Field Trip Friday: The Paris Sewer Tour

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When we travel, we try to find activities the kids are going to really like. In Paris, we spent a lot of time looking at things decidedly NOT entertaining to small children. Like old buildings, and old paintings and old statues. The kids needed something especially interesting and educational, so I had the bright idea to visit the Paris Sewer system.

Des Egouts de Paris- Or, the icky nasty Paris Sewer

In my head, I pictured this as a “Magic School Bus at the Water Works” type adventure. You know, pipes, clean water, no big deal.

Uh… I was wrong. And I should have known better.

You climb down a spiral stair case, and wander along until you hear the “water” rushing. And then, you smell it, like being punched in the face by an ogre who just finished rolling in dung.

It was disgusting.

Sewer (2)

We walked along tunnels on grates over real rivers of human waste.


It stunk.

Sewer (3)

I was sure we would all end up with pink eye and stomach illnesses after breathing in the fecal matter I was sure was floating through the air all around me.

Sewer (4)

We got to see “poo scrapers” and “flush balls” that reminded me a lot of Indiana Jones. (I am sure there is a technical term for these things, but the informational panels were in French, and I didn’t want to linger in the sewers too long!)

ParisSewer (3)
A flush ball

And, the kids loved it.

Especially Mr. Man.

If you are in Paris with young kids, and have stomach for it, AND also have Museum Passes, so the visit is free, I recommend taking the kids to see the Sewers of Paris. It was Mr. Man’s favorite part of our trip, and still affectionately reminisces about the French Pee and Poop he saw. Don’t eat first. Or when you are done. Just expect to feel a little sick. Or, Don’t go at all. It’s gross.

Field Trip Friday

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