and the most violent in Greater Paris. The areas we're gonna cross have more than a third of their population born outside of France (essentially in North and Sub-saharan Africa). If we include the children of immigrants, then more than 50% of the population in the areas we're gonna cross are either immigrants or children of immigrants. Along our route thus lie some of Greater Paris's worst social and ethnic ghettoes ("cités" in French), and some of the most violent ones too, where I would highly discourage you from venturing after nightfall. In some of these ghettoes, young thugs now shoot at the police with military weapons at night. That's how bad the situation has become after years of refusal to integrate the City of Paris with its suburbs. :eek:hno:

Of course, due to the strict rules of the thread (one random pictures every 500 meters), we may not necessarily see the worst ghettoes (sometimes a very violent ghetto lies just 200 meters before or after the pictures presented here, or just slightly off the avenues we're travelling on). Also, the North American forumers might be a bit surprised when looking at the pics, and might wonder whether I didn't exaggerate things a bit. Do not expect anything resembling the US ghettoes here. No run-down streets, no decrepit buildings with wooden planks obstructing windows. This is Europe after all. Public spaces still look manicured, even around the worst ghettoes. The violence is mostly hidden. But trust me, you wouldn't want to venture at night on most parts of the route we're gonna take.

Last but not least, the Banlieue Nord is also part of the so-called Red Belt, a Communist stronghold since the 1930s that surrounds central Paris to its north, east, and south-east. In many of the suburban municipalities that we're gonna cross, the French Communists are still in power (they control the municipal councils) and call the shots. This may of course explain that...

Alright, enough with the introduction. Now en route to the Banlieue Nord! Don't forget to wear your bulletproof vest. :D

PS: As with the former thread, try to guess where the Medieval heart of Paris stops (the city within its 14th century wall), and where the administrative City of Paris ends. In the end I'll tell you who guessed right.

Km 0: Place du Châtelet, in the very heart of Paris.


Km 0.5:


Km 1.0:


Km 1.5:


Km 2.0:


Km 2.5:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Km 3.0:


Km 3.5:


Km 4.0:


Km 4.5:


Km 5.0: An old calvary, typical of the French countryside, bizarrely surviving from the days 200 years ago when this area was still rural. :nuts:


Km 5.5: This Chinese dining hall is simply and straightforwardly called "Hello Everybody all-you-can-eat buffet". :D


Km 6.0:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Km 6.5:


Km 7.0:


Km 7.5:


Km 8.0:


Km 8.5:


Km 9.0: Our first close-up view of a "cité" (ghetto).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Km 12.5:


Km 13.0:


Km 13.5: Comrades, we are now driving on Avenue Lénine! All hail the local Politburo!



Km 14.0: The radiant Socialist future of Avenue Lénine.


Km 14.5:


Km 15.0:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Km 15.5:


Km 16.0:


Km 16.5:


Km 17.0: Notice the graffiti with the name of the extreme-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen. We are now entering one of the most violent suburban municipalities in Greater Paris.


Km 17.5:


Km 18.0:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Km 18.5:


Km 19.0:


Km 19.5: Beautiful neighborhood isn't it? Well, you will never believe me, but just 20 meters in the back of the photographer lies what's probably one of the top 5 most dangerous "cité" (ghetto) in Greater Paris (more about it below). The people in the nice bourgeois house must be living like in a bunker at night.


Km 20.0:


Km 20.5:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Km 21.0: We have reached one of the most dangerous ghettoes in Greater Paris. This is in the same municipality as at km 19.5. In this municipality, Villiers-le-Bel, there were some very serious riots in 2007. You can find out more about it (in English) here. According to an article published only 4 days ago in the French newspaper Le Monde, this ghetto (and the other one at km 19.5) are bubbling again and might explode anytime. You can read about it (in French) here. Personally, I would not have dared to take pictures there.


Km 21.3: The last two buildings of the Paris urban area on our route.


