You know one thing I love about Paris? The metro stop names.
Not the metro itself, necessarily, which can be a little grimy in some places, but how they actually name their stops, and most especially, the double-barrelled names.
After I arrived on the Eurostar last night (and whoever said the flooding was over was wrong...we arrived nearly two hours late due to inclement weather), I caught the #4 line from Gare du Nord to Vavin.
So far, so good.
But just a sampling of the names on that same line: Barbès-Rochechouart. Marcadet-Poissonniers. Réaumur-Sébastopol. Montparnasse-Bienvenüe. And my personal favorite: Mouton-Duvernet (which phonetically translates to something like, "sheep of the green nose.")
And that's just on one of their 16 metro lines! Consider:
- Asnières-Gennevilliers-Les Courtilles (just try to say that one three times fast)
- Bobigny-Pablo Picasso (ok, that's hilarious)
- Javel-André Citroën
- Le Kremlin-Bicêtre
- Trinité-d'Estiennes d'Orves
- Villejuif-Paul Vaillant-Couturier (= "Jewish town Paul Brave Seamstress")
I think the reason I love these names so much is because it just seems so quintessentially French to just straight up thumb your nose at naming conventions. "Oh, you only have first and middle names? Isn't that très chou?" This, after all, is a country that once had a president named Valéry Marie René Georges Giscard d'Estaing. I love the French.
And their métro stops.
Paris manages the impossible: making commuting fun.