Buying a transportation pass for a week or a month is of course more convenient than trying to figure out the different kinds of transport, fares and rules. Our March pass expired by April 1. We calculated the amount of trips and decided to get a weekly pass each: a monthly pass costs €70; a weekly one is €21.25. And we are not going to spend the whole month here. I studied all the information, took the required amount of money for two passes, and walked to Luxembourg metro station. Once inside I saw a booth with two counters and Information written over them. I came to the window and inquired if I could have my passes renewed here. Sure. Cash or credit card? Cash. No cash here! And she turned her back on me. The other clerk advised me to use the machine, it’s simple. I went to the machine, to be informed that they do not accept notes larger than €20 – and I only had €50. I guess I could venture forth, into the long tunnel, to search for a real caisse, cashier’s where presumably they accepted cash. But what if they did not accept large notes? My courage deserted me, I rushed outside and gulped lungfuls of fresh air. Then I walked across the street to a shop called 8 – Huit, bought some yogurt, gave the clerk my €50 note fully expecting him not to accept it either… Et voila! I got my two €20 notes in return! So I went back downstairs, renewed my passes. One has to place the pass chip down on the machine and leave it there during the whole process. Then follow the instructions in English. Yes, I got my new passes and even bought ten single tickets in case we wanted to go anywhere during the weekend. They don’t come out in a booklet but drop down as single tickets, so be sure to count them carefully and pick up your change before you leave.
To settle down my nerves, I walked across the street to the magnificent Pantheon building, past it to St. Genevieve Church. I thought that as she is the patron saint of Paris she would probably spare a kind thought for a confused traveler. Indeed, once I went inside I again felt that amazing uplifting of spirits, that sunny mood descend on me. Some of the stairs look like intricate white lace, the stained glass is bright and the organ is very impressive. One can understand why King Clovis wanted to have a church built here back in the sixth century, and why he wanted to find eternal rest here with his wife Clothilde when their time on this planet ran out. The two little streets on the sides of the church, called respectively Rue Clovis and Rue Clothilde, remind us of them. Yes, one feel History herself breathing quietly and calmly all around this place.
From there, it is a nice short walk to Rue Mouffetard and its amazing market which is a feast for the eye in itself.
When embarking on an adventure, always observe the following simple rules. One, visit e bathroom before you leave the house or hotel. Two, do not forget your water bottle. The rain is gone, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, what else is there to wish for!