Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday 18 December - Provins

Dogs are not allowed in the cheese shops on the rue de Levis
 Provins is in RATP zone 5. The regular fare is 11.05 euros each way but a zone 5 mobilis ticket costs only 15.35 which gives unlimited rides for the day. The #30 bus to Gare due l'Est is direct but slower than the metro but there is more to see.
There are still plenty of diesel hauled trains in the Gare de l'Est
The trains to Provins are bi-mode as they operate as straight electrics under the wires or by a diesel engine in non-electrified territory. The first half an hour is nonstop through the Paris suburbs. The diesel engine was turned on at full speed as we approached the end of the electric territory.  There is a change of direction at Longueville.

At Longueville there was a long wait for the train to come up on the single line from Paris.These four car units are known as bibi - bimodal (electric/diesel electric) and bivoltage (1500vDC/25kv AC)
It was raining on and off as we made our way towards the historic area but the signs to the Tourist Office were sporadic and we never did find it.  Most of the attractions were closed at this time of the year anyway.
Upper town
Upper town
We made our way back to the lower town and decided to eat lunch at L'Estaminet.  The service was French provincial but the cuisine was very good indeed.
Poireau vinaigrette/salade au saucisson pistache
Beef with carrots/pot au feu
Salade au saucisson pistache

It seems pretty damp here in general and moss grows well
A short walk around in sun-rain-sun/rain and we caught the train back to the Gare de l'Est where we caught one of the frequent #30 buses back.
Click below to see all pictures taken at Provins in slideshow format.

With the rest of the day still available on our mobilis tickets we decided to take the bus across the Etoile to the Trocadero to see the Eiffel Tower lit up on the hour.  The trip across the Etoile was marred because a couple of people wanted to get off so the bus was forced to stay in the second or third lane but it was worth it for the view of the traffic all seemingly wanting to go in different directions and the motor bikes and scooters dodging all around.  The view of the Eiffel Tower was excellent and we caught the bus back but decided to stay on and go to Anvers to take the funicular up to Sacre Coeur.  We arrived at the top just in time for the next hourly lighting of the Eiffel Tower.

The Eiffel Tower lit up and regular from Sacre Coeur
A final use of the day's mobilis ticket was to go down the Montmartre funicular and take the metro back to Villiers.

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