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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Paris Subway Challenge by Adham Fisher

299 stations. 16 lines. 133 miles of track. And some "Je ne sais quoi". That is what was involved when
Tube Challenger, Adham Fisher, applied the challenges of travelling around each station in the fastest possible time on the London Underground, to the Paris Métro in mid August 2011.

Meeting guy from North Carolina on Métro

Adham tells his story:

"I had heard of a couple of other attempts at this (http://www.rioleo.org/guinness-world-record-subway.php and http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/3681672.print/). No participant was Parisian or even French. We are used to some Londoners knowing the Tube inside out, being enthusiastic about subterranean travel and therefore being the most likely to try and attain a record there, but if one suggested to the average Paris resident that she or he spend 15 hours on the Métro, one might be banished to the suburbs.

Métro T-shirt


"Le Blog en Commun first broke the news across the Channel and I went to all Métro stations in 13 hours, 37 minutes and 54 seconds.

"Highlights of the expedition were:

- The song, Métro, which we wrote for the occasion. Thanks to Annanem. "Baffling, pointless, therapeutic genius" say the Parisians.


- My companions. Very well done.
- My interview on French radio.


- Meeting the Metro map master himself, Mark Ovenden, whose book, Paris Metro Style In Map And Station Design I had read in preparation. I had an orange juice with him the day before and he offered great words of encouragement and a little metro quiz. His new book, Great Railway Maps Of The World, is out now.

- The family who gave me a pencil after I had lost two pens in as many minutes so I could continue writing. I offered them two euros for it but they said "It's for you."

Being lent a Pencil on Métro

- I was on a train with an American chap and asked if he knew about the New York Subway record. He replied that he was from North Carolina, and apparently there are no subways there. Nevertheless, he was so intrigued by what I was doing that he insisted on having his picture taken with me.

- The  Métro driver who, after hearing what I had done the next day, let me ride in the cab for a few stops. That makes two cities where I have had a driver's eye view.

Driver's eye view Métro

Métro panel

- The people sleeping on station platforms. I hope they were not disturbed.

Homeless  guy sleeping on Métro

- There were many bad points, but none compare to the creperie in the Chatelet area where I bought the team a celebratory round of drinks afterwards. Ten euros for a small vase of cider. That's £9.99!"

Thanks Adham for that great story and you can read more about Adham's Subway Challenges including his Chicago Subway Challenge here.


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