Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Paris in 24 Hours Part 1

They city of lights, the city of love.
Can you really do the entire city in 24 hours?
You can!
If you wake up early, stay out late, and rush the Louvre, it can be done!

Arrive Paris Thursday night 11:30 p.m. via Eurostar-
Wander around train station-
Find your way outside, pick a hotel at random.

Drop your bags and head out into the Paris night to grab a glass of wine before the local cafe closes.

Head back to the hotel, set the alarm, get some sleep.

When I say wake up early, I mean EARLY. Whatever time it takes you to get up and get ready, plan accordingly so that you are ON your first Metro by 7 a.m. We got up at 5:30.

Paris is not an early riser.

You'll have no morning rush hour starting out at this time of the morning.

The Metro can be confusing, and exiting the station sometimes a scavenger hunt for the way out.

Carry a map with you, and remember that Metros list direction by the final stop on that particular line.
Also, the color of the line on the map will not be the same as the color on the signs to find the train.
Pay attention to your map, and don't rely on riding the purple to the green, because while it will be purple on the map, the signs leading to the train platform will be orange, yellow, or some other color that will seem the farthest away from purple possible.

First Metro stop- Pierre La Chaise.
We caught the 2 train at Gore De Nord.

Find the Metro exit and turn right.
The large wall along one side of the street is Pierre La Chaise.
Cross the road and follow the wall to the front gates.
They will be locked.

Go past the gates, turn left, and go towards the gate house door.
This will also be locked.
Read the sign.
Realize it is not 8:00 a.m. yet, and walk back towards the main road.

Across the street you'll see a flower shop.
Left of that is a grave marker salon, and left of that is a cafe.
Go there for sweet coffee and a croisant.
It will cost 1.95 Euro.
Take a seat and watch sleepy Paris for a few minutes.

You'll be able to see the large front gates open.
The gates will open at 8:00 (or 8:30 in the winter).
Enter the main gates, say Bon Jour to the attendent, and ask for a map.
There will be a large map posted near the entrance, but trust me that you will NEED the map to carry with you.

Colin and I have visited La Chaise before, had an idea where we were going, looked it up on the internet before we left the hotel, had the hand map, and STILL got turned around.

Pierre La Chaise is a city of the dead. There are roads, addresses, and one can easily end up walking in circles without realizing it.

With map in hand, head up the center road, and up one of the sets of stairs. Stay along the center til you come to the chapel. You'll want to make the long hike to visit Oscar, then as you make your way downhill, you'll find Chopin, bizet, and Morrison.

Don't be afraid to ask for directions, EVEN directions in French.

They all speak with their hands and you'll understand what direction to go, even if you don't understand the directions you're given to get there.

Return your map back to the attendent and say and extra thank you.

Follow the wall back to the Metro, and figure out which train to catch to get you to the Louvre!


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