Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Walk 2: Metro Walk

Rebecca and I are stupid, stupid girls. Or maybe we’re just crazy. Either way, we ended up putting off doing the metro walk until almost the end of the semester. Since we’ve been living in Paris for more than two months a this point and use the metro daily, we decided to do our own version of the walk so that we could focus on the sights and lines we haven’t seen yet.

We ride line 12 on a regular basis, so we decided to start out on line 14 instead of following the given directions. Other members of the group had told us to ride at the very front of the train, and we quickly found out why: The line is completely automated! You can actually look out a window in the front and see the dark tunnel coming up ahead of you. It was like a slow, poorly animated theme park ride (but still really cool, I promise).

At Saint Lazare (which had a awesome vaulted ceiling – sorry the picture’s so blurry) we chained onto line 3 and then changed onto the 2 at Villiers. Since we weren’t too thrilled to be spending a beautiful day on the metro, we pretended to be really enthusiastic about the tile and took lots of pictures.

We then took line 2 to its end at Porte Dauphine. Incidentally, dauphine is the word for both the crown prince and a dolphin in French – I guess the Academie Française missed that one. We went above ground for a quick break at the end of the line and a chance to see one of Hector Guimard’s famous metro entrances.

Then we backtracked on the 2 to Stalingrad and stopped to see the Rotonde de la Villette, a tollhouse built by Louis XVI before going back underground at Juarès to head home. Along the way we also saw a funny protest poster prepared by some linguistically confused individual.

Despite the smells, crowds, and awkward conversations with homeless people, I love the metro. It’s so nice to be able to get on a train and go anywhere I want in the city. I was trying to explain to my mom the other day that I never worry about getting lost in Paris, because I just have to walk a few blocks in any direction to find a Metro entrance, and once I’m underground I know exactly where I am. She asked me if I knew how bizarre that sounded. Maybe it does, but this is one aspect of Parisian life I’m definitely going to miss.

1 comment:

  1. I'm really amused by your picture of Saint Lazare (the one with the blurry picture). I really didn't notice the background the first time I looked at it, because I was too focused on the strange looking person in the middle. Is that one of your friends, or is it just some random French person who is giving you a weird stare?


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