Archive for March 4th, 2020

March 4, 2020

Metro de Paris, line 1!

I have done early when I started my blog way back in Nov’10 a series of runs on each line of the Metro de Paris. I figure it is time to update and renew this information; vital for any visitor and resident as well. Paris not only have Parisians but French from every department of France and even some foreign residents and/or citizens who use it every day.  I hope it helps you understand a bit more what Paris is in its metro or subway or tube underground. Of course, remember, this is for historical purposes only, I always prefer to be above ground in Paris !

After having worked in Paris, and living in Versailles nearby for about 9 years, I am amaze at the number of people coming from places where there is no subway.metro:tube and gladly jump in into the Paris metro and rave about it back home. Like it was a tourist attractions; well I like to tell some historical stories of the Paris metro. I will try to write a bit on each line ,sort of like an historical anecdote rather than photos, maybe one if can find it. The story is the important thing here.

Paris has 16 metro lines so far, and it was not the first one to have one. It all started with the idea of hosting the Universal Expo of 1900, so to be ready work on the metro began in 1897. The first line was done and started on July 19 1900 to be exact on 3 wagons from Porte Maillot to Porte de Vincennes. This line is almost all underground;  except at  Bastille stop, in 1934 it was extended to Chateau de Vincennes, and by 1937 to Neuilly-sur-Seine. This line is now an automated line without driver that is computer controlled.


The stops are Les Sablons, began in 1937; It is here that Louis XVI had a plant which he brought from Prussia, it was the beginning of what we call potatoes in France or pomme de terre. The best to see here is the Jardin d’Acclimatation where a zoo was done under Napoleon III,and still is,you can take the petit train or small train at by the parking Vinci in the palais de congres building and the porte maillot to get into the park in grand style. For lively and nice ambiance to eat try the Le Petit Maillot, 269 blvd Pereire. Another great stop is at Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile,  you can actually see the silhouette of the star shape street from top of the Arc de Triomphe at 54 meters high and 284 steps; for nice drinks try Le Cristal, 6 avenue de la Grande Armée. Moving on to Georges V, after the English king done while alive on May 27 1920 for his efforts to help the French in WWI, the only king so name in Paris metro.  Many nice boutiques here, and Hotel Georges V, the building of Louis Vuitton,the Café Georges V,Crazy Horse,Ladurée, Fouquet’s ,Lido just the names;;;We arrive at a nice roundabout station name Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau, where the tiles are done by portuguese master azulejos in exchange for a arch entry of Guimard for the Lisbon metro. Nearby you have the French white house or Palais de l’Elysée, 55 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Grand Palais, Petit Palais, Palais de la Decouverte or discovery of sciences museum, Pavillon Ledoyen, ,the nice cafe mini palais inside the Grand Palais. Then we have Concorde, at the old place Louis XV from 1772, the guillotine was installed here in 1792 during a year. Afterward became pl de la revolution and then pl de la Concorde. You see wonderful hotel Crillon, USA Embassy,and Hotel de la Marine, obelisk de Louxor 280 tons of granite put there in 1835: you have the museums Jeu de Paume, and Orangerie,as well as the solar cadran.  We continue towards Tuileries, where from the 13C rooftiles were done here so tuiles in French, the palais des tuileries (destroyed in 1871 razed by city of Paris 1883) and now stii an ever ending effort to rebuilt it as it was done in 1579 by order of Catherine des Medicis. André Le Nôtre creates the Jardin des Tuileries in 1664 with 23 hectares of wonders.One of my favorite parks in the city,worked nearby ::) Dont missed the Cafe l’Imperiale, librarie Galignani oldest English bookstore in the continent since 1520!!!, the Angelina cafe. We reach Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre; the palace done by Cardinal Richelieu, and of course the Musée du Louvre, the musée des arts decoratifs at 107 rue de Rivoli by the marsans wing of the Louvre; comedie française since 1786, the colonnes or columns of Buren and spheres of Pol Bury, the gardens of the palais royal from the 17C by 2 pl Colette. shop at the Le Louvre des Antiquaires, Hotel du Louvre done by Napoleon III enjoyment, have a glass or coffee at Cafe Marly, Le Saut du Loup, and if any money left try the le Grand Véfour from 1784, when it opened as the Cafe de Chartres.

