Tuesday, 21 November 2017

France - Saturday (Paris)

Saturday, 18 November 2017

After having sorted out the little problem we had with the heaters in our room we are ready for another day in Paris.  The problem I mentioned was a rather funny one, by the way.  The radiators in our room and bathroom had been working really well and we were not cold at all, but all of a sudden we had two cold nights.  They would be on, but grow cold very quickly early in the evening.  We had talked about it to Bénédicte who could not understand it.  To help us out she gave us a separate heater which worked properly and supplied enough heat.  This morning however, when we went downstairs to walk to the station she came out and told us what had happened.  She had a hand-held thermostat for the system and this resides on top of the piano in the hallway.  A few nights ago she had moved it and without realising it she had put it under a lamp that comes on early in the evening!  Of course, the heat of the lamp....... etc......  So, puzzle solved! ;-)

Next we walk to the nearest railway station, Versailles Chateau, the one we were at the day before. We walk up the stairs and..... the doors are locked.  Next we see the notice that we had ignored the day before:

Not in the picture, but just above the dates and days it says: AUCUN TRAIN, which means as much as: NO TRAIN.  Had the notice just said: PAS DE TRAIN, I would have known, but the other expression I did not know!  Anyway, I found out when I looked it up on the translator on my phone and now we had to find out how to get to Paris if not on the train from this station.  

I could work out from the writing that the trains were still going from Versailles Chantiers, which was only a 10 minute walk away, so after some debating we decided that we would catch a train from there. 

Once there we bought new tickets, although this time no return tickets, so that we couldn't get them mixed up and we would also have a choice of which station we would return from.  After some more puzzling I discovered that we could take the train from here to Montparnasse and catch the metro from there to Pigalle, the nearest stop for the Place du Tertre, Montmartre and the Sacré Coeur. A kind gentleman at the information office confirmed this and we were on our way.  And even the turnstyles opened today!  So far they did! ;-)

Well to keep the story about the rest of the day brief:  We had coffee at two places, bought crèpes for lunch and visited all three places that I mentioned above, including at the end of the day the Moulin Rouge.  Patricia had not been to either of those places and I had never really seen the Moulin Rouge in real life, so we were both happy with our day.

It really was another day with funny occurences though.  As we leave the metro station Patricia sees a Macdonalds across the road and says: "Oh, let's have a coffee here!", so, we walk to the store only to be met by much emptiness!  Well, we're in Paris.  Let's go to a real café instead!


A steam boiler with numerous taps

I had to have roasted chestnuts. 
The last time I ate those was in winter in Athens more than 20 years ago.

Le Sacré Coeur

Le Moulin Rouge

After four days of flat out walking, ánd climbing numerous stairs (don't forget the ones at the Sacré Coeur) we were ready to go home and put our feet up.  We found our metro station easily enough and were ready to change trains at Montparnasse.  However, I made it through the turnstyles this time, but not so Patricia, who eventually found a police officer who 'let her out' with her key card. :-)  Patricia says she has now more grey hairs than when she left home in September!!!

Metro station at Pigalle

Looooong travellators between stations

Oh, and before I forget: one of the stations we passed is named after my granddaughter: Madeleine  (Or would it be the other way around? ;-))  I had wanted to take a picture at the platform, but couldn't, so a picture of the names in the train would have to do...

On the walk home from Versailles Chantiers station we popped into a supermarket to get the necessary groceries so that we would have something to eat upon arrival at home the next day and then walked 'home' to have a quiet night.

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