My alarm going off at 7.30am on a Sunday. First, open your left eye. Then, first thought: I've got an hour to get ready before today's Whereez activity. Why have my colleagues chosen a Sunday for this activity? I'm not really convinced, but that's democracy. And at the same time, I can't help wondering: what have they prepared this time? I was intrigued, but also enthusiastic, because I knew it wasn't going to be a day like any other.
there's a park three minutes' walk from the Cadet metro station on Rue la Fayette. In the middle of the park was the meeting point. Of course, of the 15 participants, only one was missing: me. Good old Bryan! The guide explained the rules of the treasure hunt and gave us a map with written instructions, riddles to solve and a map to guide us.
"A reward awaits the winning team", she whispered. And off we go!
We strolled through the streets of the ninth arrondissement. The weather is fine, the city is almost empty, asleep. Paris is ours! The Passage Verdeau stretches like a road back to the Belle Epoque, with its symmetrical tiled floors, large glass shop windows and imposing ceilings.
It's not easy to solve the first riddle:
"What are we looking for? "Hamed asks the rest of the group. I read, puzzled:
" A handful looking up at the sky, hanging on the ground" .
We split up to get a better look at the place. Some people look at the floor, others stick their heads in the glass... as for me, I inspect the doors of all the shops for any sign of an upward-facing handle. What an idea!
"I've got...! "can be heard on the left-hand side of the passageway. Between the rhombuses and the perfect frames of the tiles that adorned the corridor, an imperfection; inside, a flat handle drawn.
Suddenly we're back in the rue de Nouveau, as if our time in the Passage Verdeau had been a pause between two eras. I spot Charlène 200 metres ahead of us with her group. "They're going fast... come on, let's get a move on," I motivate the others.
The streets of Paris have a way of distracting us for no obvious reason. During the treasure hunt, I find myself, almost unintentionally, questioning everything around me. I look around me and the others also seem to be a little elsewhere, in their own game. They laugh, they talk, but above all they observe. During the week, between home and work, we don't have enough time to contemplate the secrets of a city as magical as Paris.
We walk along the Palais Brongniart towards the Galerie Vivienne. The final stop, the Palais Royal, was just after this last passage. This time, the riddle was hidden between the hundreds of bookshelves. The first team had gathered to analyse them one by one. We do the same! After five minutes of fruitless searching, the third team joined us.
"It's hot!" someone laughs. "Stop the spies! "we burst out laughing.
"That's it! ". We've found the clue. We made our way to the Jardins du Palais Royal, reading the last clue together to find the final solution to this fun and stimulating activity... Whatever the prize, we'd all already had a superb stroll through the captivating covered passages of Paris.
Tomorrow, we'll be at the coffee machine for a debriefing like no other!