Day 29 — July 29, 1996 (Monday)
29.07.1996 - 30.07.1996
Blessedly — no rain! We folded up a dry tent and then laid out suitcases on our tarp to repack. A tight fit, but we got everything in them.
Ate breakfast and found the A6 to Paris. It is a pretty drive but you see more of the towns and villages on N and D roads. We were glad we took our drive yesterday. On the A you occasionally glimpse a château or church tower in the distance; the rest is like driving on Interstates in the U.S.A. We often saw large fires in the distance and assumed it was farmers burning off harvested fields.
Arrived in Paris and found Hotel Véronèse with no trouble — we remembered the one-way streets. As luck would have it, we got a parking place right across the street from the hotel. We have a different room this time — still in front and still on the first (second in the U.S.) floor but with two windows, one in the bathroom.
Ate lunch at a sidewalk café around the corner and then went to the Metro ticket window and got Paris Viste two-day tickets. The guide books all say you have to get three or four-day passes, but, in fact, you can get one, two, three or five-day passes. [We quickly discovered the various passes cost more than just buying what you need. We now get a carnet of 10 Metro tickets that we share and the only time we've needed more than that was when we stayed in Paris for a month. Then we used 3 carnets. The Paris Viste is now 19.50 euros for two days and each person needs their own pass so two people will pay 39 euros. The carnet of 10 tickets is probably more than you will use in two days, costs 14.90 euros and you can share the tickets. A Mobilis day pass is 7.50 euros and each person needs a pass each day so your total cost for two people for two days is 30.00 euros. There are lots of transportation options in Paris but we like the carnet or Mobilis. If you are going to use the Metro a lot, the Mobilis will be the better bargain. Here is my blog entry on the Paris Metro system and how to use it.] Learn the Paris Metro by Beausoleil
We discovered the Picasso Museum is closed on Tuesday, so we quickly hopped on the Metro to the Museum. Our little tourist map didn’t have all the streets, so we had to ask directions twice. Don’t know why I expected a modern building, but the Musée Picasso is in a beautiful old building that has been redesigned inside to show a marvelous collection of both works by Picasso and his private art collection. It’s Paris; it was crowded! The Picasso Museum web site
[Another thing we quickly learned was to get a good map. For years now we have used "Paris Pratique par arrondisssement" or "Paris le Plan Pratique" that are maps in booklet form, easy to carry and easy to use with everything in them. We no longer get lost. You can order it online but we just pick one up when we arrive. You can get them at a local tabac, most news stands, most tourist souvenir shops and nearly all bookstores. They have a full Metro plan with Metro, bus and train stops marked.]
Took the Metro down to near Notre Dame and had coffee at a little café facing the cathedral. As we finished, it started to rain lightly. Whipped out our trusty umbrellas and headed for the Latin Quarter. We wandered around but the maître d’s were getting very assertive in attracting customers so we set off looking for a Metro stop.
Relaxed in our room for a while and walked down to the corner to a salon de thé for a light dinner.