Wednesday, June 10, 2009

getting around

Getting around Paris can be difficult, the language is confusing to one unfamiliar with the soothing intonations, but worse is the layout of streets (rue) and boulevards. Streets are short and run in every direction without regard for pattern or topography. Boulevards are simply wider streets, they are thmeselves usually short and crooked. The penchant that the Parisians have for naming streets means that every hundred meters or so the street takes on a new name.

The exception to straightness is the Champs Elysee which is the main thouroughfare running from the Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe. Wide and straight, the Champs Elysee is to Paris what 5th Avenue is to New Yorkers. Cafes and shops line the street. The familiar Niketown and Addidas, are joined with showrooms (atelier) by major car dealers such as Toyota and Renault.

The metro is a convenient and easy way to travel. It is how the Parisians travel, and, when in Paris, do as the Parisians do. There is an added benefit to travelling the Metro, and that is the entertainment that is provided by budding artists and those whose time has come and gone. The music is worldly in its scope, be prepared for traditional French folk artists selling CD's, as well as the solitary guitarists, cellist, flute player and whatever. Have a few coins in your picket handy so as to keep the tradition alive.

By Metro tickets by the day, two day, or week to get the best route. Tickets are purchased by machine at most major Metro stops, and directions are provided in English. Get a Metro map and then plan your trip out ahead so that you will know when to make the change of train and the direction in which your Metro travels.

No comments:

Post a Comment