A Travellerspoint blog

September 2005

Getting around Paris via Public Transit

Paris, France and the RATP

sunny 14 °C
View Work Trips 2005 - 2006 & Train from Paris to Hong Kong on GregW's travel map.

Paris has a great public transit system that is ideal to shuttle tourists to the sites. Depending on where your hotel is, you may be able to walk to many of the sites, but some of them areas are a bit of a hike. Using the Metro is an easy way to get around. The map of the transit system can be found at the RATP website, http://www.ratp.fr/. There is an interactive map, and a very handy feature that will allow you to enter two addresses, and it will tell you how to get between them. But the question is, what ticket to purchase?

There are a number of options for tickets to purchase. The key options for a tourist seem to be the Carte Orange Hebdo (Weekly), the Carnet (individual tickets in pack of 10) and the Mobilis (unlimted day pass).

There is a tourist pass, but it is more expensive and more limited than the other options. It does provide you the ability to travel further outside Paris on the RER lines (outside of zone 1 and 2). In general, though, unless you are travelling outside of zones 1 and 2 (the core of Paris) a lot in a short period of time (3 days or less), then I can't figure out how this pass is worth while. Even then, a Carte Orange may be cheaper.

Because I am both a math and transit geek, and because I needed to figure out for myself due to a few demi-weeks I am spending in Paris, here's what I determined.

The Carte Orange gives you unlimited weekly trips (they have a monthly version as well). The Carte Orange is good if you are going to be taking 14 or more trips total in the period it is good (Monday - Sunday), and those trips will be on 3 or more different days. In that case, the 15.70 Euros (for zones 1 and 2) is the best deal.

Note that you do need a picture for the Carte Orange. A passport sized picture from a photo booth is ideal. If you don't have one, there are photo booths in the system. Chatelet in the heart of the tourist area has one, which for people in the core is probably your best bet.

The Carnet (10 tickets for 10.70 Euro) and individual tickets (1.40 Euro) are best if you are planning on taking less than 14 trips across 3 or more days. In this case, the total cost will be somewhere less than the 15.70 of the Carte Orange and will give you flexibility to travel on many days.

If you are going to be taking 5 or more trips in a day, however, you are best getting the Mobilis, which is a one-day unlimited pass for 5.40 Euros. If you do all your out of walking area site-seeing in two days, then you can spend 10.80 Euros on the Mobilis take 10 or more trips and come out on top.

You can, of course, combine the Mobilis for a heavy travel day and then individual tickets or a Carnet for the other days.

Finally, there are some options to get passes for the museums plus transit. However, I don't know how much museum entries cost, so I can't indicate if they are a good deal or not.

Enjoy the city of lights!

Posted by GregW 02:10 Archived in France Tagged transportation Comments (1)

The Pantheon - more dead Parisians

Paris, France


View Work Trips 2005 - 2006 & Train from Paris to Hong Kong on GregW's travel map.

This week finds me in the Pantheon, where the great men (and women) of France are interned. More dead folks. That is three weekends in a row of the dead.

ExitingPartheonParis.jpg

The Pantheon is quite nice, but very sterile. I much preferred the chaos and colour of Pere Lachaise to the somber sternness of the Pantheon.

I also like that Pere Lachaise includes people, like Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison, from other lands. I find the concept of being buried in some foreign cemetery quite romantic. I do hope that when I die, it is on foreign soil. And instead of bringing me back home to Canada, who ever is in charge of seeing me buried does it wherever I fell.

A simple cremation, and interned in the local cemetery in the mausoleum. The stone face of my little cubicle would read:

Gregory James Wesson
Born: October 19, 1970
Toronto, Canada
Died: September 25, 2005
Paris, France

I like the concept of people wandering through the cemetery and coming across this little plaque, with information about the person inside, but not too much. And they would wonder to themselves, 'what great adventure was it that brought Gregory James Wesson from Toronto to Paris? And what happened to him on September 25th that left him here.'

Posted by GregW 19:43 Archived in France Comments (0)

If God ran a hostel...

Paris, France


View Work Trips 2005 - 2006 & Train from Paris to Hong Kong on GregW's travel map.

They have these things in France called Hotel Dieu, which literally translates to Hotel of God. It's not a hotel though, it's a hospital. But I could imagine some confused travellers trying to stumble in one with all their luggage looking for a bed.

