Saturday, 19 November 2011

Au Revoir Paris and Good evening Lisbon - Day 4

My last day in Paris - as soon as I set foot outside it started to rain. I go back to the apartment to get an umbrella! I cannot waste the last few hours of sightseeing even in the rain!!
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

The Kiss
Across the road is the Hotel d'Invalides, an army museum now and where Napoleon's tomb is under the golden dome. I didn't visit the museum, just had a look around the gardens.

Les Invalides Museum and Eiffel tower in the distance - taken from the Rodin gardens
Then as the rain had stopped, I decided to still do a river cruise, I took the train to the Eiffel Tower, as the quay is just across the road. The cruise was 1 hour long and it was enjoyable and I got to see the monuments from the river side and a good view of most of the bridges crossing the Seinne.

Notre Dame cathedral, taken from the cruise boat
On the way home and because it was on same underground line 2 , I jumped out at Blanche station and crossed the road just to take a photo of the Moulin Rouge. Many, many years ago when my husband and I first visited Paris we had gone to see a show there.

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.

And here is Cusca, my daughter's cat who jumped in the carry-on when my daughter was trying to pack.


  1. Oh I am glad it worked out in the end after the fright of the train problems. They are lovely photos :) I hope your trip to Lisbon goes well and everything works out with the apartment.

    When we were in Lisbon we stayed in a hotel called Avenida Palace, it was gorgeous and the area around it was so pretty

  2. Thanks, feeling relieved that all worked out. A bit of work to be done in the apartment with some packing. The Avenida Palace is a beautiful hotel.

  3. Thank you very much for your kind words! Hope you have an enjoyable stay in Lisbon.

  4. Wow- stressful! You really had to depend on people to see you through. I'm so glad it worked out! I hope I don't have any issues on my trip to the USA. No trains or buses though.


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