This video shows us descending into the Metro station at Place Monge on the No 7 Metro line in Paris. At the bottom of the escalator we would tap our Navigo Cards and open the barriers before going down another set of steps to the platform. The Metro station is less than 100 metres from our apartment block front door. Generally we’d only need to wait 2-3 minutes for a train. This video then shows us coming back up the escalator and the views of Place Monge which, on three days each week, is turned into an outdoor market selling everything from fish, meat and cheese to clothes and fruit etc.
We cross the road to catch the bus which takes us down Rue Monge to the left bank of the Seine where we get off the bus opposite the Notre Dame which is being rebuilt following the fire. We then walk over to the famous bookstore; Shakespeare and Company which has a queue of people waiting to get inside to tick it off on their list of things to see in Paris. Along the way is a glimpse of an archway entrance to the Arenas de Lutece which is a former amphitheatre from Roman times when Paris was known as Lutecia
The Metro is fast and efficient with a vast network enabling travel to most parts of the twenty arrondissements. Sometimes it means a bit of doubling back to seemingly non-intuitive directions to enable a connection to another line. All Metro lines have a number set inside a coloured circle. Each line can only go in one of two directions so it is important to know the line number, its colour and the direction it is travelling in; that is, its final destination.
For example, leaving Place Monge we would take the Number 7 line, pink, travelling toward Courneuve. This line crosses under the Seine, then runs along the right bank underground as far as Port Neuf before swinging to the North. It intersects with many other lines at stations along the way where lines run under and over each other. When changing lines it is then a matter of knowing the number, colour and direction/destination of the next line.
The buses have the advantage of providing a good view of what can be seen above ground and simply require travellers to tap on a single time. Like buses in other cities the buses run at different intervals and some of the routes can be a bit circuitous as they endeavour to provide as much coverage as possible.
The Navigo cards can be loaded with trip credits by holding them against a mobile phone and using the SNCF Connect app. In this way, single trips or a ‘carnet’ of ten trips can be added using your credit or debit card or Apple pay. It is a system that works well. In addition, cards can be ‘topped up’ with a phone or at a machine in the Metro station.
Enjoy the ride on the number 47 bus toward Chatelet!