Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Using the Bus in Paris

It was nearly noon by the time we left the apartment today.  Lots of housekeeping things to do with bookkeeping, etc.  Time flies when you are having fun!
We took the Metro to La Defense this morning.  That is where the Grande Arche is located and also the end of the Metro Line.  We checked the price for our tickets to Maison Laffitte for Saturday and by using our Navigo Pass to La Defense it is only a small amount to complete our journey.  We are definitely enjoying the weekly pass for our transportation.
We checked with the man at the desk and he confirmed that “no” you cannot go to the top of the Grande Arche anymore because it is a security issue and more importantly the elevators have been broken for three years!    But it is a beautiful structure to see and the views are phenomenal just from the ground.  You can actually see the Arch de Triomphe in the distance!
We discovered the public toilettes in the large shopping mall…find the Poste (Post Office) and it’s just down a hall.  These are important issues when you are traveling!  LOL   Then as we took the stairs down to the Metro we discovered a McDonalds and enjoyed a sandwich before we headed back into town!
When we arrived at the Arc de Triomphe we changed Metro Lines and headed north towards Sacre Cour.  We arrived at Anvers Station and walked up the hill for a couple of blocks past all sorts of seedy places in the red light district.  But soon we were at the funicular that accepted our Navigo Pass and after a few minutes of being packed in an airless glass car on a very hot day…we were at the top of the hill in Montmartre.   There was an unusual street performer; a lovely lady in a red dress singing opera, beautiful.  We entered the Basilique du Sacre Cour and said a few prayers for our family while enjoying the quiet joy of perpetual adoration there in the beautiful sanctuary. 

Leaving the church we considered, but not for long, climbing the 300 steps to the dome; but decided instead to walk pass La Masion Rose, a very old restaurant on the hill, past the only remaining vineyard and then to the famous Lapin Agile Cabaret.  Only open at night so we couldn’t go inside. 
Rather than walk back up the hill we turned over our Metro Map and looked at the Map for the city buses.  We figured it was time we took the plunge and started riding the buses.  We found one down at the bottom of the back of Montmartre and climbed on using our Navigo Pass.   Within six blocks…we hit the end of the line.   We followed buses around the corner to see where to get on going the opposite direction and we soon found the spot.  Used our Pass again and climbed on board.  This was bus # 80 and we found that it would take us all the way south to Pont d L’Ama and the Seine River.  On the way we passed all the major shopping stores from Jimmie Choo, Dior, etc. etc. etc.   
We hopped off when we crossed the river and walked a few blocks to Eiffel Tower and the stop for our Batobus!  Yeah…we have a pass for this also!  Had to wait for the next boat but Jim found shade from a post and I stood behind the ticket booth.  The sun has been really hot today!  And, tomorrow is going to be even hotter!   We have no air conditioning so I’m sitting here in the dark typing with my flashlight.  We have the windows open for air and there are no screens.  But…hey…it’s Paris!
We stopped for an errand at Notre Dame and then got back on the next Batobus which took us back to the end at Gare d’Austerlitz.  There it turns around and goes back to the Eiffel Tower.  We headed for the bus stop and rode a bus home to the apartment.  Arrive before 7 pm.  Time to reheat the chicken dinner leftovers from last night and then phone calls home using Skype and the Internet.
Another fun day in Paris…hope you enjoy the slideshow: 

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