Go over to the Louvre-Rivoli stop, just renamed in 1989.a beautiful church , and one of my favorites, St Germain l’Auxerrois from the 12C, here the bell sound when the massacre of St Barthelemy. Try to eat here Le Fumoir, touristic now but still grand at 6 rue de l’Amiral de Coligny. You find here the Poste Centrale or main post office open until midnight by 55 rue Louvre. We are at the mega station Chatelet, one I always tell the visitors to avoid on their first run or try it for fun with plenty of time.  open on August 6 1900 with the  name of Pont-au-Change, then in 1926 it became Pont Notre Dame, and from 1934 it is Chatelet. The first station equipped with running walkways at 3kph. The pl du Chatelet, tour St Jacques(the only remains of the old church St Jacques de la Boucherie detroyed after the revolution); see the nearby streets such as Quai de la Mégisserie where the tanners were,and now birds are sold as well as flowers; pl Louis Lépine a nice flower market. Come here for Au Trappiste, 4 rue St Denis, or Brasserie Sarah-Bernhard, théatre de la Ville, and the nice jazz joint Le Duc des Lombards, 42 rue des Lombards; another nice resto is Le Zimmer. We are at the Hôtel de Ville, previously call here pl de la Gréve, where folks looking for work came, where negotiations took place for a job ,so the expression in French ” faire la gréve” is to do a  labor strike. The building of the Hôtel de Ville was burned down in 1871 as well but later rebuilt in 1883. Here De Gaulle proclaimed in 1944, “Paris, Paris outragé, Paris brisé, Paris martyrisé, mais Paris libéré” You ,also find the dept store BHV or Bazaar de l’Hôtel de Ville done in 1856; still here. Shop Mariage Frères, behind the Hôtel de Ville check out La Perla tex mex brasserie at 26 François Miron. Now we are at Saint Paul, From the old hotel of Saint Pol, where a preacher prays just to the Orient, here lived Charles V,and Charles VI, it still visible a wall at the angle of rue Saint-Paul, and rue Neuve Saint Pierre. Here you find the super touristic rue des Rosiers the old jewish quarters and the musée d’Art et d’histoire du Judaisme, 71 rue du Temple,and the synagogue at 10 rue Pavée. You find here the wonderful place des Vosges where each sides measure 108 meters with a statue of Louis XIII, melted at the revolution, now name after the department of the Vosges the first in the Republic to pay taxes from 1800. A nice walk go to the pl Saint Catherine, and see around the area wonderful architecture such as Hotel d‘Angouleme Lamoignan from 1584! built for Diane de France at 24 rue Pavée. Hotel de Béthune-Sully from 1625 at 62 rue Saint Antoine. Hotel de Marle (centre cultural suedoise_swedish cultural center) 11 rue Payenne, Hotel de Beauvais,  same year at 68 rue François Miron.Continue on to rue des Francs-Bourgeois,see no 31; rue Pavée the first pave road in Paris from the 15C, musée de la magie et de la curiosité, magic and curiosity at 11 rue Saint-Paul. I have my favorites here such as Colette at pl des Vosges, Au vin des Pyrénées, 25 rue Beautreillis.

