Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Variety in Visiting Versailles [3]

How Wonderfully Better Than UK
What does that word say, part hidden by the Lacroix bus?
Does it not say "information?" fbb was ready to burst into song, courtesy of Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore.

Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen,
Bus information now is seen
The god of light in Rhébus land,
Has information close at hand,
The sky is all ablaze!
With cheerful heart and happy sigh
We'll soon find out in dear Versailles,
Now fbb's a happy boy,
He'll sally forth with dec'rous joy
 With dreamy roundelays

But maybe not?
For fbb it was 1100.Not very good.

But there were "real time" signs at the bus stop stands.
Oh dear, it's beginning to sound VERY bus info UK.

But there was a Tourist Information Office a few yards away. Hooray! Alas, there was a huge queue of gibbering schoolkids of indeterminate nationality doing nothing much but gibbering. Boo! But, a few yards further on ...
... a Phébus office with a real live man at a desk and racks and racks of delicious leaflets.

Reprise of "Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen."

fbb plucked a few samples at random and wonderful they were to behold. Each leaflet was in full colour ...
... with - wait for it - A TIMETABLE!
There was a geographical map, again in full colour based on the Versailles street map ...
... and a simple line diagram.
The only missing piece of the jigsaw was a network map. These were not available as takeaway but were displayed at all centre bus stops.
On closer inspection it would appear that there were plenty of buses from Rive Gauche to Rive Droite ...
... and it was just a case of choosing one with a frequent service ...
... hopping on route A ...
... and the journey was easily completed, thanks to on-bus announcements and the Paris regional rover ticket. And on the way (four stops), fbb passed another Phébus enquiry office ...
... oddly with the brand name fuzzied out by Google.

Name any UK on or city that comes anywhere near that! Versailles has a population similar to Lincoln if you are looking for a comparison.

While your author was gadding about in the Île de France region, Mrs fbb was on a cruise to the Fijords of Norway with Fred Olsen. Fred wasn't driving, Victor Stoica was at the steering wheel; and he needed a bit of Stoicism, as we shall see.

The F & B Manager was Boris Silli.
Two comment writers have referred to a BlueStar bus route with the label "FBB".
It runs hourly (Summer Only) on Satudays, Sunday and Bank Holidays between Hythe, the New Forest generally and Moors Valley Country Park.
Nothing yet appears on the BlueStar web site but fbb (lower case) wonders whether FBB (capitals) may be associated with the New Forest open top tours, possibly as a replacement for one of the two routes operated last year ...
FBB stands, not for fat bus bloke (sadly!), but for Forest Bus Baby!
It is the baby of "Foreset Bus" which runs from Southampton. Thanks to a correspondent for sending a PDF of the leaflet.
 Next cruising blog : Thursday 14th May 

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