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Help! The Only Person Not Waiting for “Les Bleus” on the Champs-Élysées

🇫🇷Am I the Only Person Not Waiting for the 2018 World Cup Champions “Les Bleus” to Return to Paris?🇫🇷

The story of a horrible commute!

Now don’t get me wrong, we cheered for France (our adopted home) for every game during the World Cup. We were thrilled to see them win on Sunday (July 15) and I was mighty tired on Monday morning when my first English class began at 8:00 am. Little did I know what my day would entail.

My 1st indication that the day bring nothing but travel trouble. The train I usually take is under construction so off I went to my back up route. My first train was cancelled. The next seem to be on it’s way…but then apparently got lost along the way. 3 minutes came and went as more and more people crowded onto the platform. after 20 minutes we all squished on and I knew I’d be late and contacted my student. Luckily, she is very kind and understood. Parisians tend to be forgiving about the train schedules.

My 2nd clue should have been the ongoing clean up from the all night party after the world cup victory. My student is 5 minutes from the Arc de Triomf and boy was it a mess! The sanitation workers were diligently doing their duty after a night of celebration!

World Cup Paris All Night Party Garbage

After my day was done, I happily went to my usual metro station. Unfortunately, I work by the Champs-Élysées, which unbeknownst to me, was teeming with people. I didn’t realize France’s new heroes would be doing their victory lap and waving at their joyous and appreciative fans along the famous avenue.

France 2018 World Cup Champions Victory Tour on the Champs-Élysées

Watch a quick video showing the crowds waiting for “Les Bleus” to arrive in Paris…as I was trying to leave.

The 3rd bit of evidence which should have tipped me off was the crowds of people piling up and casually sitting at the metro stations. This is Franklin Roosevelt station and as you can see, there’s no indication that it’s closed. Only after you walk down and ask does someone say that all of the stations along the Champs-Élysées are closed. I asked which metro station nearby was still open and I hit the road.

France 2018 World Cup Champions Victory Tour on the Champs-Élysées

France 2018 World Cup Champions Victory Tour on the Champs-Élysées

Another station closed…

France 2018 World Cup Champions Victory Tour on the Champs-Élysées

4th Proof that commuting was a bad idea…but I was still overly optimistic (oh, silly me!)

Luckily, it’s a close walk from Franklin Roosevelt to Saint-Philippe-du-Roule. (Why so many hyphens in Saint-Philippe-du-Roule? Who knows.) Once I arrived at the station it was absolute chaos! People were packed in like sardines. They were only letting a few people through the turnstiles a time because the platform was so full. It was crazy! I squeezed my way out and thought I’d walk to the next station (away from the Champs-Élysées). Fresh air was better than crowds.

My 5th inkling that my unpleasant commuting story was not over yet was at the next station. I thought I was clever indeed and walked over to the next closest station, Miromesnil. Even though they were further from the Champs-Élysées, it was completely closed. While thousands of people were going to the Champs-Élysées,

The 6th indication that this day would suck was realizing I had to keep going north and away from the Champs-Élysées. At this point, I just wanted to get the hell out of Paris. At least once I got to Parc Monceau, there were trees and shade! It was so hot by this point, I needed to cool off.

A couple of pics of Parc Monceau…

Parc Monceau, Paris

Parc Monceau, Paris

I finally made it through the beautiful park and to Monceau station. I thought I could take the metro to my train and finally be on my way south. I was very much mistaken!

7th telltale sign that I am hopelessly naive. I knew the station was not allowing people to enter, but I thought that if you’re already on the metro, you could transfer at Charles de Gaulle–Étoile (Arc de Triomf). I am seriously, senselessly thick in the head! The metro skipped over Charles de Gaulle–Étoile station. I just shook my head. I got off at Victor Hugo and went the other way, passed Monceau and to Place de Clichy so I could finally take a train going south. What a day!!

A commute from hell!

What normally takes about 45 minutes took 2 hours! Not the kind of story you think about when talking about the thousands of people in Paris welcoming the victorious team home with their World Cup. A little foresight next time will help me avoid this situation again.