We are headed for Bastille, a middle age fortress with 8 towers of 20 meters high built between 1370-1383 under Charles V. Became a prison under Cardinal Richelieu one of its most famous occupant Voltaire. It was this prison in July 14 1789 that the official French revolution began.  You can still see some remnants of it before leaving the metro station on the line 5 direction bobigny. See the huge colonne or column call of July or Juillet marking the Trois Glorieuses revolution of July 1830 with 47 meters high. Port de l’Arsenal,  around here wood was brought into Paris and still see the carpenters and furniture makers at nearby rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine. We reach Nation,  before call Place du Trône in honor of Louis XIV, the guillotine was place here too; from 1880 it is name the place de la Nation in honoring the National Day of Bastille. At the other side on the line 9 the plaza is call Place des Antilles for the many immigrants from the Caribbean dept of Martinique and Guadaloupe. At the center of place de la Nation from 1879 lies the statue of Le Triomphe de la République. You can see two towers call colonnes d’Otroi here since 1788 signifying the barrier to enter Paris and pay taxes, it is at place de Philippe Auguste et Saint Louis.

We are at Chateau de Vincennes, line done in 1934. with 6 exits or sorties. at no 2 you go out to the Chateau de Vincennes. The donjon tower is the highest in Europe at 50 meters at the time ,ramparts of 378 meters by 175 meters. You have here the famous hippodrome de Vincennes, as well as the Parc Floral.

Official webpage Paris metro: Official RATP Paris metro and al. in English

Enjoy line 1 of the Paris metro. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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March 4, 2020

How about a bus in Paris…

So let me tackle another mode of public transport that me think is not use enough by visitors. Many think , that I only drive a car here in my belle France, but if you know Europe and France you know that would be too one sided. I do take all forms of public transport over the years. I do prefer to go into the city by car but once inside prefer, the …….bus! Oh yeah some think the metro is a tourist attraction but why come to see the most beautiful city in the world underground!!! Above ground is much better, believe me!

Therefore , let me tell you a bit more on the public transport preferred by me, the bus of Paris.  Managed by RATP, ( Régie Autonome des Transport Parisiens)  bus in Paris within the city corresponds to lines 20 to 99 as well as a few other special lines. Some of these lines even cross the limits of Paris, to reach a nearby suburb. Almost all of these lines run on Sundays and Holidays (with slightly reduced schedules).

A bit of history I like

The first network appeared in 1662 with the five-floor coaches lines tested by Blaise Pascal. He in fact obtained from King Louis XIV the privilege of founding a company of public coaches which operated five routes, the “five-floor coaches“. A first line was opened on March 18 1662!   between Luxembourg and Porte Saint-Antoine with seven vehicles.  But it was not until 1828 that regular bus lines resurfaced and met with great success. The first omnibuses appeared in 1828 ,. From 1830, ten companies operated around a hundred cars on around forty lines with very imaginative names: Omnibus, Dames United, Favorites, Béarnaises, Citadines, Gazelles, Excellentes, Hirondelles Parisiennes, Tricycles, Constantines and Batignollaises.

In 1902, Paris had an emerging metropolitan network, and on the surface, 42 horse-drawn omnibus lines, forming a network of 280 km. The Paris Motor Show in 1905 presented the public with a new vehicle: the bus! The first buses were put into service in 1906 and quickly replaced the horse-drawn omnibuses, which disappeared in 1913. The first complete Parisian bus line was inaugurated on June 11, 1906 and linked Montmartre to Saint-Germain-des-Prés (AM line), on a course of 5.8 km. As of August 1, 1914, the military authority requisitioned all of the buses, 120 of which were immediately dispatched to the Great War front (WWI). Some took part alongside taxis in the Battle of the Marne, then in the Battle of the Somme and in the Verdun offensive. In 1918, only a fleet of one hundred buses remained. In 1919, of the 43 pre-war lines, 25 were still in operation.

On August 23, 1939, (WWII) the STCRP (Société des transports en commun de la région parisienne) received an order to requisition a large part of its fleet of buses to transport troops, which seriously disrupted the operation of the network.   After the WWII, the work is titanic, the network is indeed completely disorganized by five years of war, most of the equipment has disappeared or is out of service, the workshops are partially destroyed, and the difficulties in supplying fuel and tires are considerable. In early 1946, a fleet of 1,000 buses was available to operate 11 lines in Paris and 55 in the suburbs. From 1950 to 1962, the all-new RATP brought 1,700 new vehicles into service despite the difficult post-war economic context.

