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Big Sur - Hiking Andrew Molera State Park

One of the great delights of living in the Bay Area is the proximity to the natural beauty of California and it's hard to beat the stunning drive down Highway One to Big Sur. This is certainly one of the iconic American road trips, but for me the joy of being in the area is getting out of your car and hitting a trail, so you can be "in" the landscape rather than just looking at it from the asphalt. 

Taking the Train into Paris from Charles de Gaulle - a Short Tutorial!

I went out to Charles de Gaulle to meet my mother and aunts last month and as I won't be heading out to pick up anyone else I though I'd use the trip to give you a tutorial on how to get in from the airport. Some of you may be groaning "it's obvious" but just to alleviate any anxiety here goes....

So, here's how to get in from Terminal Two. As you can see the signs are clear and you want to look for the direction marked RER "Paris by train".
 It's often a long way from the gate to the station so you can expect to see a lot more of this!
 The station is on a lower level so you'll be going down to buy your ticket and to take the train. You can see the escalator below, again marked RER "Paris by train". This is the same place you go to take the TGV, see the sign below for Gare SNCF.

Looking down from the top of the escalator. The board shows arriving and departing flights. 
When you get downstairs you'll need to buy a ticket for the trip into Paris. You have two options; the green self service ticket machines (excuse the blurry picture below) or the ticket office, use this if you don't have change or don't want to use your credit card. Note that the different stations are color coded. The RER is in green (this is what you'll want for Paris) and the SNCF offices/platforms are in red -this is what you'll want if you're taking an inter city train or the TGV direct from Charles de Gaulle.
The ticket machine is very simple and you can touch the Union Jack for English -sorry no Stars and Stripes this is the EU!

You don't have a rechargeable pass so hit the righthand panel to buy a ticket.

Presumably you want to buy a ticket to Paris so hit the top lefthand option, as you can see this is VERY easy!
 Select the number of tickets you require.
At this point it may get trickier, you'll need to use you card or cash.
I was able to use one card but not another, put it in this way around.
The difficulty is that the machines I could see only accepted coins - in the metro you can find ones that accept notes but you have to look for them, you'll know it when you see it as they have a  place to accept notes on the bottom right. This means you may need nine euro in coins per person and of course on the day I was there the change machine was broken! So, either you use a card or you go to the ticket office. For the ticket office follow the large green signs, you can't miss them as long as you look up.
 Remember ignore the red signs unless you are going elsewhere on the train system or taking the TGV.
When you have your tickets in hand you are going to follow the green signs down to the platform, yes it's another escalator down... 
 On the platform you'll see screens listing the times and platforms of the next train, it's easy to follow. I can almost guarantee there'll be a singer, accordionist or other entertainer on your train, I hope they're good and welcome to Paris!

 I hope this is useful because I looked very odd taking the photos of the ticket machine and platform by myself!


Anonymous said…
This was extremely helpful :)
Thanks so much for your encouraging note and glad you found the post useful!