I wonder what a hostel run by God would be like. Based on my experience as I've travelled, I wonder how God would react if I stumbled up to the Hotel of God at 3am, drunk as usual. Banging on the doors for 5 minutes, finally God, rubbing his eyes after being awoken from a deep sleep, unlocks the door.

"Sorry about that," I slur, "I didn't mean to wake you."

"Do you have any idea what time it is?" God asks, his voice shaking with anger.

"Umm, no."

"Well, it's 3 am. The doors are locked at midnight," God says, pointing at the small sign beside the door in Spanish.

"I'm sorry, I lost track of time," I try and apologize.

"Don't try and pull the wool over my eyes," God says, "I'm omnipotent. I see and know all, and I know you're lying. You were well aware of the time, you were just selfish."

I hang my head in shame. "I'm sorry my Lord," I say, though really I'm thinking, "enough with the lectures, dude. I'm paying 10 pesos to stay here, and I should be able to show up any time I want."

"Don't think I didn't hear that," God says. "10 pesos does not entitle you to break the rules. It was made very clear when you arrived that the doors were locked at midnight."

"Actually, I'm not really sure I understood that," I plead.

"Mmmm," God says, pausing. "Well, I suppose you are right. I guess I should have switched over to English to speak to you given that your small brain can't handle multiple languages. Okay, I'll take the blame on that one. But you know for tomorrow, show up by midnight."


"I will," I say, nodding my head eagerly.


"I'm not sure I believe you," God says. "You know, I could force you to show up at midnight. I am, after all, omnipotent. However, I am going to give you free will to decide to show up by midnight or not. But, let me warn you, if thou does not show by midnight, I won't answer this door and you will sleep outside all night. Or maybe I'll turn you into a pillar of salt. You never know with me. I move in mysterious ways."

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For breakfast on Thursday I had a cheese that smelt vaguely like horse manure. What this town needs is a Denny's.

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From the anonymous dead of the catacombs last week to the famous dead of Pere Lachaise cemetery this week. If the catacombs are the tenements of Paris' dead - nameless masses packed on top of each other, forgotten by history except in en masse - then Pere Lachaise is the grand avenues and mansions of the rich. Everyone has a monument, and all of them above ground and elaborate.

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Pere Lachaise cemetery

Many of Pairs and the world's great names are buried in Pere Lachaise. With a handy 2 euro map, I managed to find the graves of Balzac, Chopin, Callas; Piaf, Modigiani and Moliere, among many others. 3 notable graves stood out.

Oscar Wilde's tomb is massive, one of the largest in the entire cemetery. A large marble structure with some sort of flying Egyptian man. To honour Wilde, mourners paint their lips the brightest red, and place a kiss upon his tomb. The white marble is spotted with red.

gregLostinPereLachise.jpg
Where am I? Trying to find Morrison's grave in Pere Lachise

Jim Morrison's is the most visited grave in the cemetery, with many people coming just to see it. It's a simply marker, but has become so overrun with tourists, they had to cordon it off so you can't get close to it. I have heard they are thinking of moving Morrison out of the cemetery to prevent further damage to Morrison's marker, or those around his.

It was strange seeing Morrison's grave. I was reminded of being in Versailles, as all I could do was try and peek at it through a crowd of heads.

The biggest thrill for me, though it was unintented, was to come across the grave of Fulgence Bienvenüe. Beinvenue was the lead engineer on building the Paris Metro, which I professed my love for back in my April entry. I thought of leaving my Carte Orange (the weekly Metro pass I have) in tribute and walking back to my hotel to see what a Paris without the Metro would be like, but decided against it at the last minute. It's a large city.

2005 10 Pa..z2metro.JPG

Posted by GregW 19:28 Archived in France Comments (0)

To sitting in a cafe sipping on ice cold beer

Paris, France


View Work Trips 2005 - 2006 & Train from Paris to Hong Kong on GregW's travel map.

I arrived on Sunday, September 4th for another three weeks in Paris for work. I arrived just after noon on Sunday, and made my way via my beloved metro network to my hotel. The sun was shining in Paris and the day was hot, over 25 degrees, what we might call an Indian summer back in the new world. Tired from a long flight and the change of three time zones in less than 40 hours, I felt like doing little. Luckily Paris is made for doing little. I grabbed myself a seat at one of the nearby cafes, and nursed a beer and dabbled at eating while the Sunday strollers of Paris passed me by. Even though I was taking up a table and really nursing my beer, the waitress left me alone. Such is one of the joys of Paris, that sitting around in a restaurant and nursing a beer while munching on snack food is not seen as a direct threat to the livelihood of the wait staff. I watched the sun disappear behind the nearby apartment buildings and occasionally read (as my jet-lagged addled brain would allow) from a book I had brought.