The first bus corridors (bus lanes) were fitted out on January 15, 1964, the first, 1,000 meters long, appeared on the quays of the Louvre and the Mégisserie. At the end of the 1980s, to cope with the complexity of the lines resulting from several decades of extensions, the RATP decided to put an end to the numbering of the lines which called for a combination of numbers and letters (example: 113A, 113B, 113C, etc.) and which did not facilitate the use of the network, and to modify certain lines in order to better respond to traffic: some see their route modified, shortened or extended, others are created while some are deleted. And the numbered lines were born.

Some guidance on follow up the bus lines in Paris and suburbs are:

The lines beginning with a number 2 are the bus lines having as terminus the sector of Gare Saint-Lazare / Opéra. These are
Bus 20: Gare Saint-Lazare <=> Gare de Lyon
Bus 21: Gare Saint-Lazare <=> Stade Charléty – Porte de Gentilly
Bus 22: Opera <=> Porte de Saint-Cloud
Bus 24: Gare Saint-Lazare <=> Maison-Alfort Veterinary School
Bus 26: Gare Saint-Lazare <=> Nation – Place des Antilles
Bus 27: Gare Saint-Lazare <=> Porte d’Ivry – Claude Regaud
Bus 28: Gare Saint-Lazare <=> Porte d’Orléans
Bus 29: Gare Saint-Lazare <=> Porte de Montempoivre.

The lines beginning with the number 3 are the bus lines having as terminus the sector of Gare de l’Est. These are
Bus 30: Trocadéro <=> Gare de l’Est
Bus 31: Charles de Gaulle – Étoile <=> Gare de l’Est
Bus 32: Porte d’Auteuil <=> Gare de l’Est
Bus 35: Paris Est Station <=> Aubervilliers City/Town Hall
Bus 38: Porte d’Orléans <=> Gare du Nord
Bus 39: Issy – Frères Voisin <=> Gare du Nord.

The lines beginning with the number 4 are the bus lines having as terminus the sector of Gare du Nord. These are
Bus 42: Georges Pompidou Hospital <=> Gare du Nord
Bus 43: Neuilly – Bagatelle <=> Gare du Nord
Bus 46: Gare du Nord <=> Château de Vincennes
Bus 47: Paris Est Station <=> Fort le Kremlin Bicêtre
Bus 48: Royal Palace, Louvre <=> Porte des Lilas.

The lines beginning with the number 5 are the bus lines having as terminus the sector of République / Paris Rive Droite. These are
Bus 52: Parc de Saint-Cloud <=> Opera
Bus 53: Levallois Bridge <=> Opera
Bus 54: Asnières – Gennevilliers – Gabriel Péri <=> Porte d’Aubervilliers
Bus 56: Porte de Clignancourt <=> Château de Vincennes
Bus 57: RER Arcueil-Laplace <=> Porte de Bagnolet-Louis Ganne
Bus 58: Vanves – Lycée Michelet <=> Châtelet.

The lines beginning with the number 6 are the bus lines having as terminus the sector of Gare de Lyon / Gare d’Austerlitz. These are
Bus 60: Porte de Montmartre <=> Gambetta
Bus 61: Austerlitz station <=> Church of Pantin
Bus 62: Porte de Saint-Cloud <=> Porte de France
Bus 63: Porte de la Muette <=> Gare de Lyon
Bus 64: Gambetta <=> Place d’Italie
Bus 65: Gare de Lyon <=> Porte de la Chapelle
Bus 66: Clichy – Victor Hugo <=> Opera
Bus 67: Pigalle <=> Stade Charléty – Porte de Gentilly
Bus 68: Place de Clichy <=> Châtillon Montrouge
Bus 69: Champs de Mars <=> Gambetta.

