Europe trip: Day 9 (Paris Day 8)

Places visited:
Musée d'Orsay (RER C, line 14)

(Note: this was written on day 16, 17, and 19, so some details might have been forgotten until I get to download pictures I had taken that day. Images and additional text added on 21 July)

So finally somewhere new: Musée d'Orsay. I knew where it's location was because I did walk along there in the middle of the night some nights earlier, which was this massive building that, up until around the 1980s, was a train station. Because of how late I went out, I went around to find a place to eat beforehand. It was this fast food place called Quick near the Pompidou place I went to days earlier. Where to next? It was either the Musée d'Orsay or visiting the Lourve again. I did not explore everything on the last time I was there. Where we went affects the route to take.

Out of random, it was the first choice. Because I did saw an RER station right outside the station, and the station near where we were having both the metro and RER lines. A look on the map shows that it was actually shorter and quicker to take the RER. RER is the commute train within Ile-de-France and acts like a subway inside zone 1 (Paris) and there are no additional fees or tickets needed if your journey begins and ends with the subway (any zone) or RER (zone 1).

What I did not expect was that, immediately after passing through a ticket barrier, I have to enter through another barrier. I guess this tells the system that I had left the subway system and entered the commute train system, and not getting a free ride to outside zone 1.

The RER station platform seemed quite big, partly because larger trains are used, and the train length is longer. The trains carriages are either single deck or double. The carriage that stopped at where I was waiting has double carriages, which appears to be what most carriages are of. I never took a double decked train carriage before. (JR trains has it too, but they are classified as "green" carriages, and therefore pay more to get in.) 

The train seemed to also made up of several train sets linked together and, like the older subway trains, you had to push a button to open the doors. The carriage I took appear to be older than the other carriages of the same train: interior is full of brown, while the newer ones are colourful with a grey frame. What is the interior like? There are plenty of empty seats, but some seats seemed missing or worn out. There's litter on the floor, and noticeable vandalism on the walls, doors, windows (with paint or, for the others, with something sharp), and even in the tunnels themselves. There's also dried spit (those black round things on the floor) too. Not that much different from the subway in terms of cleanliness (or the lack of it). I'm surprised that there isn't any disease outbreak. Really...? Who would have thought that Paris is this dirty?

In any case, the distance between each station is quite some distance, so it means that it didn't take long to reach what would have otherwise meant passing through many subway stations. On stepping out on the exit pointing to the museum, I was pleasantly surprised that it was right at the doorstep of Orsay Museum. (The the station itself has very few passengers in case you were wondering.)

Like the other museums I went in Paris, there is a discount for my age from the full price. Even more so, it wasn't until I looked at my (already purchased) ticket that the museum opens up until 9:30pm on Thursdays instead of 5:30pm for other days (closed for Mondays), which I certainly did not plan on, but good for me as I entered in the afternoon. There were more interesting exhibits at Orsay than the Lourve as there are more interesting and famous works there. It is a shame that photography was not allowed, or I would have shown you what interesting things I saw (even though, at time of writing, there aren't any in this post at all).

I managed to secretly take this photo

We left the exhibition when it was closing at 9pm, though it was quite a rush during the last hour. Funny how bright the sunlight was.

On the way back to the hotel, I used Line 14, the newest line on the network. At one of the stations that lets me transfer to Line 1, I saw plants being grown with lights as bright as the sun even though I am some meters below ground level.

Am I seeing things?


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