Montparnasse is not the land of free and easy parking, but I was feeling bold.
and not have to walk to the train, then transfer a couple of times to get there.
I had butterflies in my stomach starting out, and I found myself yelling at the GPS after exiting the tunnel of La Defense because the GPS was sending mixed messages. It was saying one thing and meaning another.
“What do you want me to do? Just say it!”
Because I clearly thought she wanted me to take the Boulevard Périphérique like I usually do to go in that direction.
But no. She wanted me to turn around in the Bois de Boulogne and then head towards the Arc de Triomphe roundabout.
Are you kidding me? Do you know what it’s like around the Arc de Triomphe? It’s a total madhouse!
I tried to take a picture at the stopped light but my Lumix copped out. It was overwhelmed by the thought of traveling around the Arc de Triomphe. Or it ran out of batteries – not sure which yet.
So I missed photographing the drive entering the roundabout (which was perhaps best) and I missed photographing the drive down the Champs Elysées, and then across the bridge towards Les Invalides with those huge gold statues mounted high up.
Then just before smoothly parallel parking on the streets of Paris as if I’d done it all my life, I remembered that I had a camera on my iphone!
and the broad lanes of the Invalides bridge
to take a lot of pictures.
The thing about the Arc de Triomphe roundabout is that it’s probably about 8-10 lanes wide but there are no lines drawn so you have to forge your way and stake your territory like a pioneer.
And those entering the roundabout have priority (so you have to be bold) while those already circulating have to give way (so you have to be patient – and be cognizant of the fact that there are actual rules that apply to this madhouse).
But as it turns out – during non-rush hour in the month of August – there really is nothing to it. Nevertheless, the fact remains that I conquered Paris by car and I’m proud.
I may be a stay-at-home mom, but I’m still an adventurer.