The lines beginning with the number 7 are the bus lines having as terminus the sector of Hôtel de Ville / Châtelet. These are
Bus 70: Radio France <=> City Hall
Bus 72: Parc de Saint-Cloud <=> City Hall
Bus 73: Garenne-Colombes <=> Orsay Museum
Bus 74: Clichy – Berges de Seine <=> City Hall
Bus 75: Pont Neuf <=> Porte de Pantin
Bus 76: Louvre – Rivoli <=> Bagnolet

The lines beginning with the number 8 are the bus lines having as terminus the sector of Paris Rive Gauche / Luxembourg. These are
Bus 80: Porte de Versailles <=> Mairie 18éme – Jules Joffrin
Bus 81: Porte de Saint-Ouen <=> Châtelet
Bus 82: Luxembourg <=> Neuilly
Bus 83: Friedland <=> Porte d’Ivry
Bus 84: Porte de Champerret <=> Pantheon
Bus 85: Mairie Saint-Ouen <=> Luxembourg
Bus 86: Saint-Germain-des-Prés <=> Saint-Mandé
Bus 87: Porte de Reuilly <=> Bastille / Champ de Mars
Bus 88: Georges Pompidou Hospital <=> Montsouris
Bus 89: Vanves – Malakoff <=> François Mitterrand Library.


The lines beginning with the number 9 are the bus lines having as terminus the sector of Gare Montparnasse. These are
Bus 91: Montparnasse 2 – TGV station <=> Bastille
Bus 92: Porte de Champerret <=> Gare Montparnasse
Bus 93: Suresnes <=> Invalides
Bus 94: Levallois – Louison Bobet <=> Gare Montparnasse
Bus 95: Porte de Vanves <=> Porte de Montmartre
Bus 96: Gare Montparnasse <=> Porte des Lilas
Bus 97 PC1: Porte de Champerret <=> Garigliano Bridge
Bus 99 PC3: Porte Maillot – Pershing <=> Porte de La Chapelle


In addition to these bus lines there are other specific ones that ride in Paris. These are
The bus lines PC (PC1 – Porte de Champerret <=> Pont du Garigliano and PC3 – Porte Maillot – Pershing <=> Porte de La Chapelle) which operate a peripheral route by traveling on the marshes to serve the various gates of Paris. The Noctilien night bus lines, from N01 to N154. These lines are operated overnight in Paris (generally between 0: 30h and 5h30), in the petite Couronne or inner ring and some of them in the Grande Couronne or outside ring. The so-called “tourist” lines such as the Montmartrobus line (Pigalle <=> Mairie du 18eme – Jules Joffrin) which serves the Butte Montmartre. The Airport lines with the Orlybus (Denfert-Rochereau <=> Orly Sud) which serves Orly Airport and the Roissybus (Paris – Opera <=> Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 3 – Roissypole) which serves the airport of Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle. The CASTOR line (Invalides Metro RER <=> Gare d’Austerlitz Metro RER) which operates during the summer to replace the RER C between Invalides and Austerlitz.


Local lines, using smaller buses, operating circular routes in certain Parisian districts such as the Traverse Ney Flandre (Rosa Parks via La Chapelle), the Traverse Bièvre Montsouris (Montsouris – Tombe Issoire via Maison Blanche), the Traverse de Charonne (Gambetta via Pyrénées), or the Traverse Batignolles-Bichat (Bichat Hospital via Tocqueville). The Bus 528, a small line of 6 stops put into service as part of the Grand Paris des Bus, connecting Saint-Lazare train station to Porte de Clichy. The lines from 100 to 599 are mainly located in the Paris suburbs, with some of them having a few stops in intramural Paris (generally on the outskirts).


For my record I like to note the bus lines that I have used the most over the years , these been the lines 20, 22, 27, 30, 43, 52, 53, 61, 63, 76, 82, 84, 87, 91, 92, 93, 95 , Montmartrobus, and Roissybus. Quite a few really, I am fine lol! All nice rides, lately I have done several on the bus line 82.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip to Paris or rather in Paris and the bus is nice are

The Paris bus lines with street views from RATPRATP bus network of Paris on sector buses and street views

The Transilien region of ïle de France including Paris transport site: Transilien Paris region transports 

The Île de France region mobilité on buses and al. :

And the tourist office of Paris on getting around in the city in English here: Tourist office of Paris on getting around the city

And there you go hope it helps you get around by bus in my eternal Paris. Do not hesitate to ask me if have a question. Enjoy Paris above ground!

