Buddy issued me a challenge yesterday to find a picture of an art nouveau Metro station in Paris similar to one he had taken this spring. This photo search spurred me to complete a series of images that I've been working on that represent the urban modes of transportation that we used in and in-between London, Paris, and Venice.
We begin in London with the Underground and its ubiquitous logo. The Underground fascinates me. It began operations in 1863 and is the "oldest underground system." We used the Underground quite a bit, particularly to get to and from train stations for our trips to Windsor and then to Paris.
Our 40-minute trip to Windsor was on the traditional national rail system. We left from the Waterloo train station (shown below).
The train to Paris, on the other hand, was on a Eurostar train through the Channel Tunnel. Unfortunately, the excitement of the uniqueness of the route was vastly overshadowed by annoyances: excessively long lines, a narrow crowded terminal, confusing boarding procedures, and lack of luggage space. The trip from London (Waterloo) to Paris (Gare du Nord) took about 2.5 hours. We watched the British countryside, ate lunch in the Chunnel, and then relaxed as we watched France fly by.
The Parisian Metropolitain ("Metro") is a behemoth of a subway system that dates back to 1900. Our hotel was well-situated at the Charles de Gaulle Etoile station (Arc du Triomphe), where two major lines cross (the #1 and #6 lines). The #1 line was soon our best friend since it connected us directly to the Louvre, the Marais, and other fun locations.
Hands down, our best inter-city travel was between Paris and Tours on the high-speed TGV. We also took an overnight train from Paris to Venice on the Artesia service operated by Trenitalia. Finally, from Venice to Milan, we hopped a very nice Eurostar Italia train.
But our public transit experience wasn't restricted to trains. No trip is complete without squeezing onto a crowded vaporetto in Venice. I think vaporetto may translate as "cattle car," but I can't confirm that. Here is one vaporetto stop near our hotel.