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Relaxing in the sun at a Cafe, Paris, France

Upon finishing my beer, I headed off to my hotel for a deep sleep.

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September the 5th it was back to work (my Labour day spent in actual labour). The first 3 days of my three weeks in Paris would be a training session where I was to be a training assistant. For those of you who have attended a corporate training class before, I am the goon that wanders around the room making sure that you aren't spending too much time surfing the web and that you are bothering to do the exercises.

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Me, hard at work. Seriously...

A computer was provided for me in the training room so that I could stay in touch with the folks in Canada and the United States via email. But when I sat down to compose my first email, things didn't look right at all. I never really thought orf it, but the French have a different keyboard layout then the English. Letters are switched around (the A and the Q have swapped places, along with the Z and the W), punctuation is in different spots (the M and the : have swapped places, and the period "." is only accessible by hitting the shift key) and while the numbers are in the right place, but you need to hit the shift key to get at them. On top of all that, they have a second shift key (ALT-GR) that allows you to access a whole new row of symbols, so that certain keys have 3 different values associated with them, depending on which of the shift keys you might (or might not) hit.

I am a touch typist, and thus not used to looking down at my keyboard when typing. I believe they call this sense memory. I don't think about where the "q" is, I just think "q" and my fingers move there automatically. But because the different configuration and my sense memory of typing, my first email looked a garbled mess.

As an example, take your typing teachers favorite phrase, "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog." Without looking at my French keyboard, the sentance comes out as "The auick brozn fox ju,ped over the lawy dog :" Even address the email is impossible. Due to the fact that the "@", the ".", the "_" and the "m" are all in differnt places, email addresses look like Russian, coming out as something like "gregztrqvels2g,qil :co,"

I didn't spend too much time at my keyboard though, as most of my time was spent walking the training room, answering questions, helping with problems and giving people the evil eye when they had their hotmail accounts open. Even just acting the teacher's assistant was tiring work. Actually standing up and presenting material is even harder, as I myself have had to do in the past. Teaching people is exhausting work. Training adults, who are actually willing to learn, can't help but bring about a certain respect for those who choose teaching children as a profession.

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night I pulled my mentally and physically tired body back to the hotel. Luckily this time I was staying at the much nicer Hotel Michelet Odeon on Place D'Odeon than the dump I was in on my last trip to Paris. The room is regularly shaped and includes a TV and fan. The bathroom is spacious, in that you can sit on the toilet and close the door, and the shower does not demand that you press your body against the opposite wall for fear of turning off the water. The room has two French doors that open to allow in the cool night air and allow me a view of Paris. I can see the Senate building to the south of me, and directly across the street, a beautiful Parisian woman who bathes nightly and then wanders around her flat wearing nothing but a towel on her head. As she, in a typically European fashion, does not feel shame in the fact that the hotel across the street can see her naked form, I have decided not to feel shame in enjoying the view. Vive la France!

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After the three days of training, I moved from the training room to my very own desk. I can now say that I have an office in Paris. If someone asks where I work, I can reply, "I have offices in Toronto, Montreal, San Francisco and Paris."

As the people in Paris knew I was a North American with a poor grasp of French, they set up my computer with an English version of Windows and a keyboard configured with the English keyboard layout.

(An aside - I know, I know... all this talk of keyboards. Seriously, is this supposed to be interesting? Stick with me, I promise you upcoming a story of a night of drunken debauchery in Paris that had me cursing the entire country and a confrontation with an overzealous strip club hawker.)

While an English keyboard was certainly nice, the problem was that the office didn't actually have a physical English keyboard. So the keyboard attached to the computer is a French one. So while the key beside the tab key is configured to produce the letter Q, the key is labeled with the letter A. As I stated above, I am a touch typist, so this generally doesn't bother me as I am seldom looking at the keys. Occasionally I do peek down at my hands and that's when my brain starts doing circles.

