Sunday, October 7, 2012

Arriving in Paris...

I've been invited to attend a workshop in a suburb of Paris, at the Ecole Normale Supérieure - Cachan (pronounced like ). I'm very excited to be here, particularly with the line-up of speakers. I took a flight from San Diego to France (with a layover in Phily) overnight, and I have to admit I've got the worst jetlag I've ever had before. It might be because I was up late the night before I was leaving so in general I've had very limited sleep, but I got here and promptly fell asleep. I should have tried to wait, because now who knows if I will be able to sleep through the night. Arriving at the charles de gaulle airport () and terminal 1, I went through the passport control, and then out into the outer ring of information desks, rental car desks, a convenience store. I stopped at the tourist info desk, and was please to be helped for quite some time by the employee there. He described in detail how to get to where I needed to be, and also about the advantages of the different metro passes; this was very helpful particualrly after the overnight flight and onsetting fatigue.
I took the RoissyBus to close to the center of paris. This bus was very convenient (Signs pointing to BUS, but also labeled exit 32 in Terminal 1). I purchased a ParisVisite 5 day pass for all zones (since my hotel and the workshop are outside the first three zones, and this will allow me to use any transportation I want (metro lines; RER train lines (RATP and SNCF); Ile-de-France bus lines (RATP and OPTILE), including the RoissyBus).
When you get on the bus or in the metro, you have to validate the ticket.
After getting off the Roissy bus (there is only one stop), I walked around and went into the metro (that seemed to be below the Opera) and caught the 7 down to Villejuif. Paris some of the buildings in the morning were just amazing looking, like the "Academy National du Musique", which was on the same block as the Opera, and in front of where I ended up going down into the metro.
From there I took a bus (162) to the hotel. There were sufficient signs with "vous etes ici" (you are here) and "Prochains bus" (next bus), so that it helped me feel like I'd be fine. Day one CHECK!