Kind of obvious that you have to catch two planes over 25 hours to actually get there. We weren't impressed with QANTAS but Air France were pretty awesome, nice food, much more leg room and less turbulence.
Traffic seems sort of directionless in Paris. I'm sure there's rhyme and reason but buggered if I noticed it.
How there was no collision here I will never know. I was just having coffee watching this
Clearly everyone in France and Italy has a love affair with their scooters. We've come a long way from the daggy vespar tho darlings and these scooters are sophisticated, muted, well maintained and well equipped. I know there are no pedals but really, driving along the Champs Elysees with your handbag between your knees and wearing your high heels on a scooter? Risque to say the least.
Of course Paris is the only place where the 'smart car' is cool and generally most vehicles are very tiny by comparison with US vehicles and a lot smaller than many in Australia. Largely due to the problem parking.There are underground parking spaces but the Parissiennes seem to prefer the Austin Powers park where they constantly bump forward and backwards in an attempt to fit into a space a little bigger than pinkie width
We had to cross this street every day. No such thing as respect for pedestrians in France.
Anyone who tackles this roundabout has my dying admiration.
One of the more civilised ways to travel is via barge although most we saw were either tethered as restaurants or permanent dwellings to the side of the Seine or packed with tourists enjoying the many Bateaux Bus tours up and down that most lovely of rivers.
Basketballers must remain seated
We did take a night tour which at first sounded tacky but we were so glad we did. Each bank is illuminated and since we travelled on a Saturday night the punters were out in force cheering, playing, drinking, dancing and mooning the tourists. And we got to see the Eiffel Tower all sparkly and shiny. Oooh, I love shiny things. Saving that one for the 'monument' post.
Saturday night Revellers on Pont du Neuf Steps this well behaved bunch did not moon us
Of course getting around is easy in this flat and sweeping city and the swapsy bikes make it a snack. You can pick them up and drop off anywhere. Clare was game but trust me, on a bike, in that traffic? You have to be joking!
Of course our favourite and most frequent form of travel was the Metro. Always on time, always the base of the great unwashed, pickpockets and beggars, addicts and commuters. Sometimes packed, sometimes empty but without a doubt the most convenient and cheapest way to get from point A to point B. Believe me from someone who comes from a city with a pathetic public transport network, Paris is the Bomb for public transport.
Although I think the preferred method of transport on the Champs Elysees was actually via horseback. Much easier to catch the imitation bag sellers on the street although the sight of poo on that illustrious pavement was a little disconcerting. Not quite as disconcerting as the roller blade cops who whizzed past before I could whip out my camera. Now that my friends is very French.
Of course when one heads out to the country there are even more options in regional cities such as light rail and trams in Bordeaux.
And who could forget the awesomeness of the TGV which traverses the country in several directions.Although be careful dear travellers, on the many occasions when there are rail strikes the TGV does not run more than once a day and the train is so overbooked that you have to sit in the bike car for three hours. The upside, you can always go along to the buffet car and be entertained by a rather nice chill three piece, very nice way to travel. Or look out of the window and see parts of France that many just fly over.
Sexy man. . .nice little Trio on the Paris to Bordeaux TGV
Chateau through the window of a train
Of course when travelling with surfers, the accommodation is a little less salubrious but fortunately a convoy of them meant that we rarely had to travel 'in the back'. These small vans are extremely popular with the surf culture as well as tradesmen and city dwellers. There's a bed in the back and all you need for a life on the road.
Then the best way to get around such an amazing flat city is just put on your walkingshoes and get amongst it. I feel sorry for the bus crowd who see little more than the highlights and don't enjoy the street life that makes Paris and so many other cities so very, very exciting.
Couldn't wait to show you shiny stuff, we love shiny stuff. No quite transport but it had a lift: