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My trip to Paris, France (1987)

Map of FranceI was there in France by force not by choice. I was supposed to go to England but my passport did not arrive in time. I lost my airplane ticket. In the process I decided to go to work so I could buy myself another one. I bought it at a travel agency at the Citiere in La Prairie, Quebec.

I arrived at the airport of Orly but in my way way out at the end of my trip I had to take the plane at Charles de Gaule. I had not checked my ticket properly, I never thought it was possible to come and go using two airports. This was my first time facing such a situation. When, I realised this I was at the wrong airport. I took a cab and noticed that I almost no change left. I was ready to give my camera to the driver as an exchange for the fare. I looked further and I was able to scrap enough to pay him. Those were tense moments.

I had to travel in the metro. I thought it was a bit confusing with so many lines.Here is some facts about the metro "The Métro opened on 19 July 1900, its first line being from Porte de Vincennes to Porte Maillot (not surprising it is now the line number 1). Fulgence Bienvenüe was the engineer in charge of construction, the architect Hector Guimard being responsible for the Art Nouveau entrances (see image). The system has 199 km (124 miles) of track and 15 lines. There are 368 stations (not including RER stations), 87 of these being interchanges between lines. Every building is within 500 metres of a métro station. There are 3500 cars which transport roughly 6 million people per day. There are 15000 employees of the métro." One girl that I asked directions in the metro, I told her I was going to Portugal, she asked me if I could bring her with me. I am not sure if she was serious? Parisians loved my Quebecois

I saw the Eiffel tower from far away and the Arc of Triomphe. The latter, was being restored. I did not have a clue who had the right of way in the trafic circle. There was so many lines.

I then took the train to Portugal. We stoped at the border and the agents checked our passports. It was a fun experience to be able to walk around and buy things at the restaurant. There were people from all over the world. There was a couple , a guy from Portugal who was studying in Moscow and his girlfriend who was Colombian. I got me some money from the communist regime. The Colombian girl was often stopped at the border just because of her nationality. In fact she was the only girl searched according to her boyfriend.

After my stay in Portugal, I drove to Spain with two friends that I had met in Portugal- France and Joanne Tranquille.

From Madrid I flew to Yugoslavia (just stop-overs) then I went to Greece. Later on, I took the train to Turkey and I flew to London and I took the train to Paris.

This time I climbed the Eiffel Tower up to the middle section. It was free at the time but you had to pay to go higher. It was nice to see the city of lights. I walked around with an American friend that I had met.

Everything seemed expensive in Paris. The food was particulary expensive and the portions small. Tasty though.

To finish my stay in Europe I decided to end it with a beautiful boat trip. There was all sort of tours we could take. There was even dinner tours. We chose the one that went around l'Ile de Paris.It was a great way to put an end to this voyage. Next time I came through was in 1992.

1992 We took the train from Napoli to Geneva, Barcelona, Madrid and Coimbra (Portugal). Evidently we crossed parts of southern part of France but it was late at night so we did not see much. My wife still tells me she has not been in France. By Fernando Candido

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Myself in front of the Arc de Triomphe
The arc the Triomphe being renovated in 1987

 La Tour Eiffel
The spectacular Tour Eiffel illuminated at night

 The Tour Eiffel
The Tour Eiffel

 A portuguese and Colombian girl coming from Moscow
Students returning to Portugal

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 Girl in the train going to Portugal
Trains are a good place to make friends

 People entertain themselves anyway they can in the train
A guy playing accordeon on his way to Portugal

 Girl in the train looking out of the window
Girl looking at the view

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