Say I am typing the word "quiet." I will think the letter Q, and my finger will start to move to the Q spot and hit the key. However, if I am looking down my eyes will see that my finger is actually hitting the A key, and demand that the mistake be corrected. So my finger will start to move to the backspace key. But then my eyes will glance at the screen and see the letter Q, which is what we wanted in the first place. Suddenly, like a submarine trying to dive to avoid depth charges, my brain is sending out crazy abort signals on the backspace.

It's probably a very interesting study in the differences between touch memory and visual stimulus, but I'm no bio-psychologist and this is even boring me now, so let's move on.

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After a long week of work, I was ready Friday night for a night on the town. I started out with a nice dinner at a cafe with a pint of beer, reading a book as the night-time breeze rippled the pages. I returned to my hotel, watched the nightly "walk around the flat with nothing but a towel on my head" show, and then showered myself, got dressed (with the drapes firmly closed - I am no tender and young Paris beauty) and headed out on the town.

I didn't stay at one place, but rather hopped from bar to bar, having a pint in each. Each bar was very different. At one cafe, I think I stumbled into a wedding's Friday night reception party, so I took my pint and quietly moved to the patio and let them alone. Another bar seemed nice, with a DJ spinning house music in an Irish pub atmosphere, but the only one who seemed interested in even making eye contact with me was a lap-dog that one of the patrons had lying at his feet. I had a pint in another Irish pub called "The Quiet Man" that featured a bartender that looked suspiciously like Emo Phillips. I haven't seen Emo Phillips on the stand-up circuit recently, perhaps now he is bartending in Paris.

I ended the night in a British pub. I leafed through the British tabloids left on the bar. Apparently some famous actress I've never heard of is stepping out on her famous boyfriend actor who I've never heard of with some famous soccer player who I've never heard of, at least according to page six. Oh, the scandal.

I finished my pint, and given that it was after two in the morning, decided to head back to the hotel. Paris is set up in neighbourhoods called "arrondissements." Each arrondissement is given a number, from 1 to 20. The first 6 arrondissements circle the Ile De La Cite and Ile St. Louis, the islands in the Seine where Paris was founded. The rest of the arrondissements spiral outwards from there. My hotel was in the 6th, and the bar I was at was in the 5th. Therefore, all I had to do was walk from the 5th to the 6th and I would soon be in bed.

However, Paris is not laid out in a grid pattern like North American cities. Streets curve and wind and angle off in strange directions. And major streets change names as they cross bridges or come to major traffic circles. Therefore, you can be walking along and not run into any streets you know, even when you are close to where you want to be. Add to that that I had consumed 7 or more pints of beer by this point, and I wandered off in the wrong direction. Instead of heading East, I headed due South.

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Winding, narrow streets in Paris

I walked for a bit, oblivious to the fact that it should have only taken 10 or 15 minutes to get to my hotel. I started to figure something was wrong when I noticed that the street signs started indicating I was in the 13th instead of the 5th or the 6th. My mood darkened when I crossed into the 14th, hopping that the direction I was heading would take me back to the 6th. I looked at the street signs, but they provided no help. The names were unfamiliar, and I had left my map in the hotel, thinking that as I was sticking to the neighbourhoods I knew in Paris, I could not possibly get lost. I could not possibly have been more wrong.

I decided to take a taxi back to the hotel. I tried flagging a number of cabs, but they refused to stop. They were empty and their lights were on indicating they were available, but they just looked at me and kept driving. It was surreal as I could see no reason why not to stop for me. Two cabs, in fact, stopped to let off passengers just a half a block from me. In each case, I ran towards the cab, waving and indicating that I wanted a ride. In both cases, as soon as the passengers had disembarked, the taxi peeled away, leaving me dejected on the street.

If the reasoning for this ignoring me was surreal, the effect on my mood was real. I was angry and cranky and tired. I shouted to no-one, "I HATE PARIS!" I wandered aimlessly, trying to determine what to do.

I stumbled across a metro station - so at least I could figure out where I was. Far from where I wanted to be. The walk back to my hotel would take a good 40 minutes probably, and it was already 3 in the morning. I just wanted to go to sleep.

Walking some more, nearly on the verge of breaking down into tears, I came across a taxi stand. I ran to the first cab and pulled on the door handles. The car was locked. The driver rolled down his window just a touch, and asked where I was going. What kind of neighbourhood had I wandered in to?

