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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Paris's Hop on Hop off bus tour

Paris has some of the best and easiest public transit that I have ever encountered. They have buses, trams, metro and train services that are punctual and easy to use. The Hop on and Hop off bus is a tourist oriented service allowing one to see the sites and plan ones days at the various points of interest in the city.

Part of the excitement of Paris is watching the death defying driving style of its residents. This spectacle is not limited to cars but scooters, motorcycles, bicycles and buses alike all participate in this daring dance. There is no set format it comes down to he or she who gains position first has the right of way. Motorcycles and scooters alike race between cars nearly scraping their knuckles. It takes nerves of steel and incredible vision and perception on the part of driver and rider ..... but it works for them.

Interestingly they walk the streets and subways in the same manner but, contrary to what you may have heard, they are NOT self centred as a people. Pat and I found them to be very helpful with information and prepared to take time to explain their city. On one occasion we witnessed a blind woman attempting to board a bus, the public transit vehicles have green buttons on the exterior and interior that open the doors and signal the driver not to move, she was unable to locate the button when a stranger appear, pressed the button and assisted her to board, then promptly went on their way.

While on yet another adventure we witnessed a young woman with a carriage and baby attempting to board a crowded bus when a gentleman assisted her to lift the carriage aboard. There wasn't room however crowd pressed further in to make room and they were on their way.

Then there was the disabled African gentleman, dressed in full regalia, who while shuffling to reach the bus fell off the curb at the rear wheels of the bus.... suddenly as if from nowhere came a woman and pressed the button, the doors opened, the bus halted and the man lifted himself from the ground and boarded the bus. The good Samaritan who helped him simply walked off as quickly as she appeared.

Between Pat and I we have taken close to 900 photos of bothe Paris and Sussex County in the southern part of England. Hopefully we won't bore you with the selected few that I will post over the next several days.

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