Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Taxi Hunt in Paris-A Visit During Rush Hour

Not all vacation experiences are positive ones.

We’d spent the day on our feet walking, first at the wonderful Musee d’Orsay, then at Notre Dame and lastly, La Sainte-Chapelle. We were tired, thirsty and wanted to get back to the hotel to rest, re-group and decide if we had energy for one more tourist-y activity that day.

La Sainte-Chapelle sits on a quiet street and there were no taxis around when we exited. We decided to walk around a bit and try to find one. That was a poor plan. We saw one here and there, but it was evening rush hour, and none stopped for us. After a long while, we studied the map some more and decided to do our best to walk in the general direction of our hotel. If we never got a taxi to stop for us, it seemed hopeful that we could get to our hotel before dark if we just kept moving.

Traffic everywhere

Horns honking

More traffic, more horns

No taxi in sight

During our taxi hunt we found two taxi stand areas, but the drivers there indicated that they were unavailable. What disappointment. We weren’t sure if they were being rude, anti-American (I was wearing my white tennis shoes again) wanted a break or what was going on. Our concierge later told us they probably had been reserved. We found a metro station, debated trying it out, but I chickened out and opted to continue the search for a taxi. 

Next plan was to walk to the closest major attraction, since we’d always seen taxis at those places. Le Louvre was the closest, but it was Tuesday and it turns out the Louvre is closed on Tuesday. Oops. I knew this but I'd forgotten. We walked almost all the way around the humungous museum, found a mostly-deserted traffic circle, did some waiting, prayed some and along came a taxi to rescue us, over two hours after we'd started looking for one.
The Louvre was closed; the grounds almost empty of people because it was closed, so just imagine this photo, but with no humans in it.

By the time we got to our hotel we were worn out and a bit dejected, but we gathered strength for the 4-block walk to the little grocery I’ve mentioned earlier, lugged more water and snacks back, ordered a sandwich and a small pizza from room service and gladly spent the rest of the night in our room on the computer or using Skype. Hurray for Skype. Mark was in NYC on business but we were able to talk to him there.

The next day in Paris was a happier one...


The Prude said...

I love the photos of the traffic! And you trotting around in your little obviously-American tennis shoes.
Love how you turned a stressful situation into a fun post!

Die Cut Lady said...

Wow crazy day. I hope you are rested and ready to take on another adventure today! I am enjoying coming along for your adventure with Page. Have fun!

Robin J. Steinweg said...

Poor pooped para-Parisiennes!

Pauvre Lori. Pauvre Paige.

Hooray for prayer-won taxi!

Lori Lipsky said...

Prude--Did you notice the cars were pretty old in that first picture? It's the best I could find for free.

Donna--We are back in lovely Waunakee and had a great time. Thanks for reading!

Robin--I appreciate the belated sympathy! I wanted to hug that taxi driver so bad!! He got a good tip.