Category Archives: Travel

All about paris metro…

Anyone travelling to paris for the first time would probably benefit from these info below..

First thing to learn: Merci….. pronounced as “maer-see”…. is Thank U…..

Use this.. and use it often… They do it for every small favor u do them…

One more: “Ou est la Gare?” means “Where is the railway station?” or u could use “Ou est la metro?” (Le and la are pronounced almost same. So, dont worry about gender.. )

The metro is absolutely the most comfortable mode of travel (for one who does not own a car). And fastest too (for all)..

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So, use it well and u could manage to visit almost any place in paris without asking much from people there. Just to caution you, there is one down point to this. We found it pretty late. When we go by metro, we know where we get in and where we get out n nearby places to the station. We miss out on many other places which r not close to the metro stations… So, if you get time, travel by bus too. You would probably find many more things..

Firstly the DOORS… Dont worry. They operate automatically but are safe… I have even seen a guy put his foot in between the doors at the last moment before they closed, to an RER train and “The door opened up fully again” to let him in. But a word of caution. “It would be dangerous to put ur fingers in between doors before it closes.” . Any train stops for a minute or so at each station. And just before the doors close, it gives out a warning sound…. about 5 seconds.. then the doors close. Not bang.. They are already designed to slow down when coming close. Then with a jerk, it closes up.

There are 14 lines of metro criss-crossing paris… In addition, there are some 5-6 lines of RER (fast longer distance trains). Anywhere that the metro goes, u can travel one way in just 1.5 euro. The whole area of paris and ourskirts though is separated out into 6 zones, placed radially outer n outer. Most of places you would visit would come within zone 3. If u need to go by RER (say for Versailles, or to disney land), you would need to pay more.. That would work to about 6.8 euro or so to zone 6 ends… one way…. The city centre could be taken as the Notre damme or Musee de louvre…

The metro lines are named M1 to M14 and the RER lines as A,B, C … to G . But beware of one thing. Metro lines go exactly the same route always. But each RER line typically has three branches. like say C1, C2 & C3. Only one of these goes to Chateau de Versailles (just for example).

At many stations, multiple lines of metro / RER cross. Hence, to reach any point from one, u need to find which metro to catch, reach where n then move to which other line to reach ur destination. U can keep going in one metro line n another n another with the same single ticket until u come out. When u punch out once, that ticket does not work again to get in… Also, moving between metro and RER lines would need punches. But if that’s an entry punch to a metro line or an RER line, then fine. U can still get out fine at ur destination. N dont worry anyway even if u punch wrongly or miss ur ticket. Exit is not a problem. There r free to exit doors in most stations. Or even otherwise, u will find someone to help u get out…

The main stations have “Gare” in their names. Like Gare du Nord, Gare de la Est, Gare St. Lazare, Gare de Austrelitz etc… These r places where outstation trains start / stop. The TGV trains for going out of paris… N these stations will be linked by RER also.

Mind one more thing… There r many many exits to most metro stations. It would help to know which exit to take. Else, u would end up going round the station on road to reach where u need to.. One more point. While switching lines, do take care of the direction within the line that u take (check end point)..

U wont even need a map since maps r very generously displayed in all stations. But having one would help in little planning. One more point. Finding a ticket counter (Billet for ticket ) is not easy. Near one of the entry points, you would find one. But out of four or five exits, u may end up wasting lot of time searching. So, taking 2 / 3 tickets in advance if u know u r going to visit 2 /3 places would help. Unless you do multiple trips in a day, taking a day pass or even a weekend pass (14 euro) would not help.

It runs on Rubber wheels. Would you believe it? Dont… It looks like rubber wheels from outside.. But it probably has steel inside.. There are also vertical wheels and horizontal wheels.. (as you would have seen on the pic at the top..)

Some important stations:

Trocadero : Right opposite the Eiffel Tower

Palais Royal Musee de louvre : The Louvre Museum

St. Michele : Right next to Notre Damme

Charles de Gaulle Etoile : Right next to Arch de Troimphe. (one end of Champs Eleysee)

Anvers : Very near Sacred Hearts Basillic (Dont miss this one…)

Gare du Nord : Indian market is here…

Versailles is in south west corner of city.

The Charles de gaule airport is on the north east corner…

Marne le Valee : Disney land is to the east.

Enjoy touring Paris…..Β  πŸ™‚

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Quick look at paris…

Firstly, the Eiffel Tower of course….

