Catching The Paris Metro

Day 21 - Paris Metro Train Watercolor - Doodlewash

Though Philippe and I have spent the majority of time walking while here in Paris, on a few days, we’ve had to catch the Metro to get to our destination. So, I figured that was a good choice for our prompt of train today. Each trip starts with rushing underground to catch our starting train which is on Line 12. Even though this line took us directly to our museum visit, and also goes directly to Montmartre, most of the time, we have to hop off after a few stops and catch another train to get where we’re going. As we’re winding around underground like a hamster in a tube, we can often hear the approaching train just as we’re about to head down the stairs. Everyone around us starts to take the stairs at a run, and I did the same out of habit, but looked back and realized Philippe was still a ways behind me. He said, “Ugh! I’m getting too old for this,” to which I had to giggle since we’d just been passed by a rather spry 80 year old man in the rush. While it’s certainly a convenient way to travel about the city, there are times when the Metro can be an exhausting experience. And I far prefer actual trains where I get to sit and look out onto a view instead of the dark walls of a cave.

We’re both feeling much better today after battling colds, but still a bit tired. Though we did brave the metro once again to pick up a gift for Philippe’s mother to take to her this evening. We decided to skip a dinner out at a restaurant and just pick up some snacks to enjoy at her home. It’s amazing how excited I get about all of the food in the first week and how much I crave a simple evening with simple food at home by the second week. Well, our home away from home such as it is. Tomorrow, we’re having lunch with my sister-in-law, but after looking at the time it would take to reach her on public transportation, we’ve decided to Uber instead so we can sleep in a bit more. This is the wonderful perk of still actually being visitors on vacation. You can splurge a bit every so often to get where you’d like to go faster. Also, it’s not uncommon for various subway lines to stop running at various points. They’ll eventually resume, of course, but often not quickly enough to get you where you’re going on time. So, it’s sometimes much more relaxing to just skip the underground experience entirely.

It’s been unusually cold in Paris at -2C (28F), and there’s snow in the forecast for tomorrow morning here. Philippe was disappointed that we missed the first real snow of the season that happened back home while we were here. So, I blame him for tomorrow’s “miracle” as his wishing seems to have actually brought the snow right to us. But, I’m secretly delighted of course! And now we’re back in our apartment and about to head to sleep once more. We’ve only four full days left here and already it seems like time is slipping away from us. Each time we say goodbye to a friend or a family member from this point forward, it might well be the last time on this trip. There’s a beautiful comfort in knowing you’ll see someone you love again very soon. And an indescribable sense of loss when you know it will be a year or more before you’ll see them again. So, I’m cherishing each little moment as it happens and enjoying it as though it might just last forever. Committing each little thing that occurs to memory and holding it close to my heart so these extraordinary moments can keep my heart warm for another year. Memorizing every face until that last “au revoir!” when we find ourselves once again, turning away from the people we hold dear, and catching the Paris Metro.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Turquoise, Vermillion, Aureolin, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Day 21 - Paris Metro Train Watercolor - Sketchbook Detail - Doodlewash
Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
26 Comments
  1. Jodi 3 months ago

    keep cherishing those moments!! <3

  2. Lisa 3 months ago

    I had been on trains, planes, and automobiles in many European cities, but the first time I flew alone across the U.S. to Seattle and upon disembarking followed the crowd onto an underground train terrified me. I had no idea where that train was taking me!! Turns out it was to the main terminal, but I didn’t know that. I’m a bit of a lemming that way! 😂 Then I rented a car for the first time in my life and drove out into a giant city for the first time in my life! I drove across the entire state and interviewed for a job. Unfortunately I didn’t get the job, but my motto became, feel the fear and do it anyway, and that has served me well!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Love that story, Lisa! 😃💕What an adventure!! Scary and fun all at the same time. The best! And I love that motto… I live the same way.

  3. Sandra Strait 3 months ago

    Ah, I remember my only ride on the Paris metro. I was among the last on and bit slow and there was NO waiting for laggards! I barely made it through the door. I could have died! Chopped right in half by the metro doors. Never again! Come to think of it, I was almost run over while there because I was still two steps from the curb when the light changed. Is Paris still so dangerous? Lol!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Oh my goodness! Lol 😳 Yeah, though, Paris is still dangerous in those ways! Hehe… now you have dodge those rented scooters are well. People on them don’t think the street lights apply to them.