Km 21.35: Countryside appearing on the horizon. It's crazy that such a violent ghetto lies just on the edge of the beautiful French countryside.


Km 21.4: Finally, we're reached the countryside! :banana:


Km 21.5: As you can see, we may have reached the end of the Paris urban area, but it's not really rural France yet. It's an area under the flight paths of CDG, crossed by many utility lines, with several large exurbs visible on the horizon. For the true rural France, we'd have to travel a further 15 km.




Looking back towards the last buildings of the Paris urban area:


Now we have to ride back to the center of Paris. Here I would not dare to put my bike in the suburban train. Too much potential trouble with the young thugs of the Banlieue Nord. Thankfully it won't take as long to ride back to the center of Paris as in the former thread.
 

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We had visited the same place.





OK I admit that I don't go in the most dangerous place and that until the km 10.5 I don't know anything. :D
 

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Great photos ! I would love to see photos of the most dangerous places in Paris.

I have a question.

A few years ago I went to Paris in winter and there was something that really caught my attention. I was traveling in a train to Paris (and it was not on the first class section, I believe it was like the worst class that could exist) and then a guy came in (He was an immigrant) but when he took off his jacket his armpit smelled so terrible. The smell was so intense that even I had a headache and he was like 3 meters away from me. IT seemed like he had not use deodorant like in a year

At first I thought it was an isolated case, but then when I was in Paris, I found some other cases like that (from immigrants)

So my question is... I this common ??? Or have you heard any experience like this ??
 

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Too be honest, the rough areas don't look that bad, i mean, the streets are clean, there's very little graffiti by what i can see, and the blocks dont look that run down either, theres some areas in the city i live in which look much worse and Lugano is only 130'000 in population. :(
 

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^^ Brisavoine exaggerated a lot. He made it sound like Ciudad Juarez or something, of course

Although I don't know why but with google street view many parts of Paris look better than they do in real life where it feels much more gritty.
 

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To all the Parisians here:

I am going to be visiting Paris in about 2 weeks. My flight arrives at around 10pm. I have a problem. How can I safely get into the center of Paris without taking an RER train through the suburbs and without spending 50 Euro for a taxi? Is there any other option? As far as I know, the buses stop running at 11pm, which puts me on a very tight schedule at CDG. Is anyone aware of some bus or other transportation service that leaves CDG after 11pm and that's safe, realiable and reasonably affordable?

Merci beaucoups.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
^^ Brisavoine exaggerated a lot. He made it sound like Ciudad Juarez or something
And you make it sound like Ciudad Juarez is some sort of inferno or something. In fact, knowing Mexico as I know it (I lived there actually), I would feel more comfortable walking at night in Ciudad Juarez than in some of the ghettos of the northern Paris suburbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So the km from the center of Paris to country side are 21.5 km?
That's the SHORTEST route as I explained in the introduction of this thread. It's largely explained by Paris CDG Airport which has limited urbanization in that part of Greater Paris. In the rest of Greater Paris, it would take longer to reach the countryside, as you can see in the other threads that I have created.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
חבר1.0;51735747 said:
To all the Parisians here:

I am going to be visiting Paris in about 2 weeks. My flight arrives at around 10pm. I have a problem. How can I safely get into the center of Paris without taking an RER train through the suburbs and without spending 50 Euro for a taxi? Is there any other option? As far as I know, the buses stop running at 11pm, which puts me on a very tight schedule at CDG. Is anyone aware of some bus or other transportation service that leaves CDG after 11pm and that's safe, realiable and reasonably affordable?

Merci beaucoups.
There are direct RER trains from CDG Airport to Central Paris that don't stop in the northern suburbs. They were put in service specifically for airport users who are fearful of violence in the northern suburbs at night. In order to find out whether a RER train doesn't stop in the suburbs, you have to check the board where they list all the stations where the train stops. Gare du Nord is the first station in Central Paris on the line.
 
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