Thursday, October 27, 2011
Thursday: October 27, 2011
MA and I were on our own today. We decided to take the train(s) into Paris and buy a two day fare on the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus. In Paris it is known as Les Cars Rouges. For $26 Euros you get to ride around all over Paris for two days, get off when you want and get back on to see the next place. We’ve done this in London and Barcelona and love it. I’ve included a map for you to look at and follow our journey around the city.
We got up and got going around 9:30 this morning. We walked about 3 blocks to the local train station and purchased round trip tickets. We had to change trains 4 times but we made it to nearest Metro stop by Notre Dame Cathedral with only one false directional error that we had to reverse. I had wanted to return there and photograph the rose windows.
As we were walking along we met George Lavecky, a nice gentleman from Australia. George was traveling Europe to catch up on many of his family members. He asked me if I would take his picture. After we took our photos I asked him if he wanted to join us in the walk around Notre Dame. He was one nice guy as all the Australians that I’ve met are.
We said our good-byes and walked over to the Hop-On Hop-Off bus and we were on our way around Paris in a big red double-decker. I focused on street scene shots as we drove around. We decided to get off at the Opera so we could walk into the Lafayette Galleries. This is one big department store. I mean, it was huge! Every name brand that you can think of has retail space in the Lafayette. I came into the store because of the ceiling. It is gorgeous. You’ll just have to wait until I get back and can download my Nikon to see it. While we were there we had lunch at McDonald’s. Yes! I know! Wayne you go all the way to Paris and eat at Mickey D’s!!!! Well we were hungry and it was convenient. J
We got back on the bus and traveled around town down the Champs Elysees. Cops and firemen were everywhere. Apparently there had been a fire just off the main street and because of the emergency vehicles, traffic was a mess. The Car Rouge managed to get us around the Arc de Triumph and up to a place called Trocadero. MA and I got off there because of the view of the Eifel Tower. My only regret is the pool of water where you could have seen the tower’s reflection was drained for cleaning. So the shot of the Tower I wanted was not to be. But I still got some great photos of “the Lady” as the Parisians call it.
We walked down the hill and across the bridge until we were directly underneath the Tower. There were thousands of people there with hundreds in line to walk up the stairs! Plus the place was crawling with police and military. The soldiers were walking around with submachine guns at the ready. Thankfully they were not needed.
We took our photos and got back on the bus and rode it back to Notre Dame. MA did a little shopping and we decided to have coffee at the corner “brasserie”, which is French for café. We lingered there for some time and decided to venture back to our hotel.
To do that, we had to reverse our train ride. We started out just fine but got on one wrong line, had to get off and go back and get on the right train. Did I mention the commuter leg where we were literally pushed in like sardines! We made it back to Nogent-sur-Marne in time for supper at the Hippopotamus Grill. We passed on the hippo and had a steak and baked potatoes. Our hotel was a short walk from there in sprinkling rain.
Tomorrow we plan to do the same thing, getting off at different places and maybe going to Montmartre again, a kind of bohemian neighborhood but with a fun atmosphere charged with young people, city views and cafes! See you soon.