Countries Visited (not including Turnarounds): Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Moldova, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, North Korea, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States, Vatican City
London | Perth | Sydney | Melbourne
Seatguru - Most Comfy Seats On Any Airline
pprune.org - Pilot's rumour network
Kangaroo with a Sweet Tooth
Kronicles of Kris
The Adventures of Alle Malice
Joel's trek across Asia/Europe in a Hilux
Phil's Wine Site
I Can Has Cheezburger
The Flying Pinto
Girl on Raw
Things Bogans Like
Bobby at Up, Up and a Gay
Straight Guy in the Queer Skies
Skin by Falter
Saturday, January 07, 2012I love my Paris trips. If I'm not catching up with Ben, then I'm either shopping at Galleries Lafayette, having a browse at Collete to see what the hipsters of Paris are into, or just taking a short stroll around the Tulleries for some fresh air. It's one of these layovers that, unless the city is closed down for, say, Christmas, then I always make the epic journey from the hotel to the city for a few hours. It's worth the money. I can't mentally cope well trying to save on allowance eating pot noodles in my room when I'm in Paris.
One of the downsides to having a layover in a renowned 'world city' is that the traffic can be unreliable, and so the airline has us stay in a hotel at the airport, rather than where the action is. Well not *at* the airport, we're housed in a hotel in a village called Roissy, about 5 minutes from the airport, and it seems this is a specific hotel village, as there are some 30 hotels alone staying in Roissy. Not many stand alone restaurants in walking distance, but lots of warehouses and single storey office buildings. Horrible to go running as there is no clear footpath.
To get to the city we have a few options. The hotel has a shuttle bus service where you pay 5 Euros each way to go to the city and back. Which would be nice if the timing was better - the trip from the city back to the hotel has us arrive after our wake up call - so that isn't an option. There's a shuttle bus from the hotel to the airport, after which you can either take the Roissybus to the city, or take the RER train and then the metro to the city. I usually take the last option (RER & metro), as you very rarely wait more than 8 minutes for a RER train, and you rarely wait more than 4 minutes for the next train to appear on the Metro line. I like to have complete control over when I arrive and when I leave Paris, particularly when it can mean the difference to getting a few hours of sleep before pick up, and not even making it to your pick up on time.
So just the other day I had my Paris layover. Got to catch up with Ben. Got to do a little bit of sightseeing. Even managed to do a bit of shopping. When it came to making the trek back to the hotel from the Bourse I was well and truly shattered. I didn't really pay much attention to where I was standing or seated, once I got on the RER Blue line I was in my own little world.
So at one point (at Aulnay-sous-Bois I think) I looked above me to figure out how far there was to go on the journey, and saw this...
The metro map, with seemingly fresh blood stains. Was I shocked? Just a little. Was I surprised? Not at all. Most of the Parisian crew that we fly with are more than willing to tell you that both the RER Blue and the RER Green lines are some of the most unsafe lines you can possibly take in the city. Most of them take either a taxi or get family and friends to transport them around the city during their layover. The rest of us are left with the dodgy RER train. It made me wonder, especially since it was so high in the carriage, what on earth happened? Nothing that I could see around me was stained, so it had been cleaned since I had boarded. Was someone punched? Stabbed? Shot? Suffering from a projectile nose bleed?
I think I might take the Roissybus from now on... 7 comments