The Paris “La Chasse aux trésors” happened in July (annual Treasure Hunt). Now, having participated in this annual event, I want to prepare all Paris visitors for the next one. If any of the links in this entry stop working, visit the Mairie de Paris website in early June next year for information. They translate this event into English within their French website pages.
The game has numerous pluses: It is fun, it is suspenseful, it is informative, it could become a shopping moment in stores you never thought of entering, and it brings out the team spirit of the players.
Of course, Paris or “paname“, is a slang name for Paris it turns out (Google Translate), is not Utopia. There is a drawback to the treasure hunt: You cannot find out where the final meeting spot actually is. And that is disheartening for you and the other quantities of treasure hunters. According to the organizers, we were close but even in an email they did not reveal the final spot.
That said, I would do it again. It was an afternoon of discovery. We chose the eleventh arrondissement, our hometown, and found ourselves passing by our apartment and into new areas that we had never paid attention to in the past.
You need the right tools, you need patience and as the brochure say, “Keep calm and don’t panic….”
To help you out, I will give you some suggestions for tools and how the hunt proceeds.
In 2010 there are ten arrondissements (out of 20) and the Saint Ouen community signed up for the treasure hunt. You choose any arrondissement and start at that town hall. If the weather allows, start early. It takes at least two hours, but it is better not to rush.
*Street map of Paris (the blue book, Paris Pratique” l’Indispensable, is great)
*Each person in the party should take the brochure handed out at the start table (and make sure you all have the same one (same enigma number).
*A French-English dictionary or knowledge of French will help immensely. At the youth hostel, the clue had to be deciphered into French; the note in the mailbox was written in French. Don’t give up though!
What to do
Look up, look ahead and read ahead (e.g., “… look out for two gift tags”) This was the first riddle/clue; it took us twenty minutes to decipher. We were looking for two paper gift tags attached to something. We went back to the original starting point, I looked across the street and there on the big, rectangular business sign across the boulevard were the two tags!)
Use your imagination (e.g., “… a little red bug is also trying to make himself at home in this garden.”) The red bug is a white and red tile figure (pixel art by Invader–video) on the wall above your head, not an actual bug.
Read ahead in the clues (If you do not know the answer to one of the riddles, either the next one or a description might lead you in the right direction). (e.g., “…At the top you will find a place with the alternative name for Paris.”) Luckily, Erik, my husband who grew up in the environs of Paris knows this. “Everyone in Paris, knows that,” he said. The name “paname” is, however, not one of things mentioned in the guide book. It is also a well-known song by Renaud, “Amoureux du paname“.
Look at wall sculptures, paintings, signs, walk into shops, speak to the staff if you are looking for clues in their shop.
The clues can be obscure. It is good to have everyone involved working on the clues.
The proposed application for obtaining more chances to win the grand prizes is the “dismoioù” (for your smart phone). Although the instructions for the hunt are in English, the instructions in the game hand out for using the “app” are in French. The last four different stages of the hunt could remain a permanent mystery.
Maybe next year we can win or at least find the finish line along with the other poor souls who ended up “déçu” (disappointed) as they say. It was, however, a fun two-hours!
Next year, sign up on line, play the game and explore Paris while you are at it!
© 2010 Colleensparis.com
Your HOTEL and APARTMENT RESERVATION is a contribution to maintenance costs of my BLOG, WEBSITE and NEWSLETTER. Using GOOGLE helps, too. THANKS!
© 2012 Colleensparis.com
Your HOTEL and APARTMENT RESERVATION is a contribution to maintenance costs of my Web site. Using GOOGLE helps, too. THANKS!