Paris 2013: Day 20 — Bus Rides!


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We catch our bus near the Eiffel Tower.

Monday, 08/12/13

Woke at 8am.   It appears to be another lovely day – with a chance of showers.

We linger over our breakfast of eggs and fresh bread.   We decide that today is the day to do one of Rick Steves’ stranger suggestions:  to take a bus ride through the city.

Around 11am, we take the metro to the Eiffel Tower to board the #69 Bus.  This bus travels eastbound from the Eiffel Tower.  The area around the Eiffel Tower is packed with tourists milling about the souvenir stands.

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Lots of opportunity to spend Euros here!

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Oooooh — I have a thing for pretty purses!

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Ooooooh — I have another thing for colorful scarves!

We finally find the bus stop hidden behind a wall of tour buses on the Rue Joseph.   This is the start of the line for the public bus so getting a window seat should not be a problem!

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The bus route.

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Inside the bus. It is very comfortable!

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End of the line for Bus #69 — a nice little square near the cemetery.

The bus ride was niiiice!   The bus meandered through Paris on one-way streets from the Eiffel Tower, past the Louvre, past the Bastille, and all the way to the Pere-Lachaise Cemetery.    Forty-five minutes later, we get off the bus and look for somewhere to have a nice, quiet lunch.   My DH consults Yelp and locates three highly-rated restaurants on the area – all are closed for the summer.   Humf!

We walk around a bit more and find Café Des Banques.  It is off the main drag and looks very French.   As we peruse the menu board on the sidewalk, a jolly waiter hands us the English menus with a broad friendly smile.  DONE — we take a table!

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Time for lunch. Look — an open brasserie!

The food was excellent!   My DH ordered the fish special of the day with three sides of perfectly cooked vegetables.   I ordered a Salade Nicoise and a beer – both were good and refreshing.

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Just the thing for two hungry bus riders!  (P.S. that’s our cute WiFi hub on the table – can you find it?)

After lunch we board the bus for the return trip to the Eiffel Tower.

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Back on the bus!

This return trip is a bit longer and uses one-way streets in the opposite direction.   My DH and I are recognizing the streets and stores and restaurants we have been to during our stay.   Is it possible that we are getting to know Paris like Parisians?

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There are many carousels throughout Paris.

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End of the line for Bus #69.

Back at the Eiffel Tower, we sit on a bench and consider other options.   We go through the Rick Steves book on our Kindle and ask ourselves “why not take another bus ride?”  So we did.  This time, #87 — this bus goes to the south through the Latin Quarter and as far southeast as the Gare de Lyon train station and back again.

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Bus #87 has pretty seats!

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We ride past the new Opera Building by the Bastille.

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I think the Gard de Lyon is one of Paris’ prettiest train stations.

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End of the line for Bus #87. There is nothing to see here so we get back on the bus.

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It must be dinner time!

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Over the bridge!

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The end of the line for Bus #87.

You would think that taking a bus ride through one of the most romantic cities in the world would not be worthwhile, but it is!   First, it is cheap — we used our Navigo cards, so the bus ride cost no more than a Metro pass.   Second, we saw Paris at its most “ordinary”, the way that the locals see it.   Of course, most tourists don’t pay the big travel bucks to see “ordinary” Paris, I can understand that.  Still, it is a great way to rest your legs if you have been walking the sights the day before.

It is 6:30pm by the time we arrive back at the Eiffel Tower.   We take the metro and get off at the Champs Elysees to stop at the Orange store to recharge my phone for data.   The young woman at the door tells us that they have “run out of data for the day, come back tomorrow.”  What???

Since we have been sitting all day, we decide to walk back to the apartment.  From the Arc de Triomphe, it is all downhill to our apartment.   The sky is getting dark, the lights of the cafes and brasseries are coming on, and the air is still cool – what a lovely walk to end our day!

Once home, we snack on leftovers and watch the movie “Kick Ass!” – an enjoyable movie about a teenager who wants to be a super hero.   Nicholas Cage performs one of his more likable roles and we enjoy the movie very much.

Quote of the day:  “I can understand running out of eggs, but how does one run out of data?” – Anna

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