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Paris on the Metro
Only One Day to See Paris
We only had one day to explore the City of Light, Paris. After an event filled journey in Egypt, we were exhilarated and exhausted, but also excited to see the famous landmarks of Paris. We had high expectations.
We boarded the metro on a rainy April day in Paris. None of us spoke very much French, so it was sure to be a bit of a challenge.
After purchasing our tickets, we were off on our journey. My son was the navigator, and he concentrated on figuring out the subway (metro) system so we would not get lost. It was unfamiliar to all of us, but being a world traveler, it didn’t take long before our son was teaching us all how to read the signs inside the metro cars. He also had a map he picked up at the metro station.
We learned quickly that you had to get yourself into the cars before the doors closed or you might get squished (my husband got caught in the doors and my son pulled him through). A tone sounded announcing the closing of the doors within 2-3 seconds.
We actually did get on one car going the wrong way, but not to worry –we just got off at the next stop and got on the correct train. The only drawback that I saw was that when making changes from one car to another, there were plenty of stairs to climb and long hallways, and that was not very fun for our older knees. Of course, our son could run up and down with no problem as we all tagged far behind.
We sat (when there was a chair available) and people watched. Families with strollers, career women, men in suits, classy dressers, thugs, and even a guy with an accordion who played and then passed around a cup hoping for a few pounds.
Out the window we mostly saw the underworld of Paris, but on occasion we would catch a glimpse of Paris dwellings including apartments, old houses, new developments, parks, traffic and businesses. Much like any other big city, Paris had it all!
As we ascended from the depths of the earth, we were pleasantly surprised to see that the rain had let up when we reached the station for the famous Eiffel tower. Good luck for us! We had to walk over a couple of blocks past quaint little shops and cross walks to our destination. We were not disappointed. Before our eyes, we could see the Eiffel tower in all its glory. Even in the middle of the day, it was mesmerizing. This was a moment never to be forgotten.
I didn’t know you could ride up in an elevator car to the top of the Eiffel Tower. You can climb up stairs to the first two levels or take the lift up to the third and highest level. I also learned that the French name for the Eiffel Tower is La Tour Eiffel. It is also known as the Iron Lady. My grumpy Dad actually brightened up when he saw her and made it all worth the trip.
After spending quality time with the Eiffel Tower taking pictures of each other and seeing the Seine River and the surroundings, we decided to go see one more icon in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe.
Back on the metro, we found our destination was not very far from the Eiffel Tower. We got off on one stop and walked up the stairs to see so many tourists taking pictures of the Arch of the Triumph. It stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. It was beautiful! Situated on a very busy roundabout, tiny cars, busses and motorcylces whizzed by. People from all walks of life stood gawking at the memorial which stands as a symbol of the French nation linking the old and new Paris.
Arc de Triompe
What a marvelous time we had. I'm so glad we were able to make our way on the metro to see these famous Paris landmarks.
Have you taken the metro in Paris, France?
Good information about the Metro in Paris
- Tips For Using Parisian Public Transport
Daunted by the Paris metro? It's not as complicated as you think. Find tips and tricks here for using the metro, bus and tramway system with ease.