Apologies to serious historians, French and American for this blog title. I understand that nobody actually/literally ever said <<Lafayette, nous sommes ici>> (“Lafayette, we are here”). The Marquis de Lafayette (September 6, 1757 – May 20, 1834) was a military officer and statesman, highly esteemed during his lifetime by both the French and Americans.
Nowadays the name Lafayette brings to my mind Galeries Lafayette even though they have nothing to do with one another. Some of my blog followers say they *always* make time for a visit to Galeries Lafayette when visiting Paris. The Galeries Lafayette is a Parisian department store located in the 9th arrondissement on Boulevard Haussmann. The term “department store” doesn’t do justice to this establishment. Galeries Lafayette is more like a World Heritage site. The building both inside and outside is Belle Epoque which puts us in the previous-previous century.
Visitors can experience two centuries at the same time — shopping for 21st century things in a 19th century setting.
I ran an RATP query for my personal bus route to Galeries Lafayette (contact me if you’d like your own personal bus route). Initially I found that I had a delightful choice of either Bus line 21 or 81. Bus line 21 was recommended when I added “least amount of walking” to my query. RATP recommended bus line 81 when I switch my query to “the quickest” but it’s not that much quicker. For either bus line I’d start by walking to the Île de la Cité, crossing at the Rue de Petit Pont and turning left at Place Louis Lépine which is a pedestrian walkway. No cars, just me and my fellow pedestrians st/rolling on the Île de la Cité.
If for some reason the wait for line 21 seems too long, I can continue to walk for another 4 minutes to the Châtelet bus stop 81. I have previously warned everyone about the underground Châtelet metro station. But the above ground bus station at Châtelet is <<pas de problem>>.
A subsequent RATP query gave me an even better suggestion. I can catch bus line 27 from Saint Michel which is a very big transportation hub (Bus, RER, Metro can all be found there). This reminded me that RATP route suggestions are not always the best route choice for us tourists. I’ll be researching bus routes “from the trenches” – above ground, in Paris in July. Would you like to join me?