Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Le Métro - the long walk


The Métro de Paris is an easy system to navigate, and with a few simple instructions, color-coded lines, one can cross Paris with ease.  The maps are consistent in the color assigned each of the 16 lines, and the Métro stations themselves are well-marked with signs so you will arrive at the proper platform (headed in the correct direction).   Before you leave a station, a map on the wall will show you the exit(s) and where you will be at street level.  I have found that a compass or an iPhone app with a compass is helpful as you come up to the street in an unfamiliar area.  

The photo above was taken for the chic attire of this Métro passenger, but it reminds me that some of the stations are quite large with long walks to make connections to another line.

What tips do you have for navigating the Métro? 


     

39 comments:

Bienvenue chez French Girl in Seattle... said...

Well, unless you love walking in corridors like this one for miles, I would recommend avoiding transfers in a few stations like "Chatelet les Halles" and "Etoile" like the plague! Connections are always easier in smaller stations. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Picturit said...

Great Mono love how it disappears into the backgound

winterludes said...

I do agree with Veronique: better to avoid the stations with more than 3 lines. the corridors are long and it is sometimes difficult to follow the direction because of the running crowd. in addition, all these armed soldiers supposed to monitor the stations...

Rob and Mandy said...

We try to avoid it as much as possible, rather taking a bus or walking. if possible.

Richard Moisan said...

C'est tout Paris: Son métro et ses Parisiennes.
Bravo Genie!

Pet said...

Wow, your Paris is more and more the eternal Paris,in black and white!

dive said...

Very chic, Genie.
I'm with Rob and Mandy, though the Métro does come in handy for visiting far-flung friends when laden down with food and wine.

Malyss said...

I love te very special scent of the metro, and the breeze when a train is coming, and the way the stations are decorated..but I never take it when it's the "heure de pointe"( when All people are leaving their work at the same time)I don't like the crowd.

Pierre BOYER said...

I usualy use RATP application on my Iphone...
:-)
Enjoy !

Pierre
http://pierre-boyer.blogspot.com

The Time Sculptor said...

I love the contrast between the bright restlessness of the short white coat and the dark stillness of the long black corridor!

Irredento Urbanita said...

That metro is really long. Smartphones apps are useful to locate there and find the best routes and destinations.

Hugs

Valery


Barcelona Daily Photo

Cildemer said...

Very nice composition!
I wouldn't like to have to live in Paris and use the metro!
Love living in the country;o)
Thanks for sharing, Genie;o)

***
Happy day****

brattcat said...

travel with someone who knows where they're going.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Excellent advice from Brattcat, which is what I did when in Paris with mon amie Marie, then later when there with Aimee, we didn't use it once we walked everywhere, it was brilliant and we lost so much weight even though we ate so much food!Love this picture in B&W Genie, wonderful perspective.

Cezar and Léia said...

I love this picture!The way you have captured the "elegance"in the air, the walking, the busy time ever...You know, I don't have mobile phone here.I refused it!I don't like this idea.I think my last job in Brazil ( I worked as Director's Assistant in a multinational company) and I confess, I have a kind of trauma about mobile phone since there! :)Girl...believe me, a single moment of peace was a dream! LOL
Love b&w for this picture!Great choice!
Hugs
bises
Léia

Cezar and Léia said...

And...why this story about "mobile phone"???
Sorry, I forgot to say, I imagine the woman in this pictures is talking on the phone while walking.
This is the cool thing in photography, you can imagine stories!
MERCI!
Léia

this is Belgium said...

I first rode the Paris metro in 1968 and was thought it was fantastic and efficient,.. I can talk about it forever but let me just tell you that I loved and still do the white tiles.. I even have some in our kitchen just like it !
One thing I always do is avoid as much as I can "Châtelet les Halles'" (I feel like it makes more sense to walk an extra mile above the ground than to get be guided through the meanders of that stop) and to a lesser degree "Montparnasse" and "Etoile".; Voilà my advice..
One more thing... my Parisian friend who lives in Brussels now says :
never would I think of taking the car in Paris to shop or run an errand in town ...while.... in Brussels, I would never dream of taking public transport.. (it is a slight exaggeration but it tells you something...) they are working on it (in Brussels) or so they say

Janey and Co. said...

I always memorize the name of the last stop on the line in the direction I am going. Because let's say it is Porte d' Orleans. Signs will direct you : in the direction of Porte d' Orleans. I love zipping around Paris on the metro, especially since they have banned smoking on-board.
Stylish lady!

Virginia said...

