Text: Rooksana Hossenally at Vingt Paris
Summer is here to stay, so what better idea than to scour Paris?s mysteries and lost nooks and crannies in a race against time? If that sounds like just your cup of tea, then you?re in luck because next weekend, Saturday 3rd July, the capital will be transformed into an urban playground full of treasure seekers, marking the start of the annual Great Paris Treasure Hunt.
Organised by the City of Paris, the treasure hunt will start at participating districts? town halls (3rd, 6th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 19th and 20th and St Ouen) from 10:00am to 1:00pm, when instructions in English and French will be distributed to participants who will have until 3:30pm on the same day to reach the final destination. To enter the treasure hunt is free and you can sign up by filling in your details online or by simply turning up and queuing on the day.
The hunt will lead participants all over the city, whereby treasure hunters will follow clues, solve riddles, speak to locals, shopkeepers, and artisans alike, whilst discovering areas of a city, such as its hidden gardens and secret passages. The first participants to reach the finishing point will be eligible to win several prizes, the top prize being a concert at an undisclosed location that evening.
The toughest of treasure hunters will also be able to win a holiday by solving the 10-part riddle that will be told at the prize-giving ceremony. This riddle will lead to a secret hiding place where a Jericho rose will hold a password and telephone number. The first participants to call in with the password will be the happy winners of the free holiday.
The Great Parisian Treasure Hunt began five years ago and was started by deputy mayor of Paris, Jean-Bernard Bros. His aims via this event are on par with the event organiser, Audrey Epeche?s: ?The initial idea was simply how to discover and rediscover the city off the beaten path, by creating an event based on interactions, encounters and conviviality?. If the past five years? treasure hunts? successes are anything to go by, then be prepared for your usually calm streets to be invaded by over 20,000 bolting charade-fiends! The very first treasure hunt took place in just one district and has since expanded to most of the city as it has attracted people from all over, who are keen to explore the city under a different light and in a more interactive way rather than through guide books.
The game will plunge you into a world of legend and myth as Paris unveils its secrets and casts its spell on you just as you thought you had finally got your head around it all.