And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all !!!

March 4, 2020

Restaurant: Barcelona! Part II

So back to another culinary round in my Europe! in the continuing effort to show you some of my most memorable moments of my culinary expeditions with the family. As often, the case, I come to discover these gems usually on business trips and then if worth it brought alone the family in subsequent trips, and even sometimes do the opposite. The culinary, wine lover in me is well at home in Europe!

One city that is rank right up there with the best is Barcelona, Spain. A blend of Catalan, Mediterranean and other Spanish dishes all in one city , sounds good , let me tell you a bit more ok. You can search back on previous posts and the first one on Barcelona in my blog.

While there , did not wanted to eat at a hotel restaurant thus, so we had a discussion with the concierge, and finally decided to go to the La Fonda del Port (as in port olympic) . Which of course is at the harbor of Barcelona, and plenty of seafood and tapas. We had a great time there.


The restaurant itself is traditional, well-run and quite charming.   As you would expect from its location, a large amount of the restaurant’s menu is seafood, however, there are also meat, pasta and other traditionally Catalan options. La Fonda is a large restaurant with seats within the restaurant itself and also within a covered outdoor area, where heaters and wooden flooring give the feeling of being indoors. The restaurant’s style is classic with a slightly nautical feel. The service at La Fonda is efficient and friendly. The venue is popular and was bustling with people from midday onwards.


La Fonda del Port is located next to the beach front. It is necessary to walk towards Barceloneta’s promenade . To your right you will see a large Casino. To your left you will see steps leading down to the tourist outdoor complex area – Moll de Gregal. Head down these steps, the restaurant is directly in front of you. La Fonda del Port at  Moll de Gregal, 7 – 10. Metro: Ciutadella Villa Olimpic on the Yellow Line, L4. 

The resto La Fonda del Port webpage is here: La Fonda del Port

Next day we set out into town again, this time we walk past Gran Via de Carles III then the Rambla Brasil and turning into Carrer Sants we end up in a nice Basque restaurant call Txalaparta. Founded in 2002 by an experience basque chef of many other restaurants work there.  This is like been back in basque country with great Basque cider and Navarra wine of Monjardin red with a wonderful tuna steak with red peppers and a nice crema catalana dessert.  The resto name is a Basque music instrument that after making cider, the same board was used to pressed the apples later was to call the neighbors. Then, a celebration was held and txalaparta played cheerfully, while cider was drunk. This place had no music but it was definitely nice and loud, good food and plenty of good cheers.


Inspired by the authentic taverns and cider houses of the north, Txalaparta is a cozy restaurant whose chef, César Uruñuela, works with the best raw material – brought directly from Euskadi  to offer excellent traditional Basque cuisine. The restaurant has a long bar of skewers and tapas, as well as an ideal dining room for all kinds of celebrations.


The place is characterized by its familiar and cozy treatment so particular to the Basque culture, as well as a very careful space with the best typical decoration of Euskadi, which linked to a genuine traditional cuisine focused on taking care of the quality of the product, will manage to move you to the Basque lands during the period of time your meal lasts. Do not forget that you can opt for one of its varied menus, with which you can delight in house specialties. In this Basque cider house they have a good ten meters of bar that on Friday and Saturday nights are filled to the fullest. It is located at Carrer de Sants, 146 next to Pl. Sants. Metro: Pl. de Sants on lines L1 and L5.

The resto Txalaparta webpage is here: Restaurante Txalaparta

There you go , a nice one two punch for a weekend in Barcelona. There are many more and even more popular and surely maybe good ones, I have tried others too. However, these two are memorable that we will look after them to be back with the family or friends. Enjoy the restaurants of Barcelona!

And remember, happy travels, good health and many cheers to all!!!


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