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How did you get from CDG to Paris the first time?

How did you get from CDG to Paris the first time?

Old May 13th, 2005, 05:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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So long ago, it might have been by ox cart.
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Old May 13th, 2005, 06:02 PM
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"There are two groups of people. Those who put people in two groups, and those that don't." - Oscar Wilde
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Old May 14th, 2005, 05:04 AM
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The first time, and every time since, I have taken the RER, then walked a few blocks to the Hotel on Rue Cardinal Lemoine.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 05:45 AM
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Following the advice of "Europe on $10 a Day", my Lady Wife and I took the bus from CDG 1 (there was no 2) to another bus stop, where we boought our tickets and got on.

A very helpful young woman did her best to explain in French that I had to validate the tickets at the yellow stamp machine by the curb. I got off and the bus started up.

My LW, with the help of other passengers, got the bus to stop and I got on.

We rode for about 40 min to the train connection. The bus stopped at the top of a hill. The train was 4 flights down.

As we got off the bus, the train entered the station and everyone began running down the stairs. LW took one carryon and I hustled down as fast as I could with a carryon and large suitcase.

"Stand in the doorway", I called and threw the suitcase onto the car, as the train began to leave.

I didn't know that French trains could go with the doors open.

So, there was LW, jammed in the door, as the train pulled out.

Fortunately, a helpful man in the first car was able to stop the train, and I could get on. LW was uninjured, but beginning to show signs of stress.

Upon arrival in Paris, we walked for several miles up and down stairs, through endless tunnels until we got to the no. 4 line, which we took to St. Sulpice.

Exiting the station required going through a vertical turnstile and a very narrow automatic door.

LW was able to get out with a carryon. I could not get through the turnstile with the suitcase. LW could not get back in.

After a few minutes, a helpful gentlemen came along. I went through the turnstile but not the door. He then passed me the suitcase over the turnstile.

Holding the suitcase over my head, I was able to open the automatic door. Only a minute later, I was out on the street.

My LW was definitely exhibiting signs of stress.

We took a shuttle back to the airport that trip.

ira is offline  
Old May 14th, 2005, 08:50 AM
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Great story, Ira!
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Old May 14th, 2005, 08:55 AM
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RER. But I grew up in a city with a subway system. RER is a snap-especially if you arrive during the weekday AM rush hours.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 04:35 PM
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The RER the first and any other time. The first time I was pretty confident in using the RER because I'd studied my map thoroughly and we had only carry-on luggage. We always stay in the same area, so the other times we've used the RER on arrival have been a breeze because we are now familiar with the system.

BTW - I only speak enough French to "get by in travel," and still had no problems. I was also not familiar with any other subway systems in the world.

Take note that the RER is a different ticket than a regular metro ticket. We made that mistake upon returning to the airport. We figured the regular metro ticket would get us there, and it did, until we tried to go thru the turnstile at the airport. I thought my husband might get arrested for jumping the turnstile in order to purchase two RER tickets since I refused to be a rule breaker and follow him. I insisted he get two tickets so that we wouldn't be jilting the system.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 04:57 PM
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I'm relieving a nightmare. Flew to Orly back in 1974 with my former spouse. He had a very heavy suitcase and since he could not sleep on the flight from LAX he took two heavy duty sleeping pills. He had to be carried off the plane, down the stairs -- no jetway in those days. I had to carry my suitcase, his suitcase and drag him into a taxi. Since that time I travel light, a 20" rollaboard, thank you. RER suits me just fine.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 05:43 PM
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The first time I flew to CDG, I took a taxi. Didn't want to lug suitcases. Same way every time since. This has nothing to do with figuring out the system or using public transportation for me. Happy to do that when I'm not carrying baggage.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 05:49 PM
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The first time I arrived at Charles de Gaulle, I took a taxi (we arrived into Terminal 1 on BA and it's a hassle taking the RER especially with luggage). The first time I arrived in PARIS, not CDG, was by driving. I have taken the RER several times to and from the airport, and I found that it is sometimes faster to take the RER than taking a taxi (for Saint Germain des Prés area).
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Old May 14th, 2005, 07:02 PM
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Well said, BTilke.

Great story, ira. That's the longest post I've ever read by you and enjoyed it thoroughly! Best to you and LW!
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Old May 15th, 2005, 07:01 AM
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We arrived at CDG and claimed our luggage, and since we were cycling, assembled our bikes.

We then tried to find directions to the railroad station. My wife , who normally speaks French very well, was jet lagged and seemed to be unable to get her tongue in gear. We walked around and round the terminal, looking for the front. Of course since it is round, there doesn't seem to be a front!

Finally we found an English speaker at one of the booths. To get to the train station, you get on the bus outside. Of course, with bicycles, you don't just get on the bus!

More trying to figure things out. Of course, even the English speakers we finally found could not tell us how to get to the station - they knew how to drive there, but were unable to explain how! We finally found a map of the airport in English. We got outside and load our bikes, then it started raining.

Off we went. It was like riding on a freeway, but we survived and made it to the station. No problem getting our bikes on the train and going into Paris. We got off the train - by now it was about 5 hours later - and started to ride to the hotel. Of course, Friday rush hour had started. We rode about two blocks when my wife informed me that she wasn't going to ride in this traffic!

We dismounted and walked or bikes the 3 miles or so to the hotel.

All in all, I think it took us 8 hours from the time we landed to get to the hotel!
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Old May 15th, 2005, 09:27 AM
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Hi bigtyke,

Wow, what an adventure.

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Old May 15th, 2005, 09:29 AM
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The first time I arrived Paris, was by train and we took a taxi to our hotel in the Latin Quarter.

The first time I departed Paris, was to go to CDG and we went by taxi that the hotel front desk called for us.

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Old May 15th, 2005, 11:27 AM
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We have only been to Paris 2 x's but each time we used the train. The first time it was a little confusing. Maybe we missed the english signs but we just went where we thought it might be. We found the ticket counter downstairs and managed to figure out how to buy the tickets. We managed to get to the train platform but were confused again as the train was leaving, just then a nice French gentleman told us that another one would be there in about 15 minutes. The next time we were there it was much easier as we had already been through the process.
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