I get the underground to Varenne station to visit the Rodin Museum. My daughter had recommended it and I really enjoyed seeing the beautiful gardens which are full of his famous sculptures including "The Thinker".
Inside his former house, now the museum, hundreds more of his sculptures, including "The kiss" and a few paintings by his friend Monet, are scattered around the various rooms in 2 floors.
Then I sat on a wooden bench in the garden with "The Thinker" in front of me. Very peaceful, an oasis in the middle of busy Paris.
|The Thinker by Rodin|
|Les Invalides Museum and Eiffel tower in the distance - taken from the Rodin gardens|
|Notre Dame cathedral, taken from the cruise boat|
Then it was time to go to the apartment, collect my bags and get on the train again to meet with my daughter at a certain underground station at 5,15pm, where we would then get the bus to Orly airport.
Well, this is where things went pear-shapped. The train stopped two stations before the required one and the driver requested everybody leave the train. As I didn't understand what was going on, I asked a young man if he spoke English and to explain what was happening.
He said there had been a power failure and there would be no trains for a while. I panicked!!!
How could I get to the station I wanted? I had no mobile to contact my daughter!!! He said I would be able to get a bus just across the road from the Metro station and I followed him. We managed to get on to a very crowded bus, with me carrying a large suitcase...
A few stops later he indicated I should get off as that was the stop near the Metro station I wanted.
Off I got but then I couldn't see any station entry on the corners where they are usually located.
I found a restaurant instead and asked the waitress for help. She indicated a station on the next block, and I could see the Orly buses in front, so I walked as fast I could dragging my suitcase.
When I got to the station I couldn't see my daughter anywhere and I paced the entrance up and down already in a sweat. I had got there 40 minutes later than the arranged time.
Eventually I asked a lady from the Orly buses where I could find a public phone and she started walking with me towards the phones and she must have sensed my panic and asked where I wanted to call.
I said I wanted to call my daughter's mobile, and she asked if it was a French one and I said yes.
She kindly said I could call from her phone. My daughter answered and said she was in front of the station, to which I replied - "I am also in front of the station"!
Conclusion: She was in the Underground station and I was in the Long distance train station nearby.
In a couple of minutes she was by my side, very worried, as she had thought I had fallen down some stairs at the Metro stations while carrying my suitcase. (PS: there are no lifts in these stations, because they are ancient, and no one thought of these modern technologies).
We got on the Orly bus that departed within 10 minutes, the traffic was heavy so instead of the normal 20min it took 40min.
We got to the airport counter at 6,50 when the flight was at 7,10pm. Luckily they had tickets for the next flight at 8,40pm, so 300euros later we were issued with 2 new tickets!!!
We phoned my niece in Lisbon where we were expected for dinner at 9pm to tell her we would only be there by 10,30pm. My brother in law picked us up at the airport, traffic was still heavy but we managed to get there at 10,30h where the rest of the family was eagerly waiting our arrival.
So it was a very late dinner and another very late night.
I will not be posting for a while as I have lots to do sorting out the apartment in Lisbon and will not be able to do any sightseeing probably, but I will certainly try and take some pictures of the beautiful monuments too.
Hope you have enjoyed reading about my short trip to Paris as much as I did.