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Then, Musee de Louvre… (Louvre museum)

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N Notre Damme church…

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N the Versailles gardens… (call it versaai)

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and Arch de Troimphe (Arch of Triumph at Champs Eleysee)

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n Le Defence. (the newer paris…)

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Day 1 in Paris…

Day 1 begins…

Lets start a bit earlier before when we land in Paris… We?? Ya. We were 7. Five of us colleagues, wife of one of my colleagues and their kid, Avanti. She alone will invite a special mention. See pic below..

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Just above 2 yrs old n very cute n smart…. πŸ™‚

Lets start from Namma Bengalooru…. πŸ™‚ Our flight was at about 2 am here …. A 10 hr flight… But due to the 4.5 hrs that france is behind us, we would land at about 7 am there… It was funny. We could never classify what to call our meals in the flight. We had a breakfast, n then some snacks n then it was time to have breakfast again…. Just before we landed. A Boeing 777 with 2 GE90 – 115B engines. The biggest engine today. It took us safely till paris… Fortunately, it was a direct flight and so we had no headaches of luggage transfers etc..

7 am in paris we land… But wait… What do I see before I land? A big looking airport… The size is something I could not come to terms with quickly.. Just to be clear, after we landed, the plane travelled about 10 mts plus left n right to find the right parking lot… N at last, we were let off.. N what do we look for first???? Where do we get our luggage? U know why???? There was much valuable stuff in that…. What??? Our great Indian food stuff.. Lots of maggi noodles, some rice, some rava, some spices of course and then some nice “Puliyodharai mix” & “Vatthal Kozhambu” (Nice spicy stuff to mix with rice n have…). We knew we could not survive without these in Paris, being a pure vegetarian.

But at paris Charles De Gaulle Airport, luggage is not available so soon.. We realise that is going to be long before we get it n leave the airport. Firstly, we have our immigration formalities. We get to a queue after a lot of searching and asking. There were fortunately a few young french people who spoke “a little” english to help guide us. We knew a bit too…. Merci, Au revoir, Ca va? Tres Bien n so on… small snippets which we once in a while use.. Most commonly of course was Merci (Thank u). After a few questions, we were stamped in to paris n let to go collect the luggage.

Now. Where is the luggage? They say ” Go, board that train n then you would get it” . What? A train? Within an Airport? yeah… We were dumb enough to ask “Which station should we get down at?” And an airport staff there said with a wry smile “There’s only one.”. πŸ˜‰ We felt so Stupid… But we had to ask. How would we know?

The train runs within the airport and we saw many many planes on both sides before we got there… Anyone in bangalore knows how many buses u find at Majestic bus stand. You find more planes in this airport.. There are a total of 7 terminals 1 & 2A to 2F. And each can house about 80-90 planes I guess. And terminal 1 even more I guess..

When we get to the other side, there r sign boards. Thats one good point. You hardly need to ask anyone where to find things. There r umpty number of boards “Sortie..” (for exit) and thankfully Bagages is close to baggage. We find them. In good shape. Nothing spilt. Nothing broken fortunately. Just a little bit of a leak of oil from my “Vatthal kozhambu” into the ziploc cover from the plastic bottle. Not serious… N dont mind. No one troubled us for having oil in the check in baggage. Its fine as long as it is bottled, sealed n put in a ziploc cover..

We come out n then look for a Taxi… We find many out there. One guy is ok to take us 4 ppl. four? We thought three and a kid. He says no. its 4. Not 3… We say “ok baba. rehne do..” (to ourselves of course..) 3 of my colleagues were on way to Tulouse (in south of france). Just four of us to be in paris… We tell him Place d’italie.. He fortunately spoke some english. So, fine. There we go…

It cost us 65 Euro for the taxi for a distance of about 45-50 kms I guess… With a little looking, found our Hotel Citadines… Got in, paid up an advance n checked in…. I took a high floor facing the street…. Room 621… Or rather Apartment 621… See pictures below… (I shot pics before I would get the rooms looking less cleaner…. πŸ˜‰ )

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(A bit of “kirik” (mischief…) is always welcome… even in photos… πŸ™‚ )

In the room. At last. Time to rest…. Took a short nap ..zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…………

27 days in Paris….

Pushing the Eiffel tower isΒ easy…

Give me some time to write it….. if u r in a hurry, do mail me… would be happy to share info (which u may need if u r a first time traveller…)

Let me just start it anway…

I knew it as Paris…. But seems its “Pareee”… as they call it…

A biiiiiiiig city, full of museusms, built for tourists, with the Eiffel tower bringing people there and the the other museums n the tower itself mint Euros…. Nice to see with its age old buildings that were built to last… Easy to roam around with 14 lines of metros running across.. That was not enough.. So, they added the RER trains that run faster n longer… Yet far short of the grand TGV that today skims the tracks at 340 kilometers an hr…

…More to come…