Riding the Paris Metro was quite the learning experience. Understanding the map, where you are, where you want to go, and how many subway line changes you will have to make to get there. The Paris Metro is very clean, fast, and while I was there, reliable. I never waited more then 4 minutes for a train to arrive. You never know when they will go on strike – but that’s another story.
Music in the Metro is one of it’s unique features. At many stops along the way, musicians will set up shop in a particularly wonderful acoustic locations and serenade the riders. On any day you can find classical guitarists playing literature from Spain and South America, violinists playing Bach and Beethoven, French folk singers doing their thing, french horn players, piano players, all with portable gear playing along with prerecorded tracks. All of these musicians were superior and many had CDs to sell.
The Châtelet Metro station is the central hub for many of the subway lines and is always the featured musical act. There is a central location in the station where many passenger tunnels intersect. It is at the location (which is acoustically amazing) that larger groups will set up and perform. Someone must be booking this place because on one day I was through this spot several times. On each occasion a different ensemble was performing. I always stopped and gave them money. One of these days I will purchase a CD.