Metro or subway is my favorite mode of transport in any city. It is cheap, it is convenient, it is environmentally friendly and it gives you a taste of the local life!
When I look for a hotel I try to find it near a metro station. In Paris we stayed at the Hotel Ibis Styles Paris Crimee La Villette, which was about 300 meters walk from the Cremee Metro Station. It suited our needs perfectly. It is the M7 line but once you are on a metro you can interchange and go anywhere! I had downloaded a Paris Metro app and I had data, and we were ready to explore Paris on our own!
Even though this was a personal trip it was made special by Atout France – France Tourism Development Agency and Paris Tourist Office who helped us discover the city of lights at our own pace by providing two 6 day travel cards for public transport and 2 Museum Passes. It was only on the first and the last day I bought tickets for metro. If you use the vending machine you can use notes and coins. But if you wish to buy from the cashier, you can only use card!
Other than taking a taxi back to the airport we either walked or took the metro. As we had 3 day cards we found that the gates would not open on my sister’s ticket even though it was valid. The station staff was always helpful, they would open the gate for her. We managed to get the ticket changed before our trip to Palace of Versailles. They suggested us to keep the ticket away from mobile phones.
We found great art on the walls of the station of Bastille. I would have loved to go station hopping like I did in Moscow. But with so much to see and do in Paris, it never really happened! I anyway wish to go back to Paris and if I do, I would make time to just go metro hopping!
One of our favorite spots in Paris was Bir Hakeim, it is walking distance from Eiffel Tower and gives you a fabulous opportunity to click some stunning pictures both of the tower and the bridge. You can see some of them here.
I keep documenting my metro and tram experiences under #themetroproject I love to collect the cards too! In the picture you can see Paris, Singapore, Prague, Dubai, Moscow and Delhi Metro cards!
I could simply go back to Paris to click more of these signs which are all over the city! I do hope Alka and I will return to this beautiful city one day!
Today morning I woke up to the news that the grand Notre Dame Cathedral, in Paris caught fire. My first reaction was disbelief but when I headed over to Twitter, I realized it was actually happening. My sister Alka and I visited the cathedral 25th November 2018 which was a Sunday. In this post I cherish the memories through my pictures!
Even though I am not religious and I am a Hindu but I feel all places of worship send out positive vibes. Be it the candles, the faith of people or the scent lingering in the air through ages, we were immersed in the atmosphere of the Notre Dame!
It was by chance that we went on a Sunday. This has happened to us twice now, in Budapest as well as Paris. We were lucky to be a part of the Sunday Mass at the Cathedral.
When it comes to music I have been called tone deaf and rightly so. But even to me the music accompanying the church service sounded divine!
The Cathedral has three Rose Windows and their fate at the time of writing is unknown. According to news reports the windows might have survived.
.I am sure it happens with you too, that you come back from a place, excitedly look at the pictures and then find them way too short of your expectations. That is how I never went around writing about my visit to the Notre Dame. The actual experience was so grand and the photos so ordinary! But now when I look at them after a few months they are my tropes to remembering.
I remember clearly listening to the sounds of the mass and being awestruck with the stained glass windows in front of me. I hope they do a grand job of restoring the Cathedral to its glory. I also hope they will find out how the fire started in the first place!
I am happy to read that both the Bell Towers, probably the most clicked view of the cathedral, have survived the fire. Even though it was rainy, I rember standing there and soaking in the atmosphere. We had gone in early and when we came out we were surprised how crowded it was getting. But I am sure winter crowds are no match for the summer ones!
I am totally lazy at making videos but I am glad I have a few for my words are no match for the rich music that you can hear in the video.
One of our happiest memories around Notre Dame was watching the pigeons run around the people who feed them! I hope to go back one day and see Notre Dame all restored. My heart breaks at the thought of the devastation caused by the fire to this treasure.
It took me a long time to convince my sister Alka to travel with me but we are now two trips old together, as adults. If you would ask me, I loved Budapest but she is completely smitten by Paris. Here are a few postcards from our trip to Paris in 2018! I have already started daydreaming about our next trip this year!
We went to Paris at the beginning of November, but we still managed to see the last bit of fall colors! This picture above was clicked around the Eiffel Tower area.
We stayed at the Ibis Styles at Crimee and Louvre was on the same Metro Line. We visited the museum only once but we would often end up roaming around the area, clicking pictures and exploring!
Even in winter the line to enter the Palace of Versailles was long, but it was moving fast The palace and its grounds are impressive. We spent the whole day there and yet we thought we were rushed!
I saw these beautiful staircases as we entered the glass pyramid of the Louvre Museum. However they were off limits on that day, we had to take the escalators to the museum. But being off limit has its advantages, you can easily click that picture without anyone in it!
We visited the Church of Notre Dame on a Sunday, which means we got to hear the mass too. Due to the grey and rainy weather we decided not to go up the towers!
Of all the trips I do, traveling with Alka ranks right at the top. Unlike me, she is good facing the camera and the camera loves her back! Here she is at the Louvre Palace grounds.
Paris by night is beautiful. There were so many days when we returned to our hotel after 11.00 pm. I am lazy about setting my tripod but once I set it, I do enjoy doing night photography!
Around the Ferris Wheel at the Jardins de Tuileries was a beautiful Christmas Market. We explored it for a few hours, and we thought we would go back to it again, but then we never found time!
One of the most happening areas of Paris is Arc de Triomphe and Champ Elysees. We gawked at the super expensive stores along the
Champ Elysees and loved the Christmas lights.
For the last few years, yes years, I was not blogging much. I hope 2019 is going to be a normal year, when I blog at my usual pace, which used to be good.
PS. Even though this was a personal trip, there were two collaborations that I need to mention. This trip was made special by Atout France – France Tourism Development Agency and Paris Tourist Office who helped us discover the city of lights at our own pace by providing two 6 day travel cards for public transport and 2 Museum Passes for 4 days, allowing us to explore the city at its fullest. I also had the M50 on loan from Canon India, a big thank you to them.