Always travel with a friend that knows the Metro better than I do! HA I have learned it but gosh when I'M alone I think I get a bit nervous and once I got on, got off at the next stop because I thought I was wrong, went around, got on going the other way and at the next stop had to do it again because I was right the first time! Whew. Now I"ve bared my soul to hundreds of mostly French readers here. I think I hear snickers!!!
V

louciao said...

I don't have any tips because the two times that I visited Paris the metro was on strike. Thanks for this glimpse into its stylish inner workings.

Kris said...

This reminds me of being in Seattle's airport where you have to take 3 trains to get to where your plane departs from. I wonder if people have trouble making it to their platforms on time? Knowing me, I would get lost with a map and color coded lines. LOL

This young lady is the epitome of a well dressed French woman. Tres chic!

Ms. K @ Write On Thyme said...

Thank you so much for your visit and how lovely to find your site. My favorite subject! Paris! I especially love those metro stops that have the panel that lights up when you push the location you want. I always wish we had one of those for LIFE!
Cheers, Kirsten

Starman said...

Walking the, sometimes, very long hallways was not my problem. Climbing the interminable stairs was the problem. It was the main reason I stopped using the métro and starting taking the bus.

Alexa said...

This is such a cool shot, Genie!
I love the Paris metro, but would apply Brattcat's advice to taking the bus (which I did with my friend Marylène last visit, and we got on the right bus—twice). To newcomers: I would remind you to keep your ticket after you go through the turnstile.

Thérèse said...

Carefully check where you are going, it is often better to walk an extra mile to avoid a connection...
A very French picture! de plus est avec l'affiche de "la fille du puisatier!"

Loree said...

Metros are so useful. I really loved the old Metro signs in Paris - so artsy.

Sylvia K said...

After growing up in Texas, I was awestruck by the Metro system in Paris!! Ah, what memories this capture brought! Terrific B&W. Love the classy, chic of the Metro passenger! Wonderful post/photo as always! Hope your week is going well, mon amie!

Hugs
Sylvia

Paris Paul said...

And it gets longer the later it gets...

Randy said...

I would love to ride it just once in my life. I would run from station to station just out of excitement.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Living in a city with effectively no viable public transportation, I adore the luxury of "no car" and no taxi, hopping on the Métro or the bus, and being transported across the city. I am often in Paris in "off seasons" and it is quite different than the summer Métro.

You have given some great tips, and Alexa has reminded us to hold on to the ticket as you may be asked to produce it before you exit the Métro.

It took several visits before I felt comfortable riding the bus but it is a great way to see Paris, and you can always hop off to check out something that strikes your fancy.

Valery mentioned an iPhone app to navigate and I will be checking that out.

Malyss, thank you for "heure de pointe" our rush hour!

winter and Véronique, you are right about the very large stations, and it is better to avoid them.

Thank you all for your comments, your approval of the photo, and for your assistance with "tips."

Bises,
Genie

Julie said...

Try navigating around, up and through Gare St Lazare at peak hour. If you reach your desired destination, you may be demented but not suffer from dementia. If you get my drift ...

Louise said...

I love the metro! So much so that I bought a metro tea towel last visit. And aside from occasional confusions with those ticket machines (and that can happen anywhere) haven't really had a problem. Last visit Pyramides was our local station and so we were forever changing at Chatelet. OMG I think I've walked the entire distance of Paris underground multiple times. As others have mentioned, and I'm sure you know, you do need to know the station at the end of the line in the direction you're going. My 10 year old just loved navigating us around, and we let him think that he was in charge of it.

Louise said...

oops, nearly forgot! Of course I love your picture as always.

M said...

My favorite part of riding the Métro avec vous is the "happy dance" when you find there is an escalator! So my advice would be to first look for the escalator symbol before climbing the stairs ... sometimes the escalator is just around the corner from the stairs and not the first thing you see.

Halcyon said...

I think the Paris metro is one of the best designed and easiest to understand. I don't have tips for Toronto yet, except when I take my line home it's better to be at the front of the car b/c it's closer to the exit I need to take. :)

Stan said...

Wonderfully done!! [what else is new?] I imagine skateboarders and roller skaters don't mind the long tunnels--

James said...

This is really good picture on many levels ! My doesn't understand why I love the Paris Métro and I guess I can't really say why but I really do.

I always wear gloves when I hold onto the pole but that's in winter. :)

Harriet said...

Another great photo! In reference to your compass idea -- I took one on my last trip, but it somehow became de-magnetized....perhaps when going through security??? I agree with Starman, it's the stairs that I hate, especially at Chatelet -- I avoid it like the plague, as someone has already mentioned.

Jilly said...

Superb. One of those magical photographs.

My tip - well it's not really - I'd just be mesmerized by the passing world and trying to take a photo.