"6 Place De l'Odeon," I replied. He looked at me like I had said, "adf rewhuhof fdas trw." This was a common occurrence, actually. Apparently my French is completely and totally unintelligible to the French. "Odeon," I repeated, hoping that the name Odeon, which is the name of a famous theatre (10 steps from my hotel), the name of the street my hotel is on, the name of a street leading up to the street my hotel is on and the name of a metro stop 10 minutes walk from my hotel would register. The taxi driver snorted, and drove away empty.

If I had a brick, I would have thrown it through his window.

The next cab driver was similarly stumped by "6 Place De l'Odeon" but did seem to clue into "Odeon Metro," and unlocked his doors for me. After dumping me at the Metro station, I walked the 10 minutes to my hotel and was finally home at 3:30 in the morning, nearly one and a half hours AFTER I left the last bar. I walked up to the door of the lobby and pulled on it.

The door was locked. If I had a brick...

Beside the door were two buttons, one red and one blue. I pressed the red button. Nothing. I pressed the blue button. Nothing. I pressed both the red and blue buttons together, and again nothing. I tried pressing the red and blue buttons in different combinations, much like Tom Cruise trying to crack a safe in Mission Impossible 3: L'Hotel en Paris. Nothing. Finally I just grabbed the door and rattled it, hoping either I would wake someone or I would break the lock.

Out of the corner of my left eye, I saw a slumbering body rise from one of the bench seats of the breakfast nook like a zombie from Night of the Living Dead. The corpse stumbled forward, arms outstretched and moaning. The corpse entered the light, and I saw it was the night desk clerk, apparently trying to catch some sleep. He unlocked the door.

Finally I was back. All I needed to do now was retrieve my key from the clerk and I could go to bed. "Desole," I apoligized for waking him. "Trente-neuf," I asked, requesting the key for my room, number 39. He looked at me as if I had said, "Rrresarf-Dognuggets." If I had a brick...

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The next day, after sleeping until 11, I felt much better about life and about Paris, even if the sky was gray and threatening rain. After going to the local market and purchasing an umbrella (which a smarter and more prepared traveller would have probably thought to have packed), I set out to see the Catacombs.

An extensive underground catacomb system runs underneath Paris. It was originally a quarry, but was covered so they could build streets and cafes and flats (holding beautiful naked French chicks) on top of them. Not sure what to do with the massive network of underground caves, the French decided in the 1700s, in a move designed to make room for all the living paying rent in those flats and buying drinks in those cafes and paying taxes to build those roads, that they should move the dead from their "final" resting places in the local above ground cemeteries to a more final resting place under the city. So they took the remains of their ancestors, and piled them neatly in the dank, dark and musty underground.

The public is allowed to walk through 2 kms of the catacombs, including a large section containing the remains of many 18th century (and earlier) Parisians. It is very creepy at first to see the skulls and bones of so many dead. After a while, though, you turn another corner and see more bones and think, "oh look, more bones."

It is amazing to think how many people are down there, though. A lot of people have lived on this earth, and most of them are now dead. Kind of eerie to think about it that way.

I have included a picture from the catacombs. It may, as the warning to the entrance of the catacombs says, "make a strong impression on young children and people of a nervous disposition." For those of you who are afraid to look, I will point out that inside all of us, under our fancy clothes, coifed hair and exfoliated skin is a skeleton, dying to get out. And some day it will. As transplanted Parisian Jim Morrison noted, "nobody gets out of here alive."

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Catacombs, Paris, France

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Saturday night, after an early dinner, I wandered up to the Place De Clincy to see the Moulin Rouge. I didn't go in (the show there is almost 100 Euros!) but I wandered by. Far from the romantic image of can-can girls, Toulouse Latrec and Nicole Kidman dying (sorry if you haven't seen the movie), the Moulin Rouge is located in the Times Square of Paris. It's all strip clubs and XXX movie theatres and fast-food joints. Right beside the red neon windmill of the Moulin Rouge is the red neon bottle of Coca-Cola, below which sits above a Quick Burger, the Euro equivalent of Burger King.

I wandered further down the Blvd. De Clincy. Outside each strip club was a hawker, someone paid to try and get people to come in. Seeing a single male walking, I was a prime target. Most walked beside me for 20 feet, and wandered away after my second, "no, merci."

One man, however, stood in front of me, stopping me in my tracks. "Hello, please come into my club," he said to me in English. (How the hell do they all know to speak to me in English?)

"No thank you, I am not interested." I stepped to my left to try and get around him.

He stepped to his right to block me. "My club is different. It is not a strip club, it is a private club. It has a live sex show."

