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Trip Report Paris II: useful information on arriving and getting settled in Paris

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We arrived Thursday morning at 8 AM from Boston on Delta 243, a 767-300ER, a semi-antique that we hope flies forever since it is 2-3-2 seating. Great crew, reasonable food, miserable seats in the back.

BORDER CONTROL AND CUSTOMS
We have never come to Paris in the summer, so I was naively surprised that so many others had also chosen to do so :-). It was a long walk from the plane to Border Control but not proportionately longer than the lines going through border control. Allow 15 minutes from the plane, then an hour in line to get your passport stamped. The good news is that by the time you are through, your luggage will have arrived. There is only one way out of the baggage hall, to your left as you face the carousels. This is by no means obvious. Once through the Douane, you are free to proceed.

RER/SNCF
We were in no hurry because we couldn't even leave our luggage at the apartment until 11, so we walked to the station. You can take a cart the whole way only by using elevators at a couple of points. They won't fit on the escalators.

The ticket area was absolutely packed; both machines and the ticket windows had long lines. The machines were clearly marked in three languages that they only accepted cards with Puces -- chip and pin -- but even those with the right card seemed to be taking forever. The young woman at the ticket window happily sold me RER tickets and a couple of carnets using my signature card. LEARNING POINT: my signature card has been accepted everywhere I have used it -- Franprix, restaurants large and small, takeout food.

I am happy that I bought the carnet because LEARNING POINT: our carefully-saved old Metro tickets no longer work, though we have saved and used tickets from trip to trip for years. The new ones have a price at the bottom.

Anyway, a smooth trip to Gare du Nord where we easily got a taxi. We have only ever tried it fro Eurostar before and encountered long lines. Between Eurostar arrivals it was simple: many taxis, few passengers. Anyway, we were able to drop the luggage. After a nice lunch and a walk, we hit our beds for a long afternoon nap.

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