Monday, December 26, 2011

Monday 26 December 2011 - Place des Vosges and the Trocadero

Another beautiful mild day with clear blue sky.

We decided to walk around the Place des Vosges.  The RATP is introducing automatic driverless trains on line 1.  Instead of hiding it in the fear that some passengers might be frightened the RATP is being very open and clear.  The automatic trains are clearly marked - the leading and trailing cars they have orange car bodies whereas the rest of the metro has green car bodies.  Furthermore, each driving car has a clear view ahead and behind for the passengers.  At present there is a mix of driver operated and automatic trains on line 1 and the changeover will not be completed until 2014.

We walked along the Rue de Rivoli and through the courtyards of the Hotel de Sully.  Place des Vosges was busy with people enjoying the sunshine while the cafes and restaurants were pretty full.
Hotel de Sully
Hotel de Sully - a mole surfacing.
Hotel de Sully
Walking through this area towards the Pompidou Centre is a delight because of the interesting architecture with lots of great details to seek out.
Musee Carnavalet

Gold and silver foundry
Being true flaneurs we just wandered around just stopping to look at whatever interested us.  We caught the metro back from Arts et Metiers.
Even in our own neighbourhood, views of Sacre Coeur, in this case from Batignoles, can be arresting.
The No. 30 bus runs along Batignoles with destination Trocadero.  We decided to make a quick trip to see the Eiffel Tower lit up at night.  The bus is quite frequent but is still pretty full even though the metro parallels the route as far as the Etoile/Arc de Triomphe.  Navigating the Arc de Triomphe was amazing.  I don't know who has the right of way but the bus just pulled straight out and crossed all the lanes to the inside and then crossed back again to get out along Kleber.  It was quite a ride.

We arrived two minutes before the flashing lights came on the tower and left five minutes after the hour when the flashing stopped.  There is always a big crowd at the Trocadero to see the lights.  When the already well lit tower started to twinkle on the hour a great cry went up from the crowd.  Of course, with people being distracted this is a great opportunity for pickpockets.  The whole trip took about an hour.  One item the buses have is an indicator which shows not only the next stop and final destination but the time to the next stop and the final destination.  It must be GPS based because we found it to be accurate.   OC Transpo take note.

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