Paris, part 2

Today we headed out on the RER train to Versailles. But before talking about the opulent palace I thought I would talk about the great transportation options one has while in Paris.

Starting out with our favorite passion, hiking.  Paris is a hikers paradise.  Wide sidewalks, lots of spacious parks, relatively flat topography and automobile drivers who generally pay attention to pedestrians all make this city a great place to stroll.

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We were amazed to see the number of adults blazing around town with their razor skate scooters. I did a double take then watched a +50 year old executive wearing a fine French business suit pass us by on his  scooter.  On our first night while enjoying dinner at a street cafe a group of 35 or so roller skaters and bladers blasted down pedestrian only Rue Cler. It initially stunned everyone eating (surely their desired effect) and then created a buzz of conversation as they passed.

There are bicycles in use all over the city. You can pick a rental bike up just about anywhere. We saw people riding everywhere, including the busy traffic circles.

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Public transportation is what keeps this city of 2 million residents moving.  The Air France excursion busses are an easy connection from CDG airport and are quite inexpensive.  Their bus system offers the most options but is usually slowed by heavy traffic.  The metro and RER trains move more people around more quickly than any other option. You can purchase packets of ten transportation tickets, called a carnet.  These tickets can be used for busses, the metro lines and RER trains (in zone 1).  Don’t get caught using a zone 1 ticket going to Versailles like the Brit on our train did. She ended up paying for the full price ticket along with a +100€ fine.

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Metro lines zig zag all around Paris

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The RER are much larger and faster rail passenger cars. Taxi cabs are our last option as they are quite expensive.

Enough about how to get around Paris, let’s show you Versailles where the RER took us today:

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The bust of French King Louis XIV. who built this monstrosity of a palace.

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A famous potrtait of King Louis XVI’s queen,  Marie Antoinette.

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A king size bed.

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Marie had a “peasants village” complex consisting of 12 thatched roof buildings constructed so she could have her own Normand village. This is her house.  She kept herself busy with managing the working farm, which produced the meat and vegtables for the palace.

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Go Rams!

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These donkeys were the only livestock without a beautiful pasture, so Mark gave them a little treat.

Well, that’s it for Paris part 2. More to come!

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11 Comments

Filed under Mark & Sandy's Camino 2014

11 responses to “Paris, part 2

  1. JONATHAN

    I wish we knew about the public transit when we went there… driving in paris is miserable. Can’t wait for the next post! Love seeing new stuff, and remembering the stuff I have seen before.

    • We only rent cars if we absolutely must. Sicily and southern Italy and Normandy on this trip. Turning in our rental car in Genova was a great stress reducer. Not only worried about driving in a foreign country, but some knucklehead denting it while parking, getting it stolen, etc. We even planned a 45 minute train ride away from Paris to rent our car to see Normandy. Renting in Rennes was cheaper and alleviated driving in Paris. Still, we have made our mistakes…like shipping our poles and Camino specific gear to Italy…more about that later. Love to you both!

  2. Steve

    I’m having a great time seeing the pictures from your adventure!!!!

  3. We are learning about the idiosyncrasies of each country’s public transit systems. For example, we discovered that Genoa now has their first metro line up and running. They are a bit limited due to the mountains and sea, but I was impressed.

  4. Kathleen Salvas

    I too am enjoying the pics, what great archectiture. I’m seeing the world through your eyes!

  5. Anita

    Yes, Go Rams!!! Oh…. and “heeehaww” -from your favorite mischievous grandson.

    These little boogers miss you, and I can’t wait for you to see how big Eli is getting. Keep blogging, BEST idea ever Dad. Love checking in on you each day! Thanks for taking time on your vacation to do this and bring us with you. Love you guys !

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