Tuesday, 5 May 2015

A Big Circular ...

More a Massive Mash-up - Easy as A B C
Within the City of Paris (the green blob in the middle) ...
... there is a flat fare of €1.80 (£1.33) for which you get an hour's ride time on the Metro OR bus and tram but not both together. Because of this flat fare, the technology only has to bother with entry gates. At Metro exits, for example, there are just one-way barriers which open as you approach; no ticket slot. The hour lasts until the START of your last valid journey so you have a lot longer before you run out of steam.

After much debate and calculation, fbb decided to buy a 5 day 5 zone "Paris Visite" pass.
So a straight walk off Eurstar on Sunday evening (arrival 5 minutes early) with no formalities; and down to the Métro. A request for "un ticket" (for journey to hotel) and "Paris Visite cinq jours, cinq zones" did not faze the jeune fille at the guichet so fbb's accent must have been assez bien!

This would give access to all public transport for Monday "thru" Friday morning from Centre to way out to neighbouring towns. But don't lose the (very small) ticket!

Monday's cunning plan was for a taster of all available modes (except tram). So hold on to your virtual hats and ... here goes ...

 Métro 6 (dull green) : Dupleix to Bercy 
After some difficulty finding the stop (sense of direction poor; getting used to driving on the right!) and help from a very kind madame ...

 Bus 24 (dull purple) : Bercy to St Lazare 
This runs along the banks of the Seine with magnificent views of many of Paris' well- known buildings.
Then a quick look round Gare St Lazare.
 Bus 24 (dull purple) : St Lazare to Gare de Lyon 
And, after a coffee break, back along the other bank. Lest our patient readers think all of Paris' transport is superb, our bus sat for 15 minute before departing. According to the departure list at the stop (no times just an "every X minutes" list) ...
... buses run every 8 minutes! Perturbation de Service, alors!

After a baguette and a citronade on the Station (Hall 1, mainly TGV) ...
... it was back into the bowels of Parisian earth for:-

 Métro 14 (purple) : Gare de Lyon to Olympiades 
 Métro 14 (purple) : Olympiades to Châtelet 
The apparently unnecessary double run was to ensure that we had front seats in this, Paris' first driverless train; although the phone camera simply couldn't cope with the shutter setting for a proper picture.
 RER line A (red) Châtelet to Grande Arche 
These are real trains, big and long and double deck. Again, more later; but fbb liked the route indicator. As well as audio announcements the next station light flashed on the line diagram, then was extinguished once we set off.
A quick stagger to look at the Grande Arche itself (it's not falling over; fbb had difficulty in viewing the viewfinder picture in bright light) ...
... and to peer back towards the city for the Arc de Triomphe ...
... oh look, there it is!
 Métro 1 (yellow) : Grande Arche to Nation 
This, Paris' busiest line, (click to enlarge line digram) ...
... was converted to automatic; hence a front seat with no driver was again essential. This time there's a bit in the open air which the phone could cope with!
Really exciting isn't it. But the trip was exciting because "summat were up" and fbb was able to see how well the automatic stuff worked. More later.

 Métro 2 (dark blue) : Nation to Etoile 
This is the line which circles to the north of the city centre (click on the map to enlarge) ...
... mostly on viaduct as in this short video.

And so a final short ride on Metro 6 with excellent views of La Tour Eiffel ...
... and back to the gaff for tea and biccies before a short stagger round the corner for an evening meal.
And those guards?
And the answer is:- Guarding a synagogue in the wake if the appalling."Charlie Hebdo" attacks etc. But they were nowhere near the Synagogue which might be closed down anyway! They were absent all day yesterday but back again in the evening. Still Scary!
 Next Paris tram blog : Wednesday 6th May             


  1. Perhaps they are safeguarding a state secret!
    A set of printed timetables that mustn't be allowed to fall into the hands of someone from a foreign power!

  2. Oh, would that be true. No printed timetables for bus, tram, métro - only the crudest of frequency charts. SNCF, RER and Transilien trains do have tts on line. They are PDFs so may exist in printed form. Investigation thereof schedule for "demain"!

  3. The French like their underground concrete bunker bus stations. The one at Avignon is equally horrific.