When we traveled to Paris last year, I was dealing with a health issue which had me very fatigued. Our Delta flight landed at Charles de Gaulle around 8am. Our plan was to grab our bags, go through customs, and go to the RER terminal to ride the Metro into Paris. Our hopes to move through the airport quickly were initially dashed by the long lines at passport control. We understood that it was a higher traffic time of the year, but the standing in line and the waiting after the long flight from the U.S. really pushed on my health issues to tire me out.
After clearing passport control, we were excited to be moving towards the RER until we found a line of hundreds of people trying to purchase their RER tickets from the kiosks. The lines were orderly, and the available staff was very friendly and effectively moved the lines along. There really was not much else to do but to go through the line, but, again, the physical burden of the toll of the flight, standing in a line, and hauling luggage sucked!
By the time we got to a machine and got our tickets, the initial excitement of embarking on this Paris adventure was a bit dampened. I was kind of grumpy getting on the RER, and when we got to the hotel, I crashed for a long nap. Granted, I recognize I was sick and it definitely affected my patience, but over the past year, I’ve been wondering how I could find a way to hack this whole process to make it easier.
Voila! I found a way to purchase RER tickets before the flight! Now, when we land in Paris for our upcoming trip in November, we will be able to move straight out of passport control and luggage and go straight to the RER. Additionally, I bought the Paris Visite Pass for the Metro which is sold for either 1, 2,3 or 5 days. I bought the five day pass because we are going to be there for seven days. Also, I was able to order us an additional booklet of ten Metro tickets to cover us for the days not provided for by the Paris Visite Pass. Finally, I was even able to buy our RER tickets for Paris back to CDG so when the sad day comes that our vacation ends and we have to head to the airport, we will have our Metro tickets in hand to easily transport to Charles de Gaulle.
Why is this exciting? There is nothing worse than feeling like a bumbling tourist when you’re at a Metro ticket kiosk with your luggage pressed up against you, and the credit card you’re trying to use isn’t working so you’re fumbling around with the wallet pulling out alternative credit cards until the machine finally works. Not to mention the inconvenience I already described about buying the RER tickets at the airport. Why start off with the inconvenience? No thanks, my friends.
So after doing a bit of research, I chose the Paris Official Convention and Visitors Bureau. They have great information on their website, but they also have great prices for the different transportation packages I was describing. The Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP) website, which is the official website for the Paris Metro network, provides great information, and they give options for buying official Metro passes. Some vendors are based in the United States. As one may expect, there are sharp mark-up on the costs. I found the Convention and Visitors Bureau website, ParisInfo.com, to be very informative and it also looked secure and trustworthy. In the Transport section of their website, I was able to find all the different kinds of Metro tickets I needed. I ordered them all, and they are being shipped to me here in the U.S. via DHL all within the same week of purchase. Too easy! Very impressive!
Shout out to the Convention and Visitors Bureau for making it so much easier to move around Paris and bringing the convenience of planning our Paris Metro trips as easy as shopping in my living room in Arizona.
Just a few more weeks until we’re strolling around the streets of magical Paris.
Living in the desert, a rainy day is rare enough that when experienced, I have always felt like it has a lot of weight. The weight of memories, emotions, and thoughts that may have experienced during another rainy day. These days tend to have my mind drift to the beautiful moments I have had in Paris with my wife. Today is a rainy day in Tucson so I decided to share the recording I made of a performance of Ave Maria at Église Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis. We attended this beautiful classical music concert during our September 2017 trip after seeing a flyer for it posted on a light pole. Every concert we have found this way has been magical, and this one did not disappoint. I will not be able to do it justice so please read a better account by visiting RueDeVarenne.com
After an orchestral performance intermission, a soprano appeared. The strings of the orchestra began to play and my heart felt harpooned like nothing else I have ever felt before, and when the vocalist began to sing, I felt submerged in some sort of beautiful enlightenment. I will never forget the performance, and one of my treasures is the recording I made of that performance. I share this beautiful performance with the world hoping it will inspire some level of response the way it did for me sitting in that church in September during a cloudy day in Paris.