In North America, going into the subway is a pretty ho-hum affair. But in Europe, it can be an adventure. In places like Prague, St. Petersburg, and Paris, where this shot was taken, going into the subway means a long, long trip down. Sometimes it feels like you’re going to the centre of the earth.
Why are European subways so deep underground? It could be because they travel under a river that runs through town. It could be that the metro engineers didn’t want to disturb the ancient houses on the streets above. Or maybe they were concerned about running into forgotten cemeteries, or even Roman ruins.
In any case, a trip through the subway system of a big European city, like the Paris Metro, can be an almost surreal experience. I took this shot somewhere in the course of a long journey through the bowels of two Metro stops, beginning in the Marais and ending in the Gare Montparnasse, where I spent 20 crazy minutes searching for a way out. After several wrong turns and a comedy of errors with the train station turnstiles, I finally found my way back onto the street. From then on, I walked to the next station.