We took a local train to Paris. As we approached the interior, the architecture changed from stone buildings to fairytale-like structures. We went through long stretches of agriculture, mostly plowed fields. Around the small station of Mantes de Jolie, there was a mixture of old and new, and lots of graffito. The Paris St. Lazare station was similar, only with taller blocked-stone buildings contrasting with tall glass ones. In Paris, the sky was cloudy and the massive building hid what sunlight there was. Not very welcoming. Nor were the French officials.
Disembarking the train, I went to the information office to find out how to the to the Gare Est (the east station). It was as if I were asking the most stupid question—you could feel the disdain—but I walked away with a metro map. Getting around the metro was not easy…the map and the signage did not correspond. I went to a different info center. This time the attendant just pointed to a sign in French, not even bothering to reply to my question. I could not be sure what the sign said, so I asked which direction I should take the lines stated on the sign. Whichever I wanted was his reply. That was helpful.
In frustration, I asked a fellow passenger to help us. Though she was uncertain, she did take the time to try to help us out. Her attitude was much more accommodating than that of the paid officials whose job it was to inform and help. Luckily, Dennis is good at reading maps, and we found our way to Gare Est with time to spare.
They patrol the station with men carrying automatic weapons and other arms. You can see them behind me in the photo above. I was glad when our express train to Luxembourg left. Paris is not a welcoming town.
Luxembourg, on the other hand, was very friendly. People speak many languages and seem to pride themselves in greeting foreigners. After dinner, we walked over the Adolphe Bridge (left) which joins to hills; the valley is a park. Entering the old city we saw a church with three steeples.
The city is having a fund-raiser for the Asian Elephants and there are brightly painted fiberglass elephants for sale all over the city.