I stepped to my right, and again said, "no thank you, I am not interested." Again, he stepped in front of me.

"No, sir, please, you must see it. Come in and look and you will see that we are very different," he continued, all the while expertly ignoring my head fake to the left and moving right again as I tried a bob, spin and break on him.

He would not be deterred. He was like the robot in Terminator II. He just kept coming.

Bill Bryson, travel author, says that wandering around in a country where you don't know the language is like being a five year old. It is a constant state of wonder mixed with fear. You are constantly amazed by what's around you, but you don't really know how anything works. Mr. Bryson even points out (correctly as those who have tried to cross the streets in Paris can attest to) that "you can't even reliably cross a street without endangering your life."

So, here I was, a five year old in Paris, being harassed by a man I could not shake. I had no idea what to do to get this guy out of my way. So, I went back to Kindergarten and remembered the lessons they taught me there. When a strange man is doing something you don't like, just shout "NO" and run and get a grown up.

"NO!" I said, raising my voice. The strip club hawker looked hurt, like he'd been trying to sell me a painting of the pope or his dead mother and I had just spat on it. He walked away, turning and sarcastically calling after me, "NO," mocking my delivery of the 5 year old's stranger-trying-to-molest-me mantra.

But it worked. I was free to move on.

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The confrontation had left a sour taste in my mouth though. I needed to wash it out with some nice scenery and a cold beer. I climbed to the top Montmartre to watch the evening sun wash over Paris. Such a beautiful site, all the white stucco buildings glowing with the dying daylight.

I caught the metro back towards my hotel, and deposited myself on a stool outside a cafe. Soon I was sitting with a cold pint in my hand, watching the Saturday night crowd stroll down Blvd. St. Michel.

That's the true beauty of Paris. While The Eiffel Tour, the Arc De Triomphe, the Catacombs and the Moulin Rouge are nice to see and a fun for an hour or so, ultimately the real joy in Paris comes from just sitting and taking life slow. Whether you are chatting with friends, reading a book or just enjoying the night air, there is nothing quite so nice as sitting in a little cafe on a chair facing the street with a cold beer on a tiny little table.

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Sunday I woke to a sunny day, so I went to the Chateau De Versailles, home of the Sun King Louis the XIv and his heirs. Much like seeing the Alamo for the first time, it is a shock to see Versailles. One thinks it should be out in the country, surrounded by acres of manicured gardens and prime royal hunting grounds. Instead, it is 45 minutes from the centre of Paris smack dab in the middle of the suburbs, accessible by commuter train. The train that usually brings sleepy commuters rustling through the daily newspaper in the morning into the heart of Paris brings a load of tourists on the weekend out to the country get-away of the kings of France. Stopping at the Versailles Rive Gauche station, I and a throng of people (looking quizically at the local signs) disembarked from the train and en masse we moved to the front gates of the palace.

I had purchased a combined train and Versailles pass, so I was able (all for only 22 Euros) to skip the monstrous lines and enter the palace directly. It certainly is beautiful, but inside is crowded again, and while there are probably grand things to see beyond the velvet ropes, it was hard to push through the 4 deep crowd to get a good look. Luckily, they had painted most of the ceilings so at least you could look up and feel that you were seeing something.

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Is there something to see back there?

The back garden is more how I pictured the Chateau de Versailles. It stretches for a kilometer or two, with a canal running the length. You can rent a row-boat for a romantic row, or just wander the gardens on foot.

Along the main canal was busy, but I wandered off to the lightly wooded side trails. The paths provide a quiet and cool stroll beside old stone walls and corn fields. Just the kind of relaxing and leisurely walk that I, were I the King of France, would want to take with my Courtiers on a beautiful autumn Sunday afternoon. Relaxing in the early autumn sun of Paris, hoping that I find a small cafe at the end of my walk, with chairs facing out into the street and cold beer available.

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Dressed in royal blue, just like the kings of old, I stroll the grounds at Versailles

I had it right on the first day, and it took a few bad encounters to remember the true lesson. Paris is about relaxing in cafes with fine food, fine drink and fine literature. Paris is about strolling leisurely with no destination and no timetable. Paris is not the tourist sites. Paris is the small, crowded street-side patios outside the numerous cafes. Paris is the parks and fountains. Paris is slow. That is the good life of Paris.

Posted by GregW 19:07 Archived in France Comments (0)

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