My time in Paris was fast coming to an end and with one of France’s notorious worker strikes scheduled for my last full day in Paris, my only option to visit Chateau de Versailles and Monet`s Giverny was to take a tourist excursion.
The departure time was 08:00 am from the Musée du Louvre. I had walked that distance several times already and figured I could do a nice morning walk up to the departure point for the excursion.
So I set off on my brisk walk up to the Louvre. Well as I anxiously looked at the clock I realized it wasn`t brisk enough and that I was not going to make it in time! I tried to flag a taxi but all of the taxis in the busy morning traffic were already taken.
What was I to do?! I only had 8 minutes to get there! My only option at this point was to….RUN!!! Managing to make it to the entrance of the Jardin des Tuileries by 07:58 am and seeing a taxi, I flung open the door, jumped in and shouted, “Louvre museum in 2 minutes!”
Well of course nothing is as simple as that! Having only walked and taken the metro in Paris, I did not realize that it was not a matter of simply going up the street. The taxi did two complete circles in and out of tunnels before we finally reached Rizzoli Boulevard and the Tourisme de France office.
By this time it was 08:02 am. I threw the driver the money, jumped out, ran up to the bus that was just leaving and banged on the door. The driver opened the door and tells me it is the bus beside him that hadn’t left yet. I felt so relieved! I had made it in time! I went into the office to do the check-in and…..it was the wrong Tourisme de France office!
The woman called the correct office for me and then tells me, “You have to run, they are leaving in five minutes!” I don’t know how I did it; but as I climbed onto that bus in a sweaty mess and gasping for breath, all I could hope was that it was going to be worth it…..It was!