  4. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 months ago

    Visiting family is loaded with wistful moments and delightful memories. The underground metro – not sure I’d like it but if it gets you where you want to go, then…
    Have a great rest of vacation in Paris.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕It’s been a lovely trip. And yeah, the Metro isn’t fun, but it’s fun to pop up from underground and see an entirely new neighborhood at least!

  5. bingingonabudget 3 months ago

    Beautiful artwork as always, thanks for sharing.

  6. Sharon Nolfi 3 months ago

    I remember the riding the Paris Metro a lot during a week I spent in Paris in 1972! It was cheap, and I was a poor student traveling through Europe with my then-boyfriend during summer break from college. Hug your loved ones extra tight! “Au revoir” is a much more hopeful and lovely farewell than “goodbye.”

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      That sounds like a wonderful memory, Sharon! 😃💕 And yes, I totally agree… “goodbye” seems way too final and uncertain.

  7. Snehlata Maheshwari. 3 months ago

    I reminding my treap of Pairs . There one thing disturb me the timing of sun set n sun rises . First time i saw night when went to Afil Tawaer.
    Nice train . Enjoy ur holidays.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Snehlata! 😃💕 Yeah, I agree… the light doesn’t come very early in the morning here. It was dark when we arrived and hard to recalibrate… it still felt like the middle of the night! hehe

  8. LoriCtoo 3 months ago

    I like this sketch. There is a lot there, but not. Just enough detail to represent details. Love it and your description of your train ride!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this. Trying to practice a bit of a less is more approach with my sketches to see what happens. 😉

  9. smzang 3 months ago

    I get so caught up in your writing. You have a natural talent. I giggled at the thought of that ‘spry 80 year old’ racing past. I felt the heart tug of thinking of the twinge of sadness
    that the visit is drawing nearer to its end. (Some people cry at weddings, I cry when watching a jet plane take off…such a feeling of loss.) the good news is, a year passes quickly. See. I told you I get wrapped up in your writing!

    Looking at your painting I have a sense of motion, of the speed of the train, and of the speed of time passing by. Much enjoyed.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      You’re so sweet! 😃💕You always make me feel SO good with your comments! Sending you a huge hug!! (they don’t hug like that in Paris, but I do it anyway with my family and announce it with “American hug!” hehe… I have to insist… hugs are awesome!). Thrilled you enjoyed this one!

  10. Jacob 3 months ago

    Mind the gap! I haven’t done the Metro (nor Paris for that matter!) but do enjoy the London Underground – it’s something of a novelty, and in my experience hasn’t been so nightmarishly busy as I imagined. The first time was memorable, as my friend almost got us on a train going to completely the wrong place – thankfully, a friendly American commuter was there to clarify and save us ending up in Wimbledon (it was October, so a bit late/early for tennis!)

    It’s been down to -4 here over the past couple of days and I’m waiting for some snow. Hopefully you get some but not enough to scupper your plans!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      hehe! On the tourist line here they’ll switch to English for the announcement (we were only on it once) and I heard “Mind the Gap!”… took me back to my time on the London Underground. Glad you got going in the right direction… hehe… that’s always a fear of mine! And we did get snow! lol (the very post after this one) It was lovely and not enough to spoil anything, so perfect! 😃💕

      • Jacob 3 months ago

        “Mind the Gap” was so loud when we went that it almost made us jump into the gap! I think that’s the evil plan!

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

          haha! I agree! It’s SO loud isn’t it? They mean business for sure! lol

  11. June Hadaway 3 months ago

    Wow, great painting. Looks like a fun ride. My husband and I went to Tironto on a train once. It was an exciting trip indeed. We spent the weekend in Toronto and went to the theatre to see The Lion King. Fantastic!!!

    • June Hadaway 3 months ago

      Hope you, both, are feeling better.

      • Author
        Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

        We are indeed! Still not 100% but feel great by comparison so we barely notice! hehe 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, June! 😃💕Aww that sounds like a fabulous trip you had in Toronto! I’ve been there a couple of times and loved it! Never saw The Lion King though… hehe… that sounds like lots of fun!

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