Paris Hobby Shops - Part 2

This year I was again fortunate to visit Paris, and visit some shops I had visited last year - and a new one!  I posted about my visits to some of these shops in a post I wrote last year, located here.

The Rue De Douai Shops
If your traveling to Paris and are looking to stop in at a few hobby shops, you can't find a better destination than the shops along the Rue de Douai. With 4 train - focused hobby shops right on the same street (Les Cheminots plus the 3 related stores of Transmondia, Trans-Europ, and Deco-train), a model car store (Asphalte)  and Au Pullman only a 5-10 minute walk away, its probably one of the best 'per capita' hobby shop visits you can make on your travels!  If your doing the tourist thing, hop off L Open Tour bus at the Moulin Rouge and walk down one block to this great little street!
This year I got to have a nice visit with Stephan at Les Cheminots.  Its really great to talk with about the hobby with the proprietors and fans in different countries!  We had a great chat, and I picked up some great items.
 He was also generous enough to let me take a few photos of just a bit of their N gauge stock!


Across town (but surprisingly fast if you use the Metro) is Opherline.  This shop may be across town, but its very easy to get to from the Metro (take Metro Line 6 to the Quai de le Gare stop) and the arrangement and selection is well worth the effort!  Unfortunately, I didn't take as many photos, so this one exterior shot will have to do.  They do have a lot of inventory all nicely displayed in large glass cases however!
Here's a shot of the Quai de le Gare station on the Metro line...an easy 5 mintue or less walk to the Opherline store.
If you have extra time to kill, the shop is right next to the entry tracks for Gare d'Austerlitz where you can watch as an always interesting line up of electrics move passenger trains in and out:
That was the hobby shop experience in Paris this year (for some other shops, again, check out this post from last year). 

It quite surprising in a way....Paris is really quite nicely endowed with several good shops! Compared to New York City or London, there's a lot to choose from!


Adding a few people, cars and other things

My relatives from Norway are in town, and my niece eagerly and happily took to the idea of adding all of my figures, animals and other details that have been sitting in boxes!
Since there is not much time to spend on the layout during Summer months for me this was a nice break to get out into the train room and see the joy that others can get from all this effort!
The truth is...she had much better ideas for what do with all my figures than I did!  This little scene-of which I had no idea what to do - was all her idea!  I think she did a fantastic job!


Travel Report

I'm back after a 10 day trip through Europe!  This was a real special trip as my son and I went to Paris to meet my parents there for a their first visit to Europe, and while there, we decided to make this a 'guy's trip' and try to do as many things we would never really have the chance to do if my whole family was with me (meaning train stuff that the girls might normally not tolerate too well!).

Here are a few photos of some of the things we saw on our trip....

Some of the best parts were the 'train-spotting' or 'rail-fanning' that we were able to enjoy together.  This was a real high point for both my son and myself as most of these trains we've only ever seen in photos or catalogs!
We shot photos of trains leaving from Gare Saint-Lazare for a while and then went over to Gare du Lyon and checked out all the TGV's....
The below TGV - IRIS 320 - is obviously special in some way....great looking colors!  I believe it is a test vehicle, perhaps one of my friends from France can clarify.
There's a smaller station just South of Gare de Lyon for the 'auto-trains', and there were several of these rather 'vintage-looking' electrics at Gare de Paris Bercy:
Several days later at Gare de L'Est, I was really excited to get a chance to see one of these beasts!  Given that the working years of these locomotives may be in short supply, I knew I may never get a chance to see one of these 'in action again'!
After Paris, we took the TGV to Cite du Train in Mulhouse for a visit at train museum there.  It was well worth the trip and the amazing amount of classic trains and the overall presentation was absolutely fantastic!

After Mulhouse, we took the train to Basel, where we were able to see more SBB FLIRTS than I had thought possilble, for our connection to Zurich

We only had a brief connection in Zurich before boarding the City NightLine train to Hamburg, where we arrived the following morning:
Hamburg was not only a destination for us to see the DB in action (my first visit to Germany), but it was also a chance to see Miniature Wonderland (sorry for the poor photo below, this is the best shot I have of the exterior!).

Of course, there are hundreds of more photos of all of these things, but I wanted to share a few of the highlights.  And yes, I of course did spend too much money on 'souvenirs' at the various train shops I visited while on my travels (more on that to come in later posts), below being the main acquisitions: