I've fallen in love with the Paris Metro system. The trains are jam packed with a great diversity of people, musicians make music along the white tiled corridors, the signage is quite clear and very frequent. There is both order and spontaneity.
This morning, we rode the trains to Cite, the very center of Paris, where I was captivated by the station's silver walls, globe lights and expansive staircases. We made out connection to Cite at Chatelet. This involves a long walk and we came upon a group of Ukrainian musicians. Bass fiddle and two accordion players among the mix. We lingered, listening to several songs and Aggie bought their CD.
Late this afternoon, we rushed underground at St-Michel to escape a soft, but persistent rain and ran into an eight or ten piece Baroque group. As we changed from route 4 to 11, we passed a single musician singing "Killing Me Softly With...". All this live underground music? Not taped, not coming through programmed sound systems.
In the daytime, everyone moves quickly through the ticket turnstiles. Down often multitudinous stairs on to the platform. The train doors open and we often must push our way into a car. And quickly too. Twice, Aggie and I have been separated. One of us catches the next train and we meet at our destination.
Lots of black, Asian and white moms holding on to small children, carting strollers and back packs. Lots of folks dragging luggage on wheels. Lots of young couples in the evening, quite absorbed with one another. Lots of folks texting and checking their mail.
I wouldn't trade one Metro ride. Each ride takes us where we want to go in very short order and there are so many folks to see along the way. And then there are those 10,000 steps we are all advised to take each day. Aggie and I are taking those steps between trains underground and on the many streets we choose as destinations.
The Paris Metro is quite a trip.