The most frustrating thing for a traveler in a new city is to be standing at the entrance of a subway station staring at the map written in 3 different languages, none of which you can read, while you try to discern where your hotel is and how many trains its going to take for you to get there. If that’s not enough, add the mad rush of Paris into the mix and you’re just about where i was. I can tell you, To paraphrase Illidan Stormrage, i was not prepared.
A lot of the time getting off of the train in the middle of a new city i seem to get a mild sensory overload. so much to take in, so being prepared on how to get around town before i get there is an absolute must.
On my last night out out in London this spring, i was on the tube heading back to my hotel. A man who spoke very little English stopped my wife and with desperation in his eyes he began asking for directions. She explained that he needed to switch lines at a particular station and then take a different train heading to an alternative destination and counted his stops for him making certain he understood where he needed to go. he thanked her and took off down the car. A little while later we saw him again, after he should have already been off the train asking another guy how to get to where he needed to be.
Aside from all the anxiety that guy was probably dealing with, what a waste of a night. Bouncing back and forth just trying to get to check into your hotel.
So when you’re heading into a new city, especially if there’s any sort of language barrier, have a look at a map. ( Ive provided some sample subway maps for you to look at ) There are tons of resources online for all major city transportation. Buses, trains, trams, bikes, boats, cabs do your homework and reward yourself with a smooth journey!
Paris Metro Map
Athens Metro Map
London Bus MapLondon Tube