a few questions about paris...

Old May 18th, 2002, 11:50 AM
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a few questions about paris...

First, I want to say that all of you are great for helping people like me out. Okay, so here are my questions. 1) developing camera (35mm) film in paris- where to do it and how much does it cost per roll of 24 exp.? 2)I arrive at CDG at about 11am on a Tuesday and i wanted to take a tour of the city to get an overview and not do anything too demanding. I've looked online and found a couple of places. However, i read all the time to wait until i arrive to get most things going. But, I am not aware of any places that i can go to (once in paris) and get a tour. there will be three of us and i know that i do not want to pay for a private tour. any suggestions would be great. 3)are there tours for the Louvre and for Pere LaChaise in English? does anyone know how much they are for 3 adults? Or better yet, does anyone have a list of the "must see" items for these two places? I've tried to look online, but have not been too sucessful. Thank you so much for your time and help. I greatly appreciate it!!!
Old May 18th, 2002, 12:43 PM
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I developed my film in Paris before returning home, as well. I can't remember exactly what the cost was, but it was quite a bit more expensive than in the US. However, for a trip of a lifetime, I preferred to pay it so I knew my film wouldn't be ruined by x-ray machines. There are all sorts of camera shops and film developing locations that will do it for you.

As far as your first day, I can't comment on tours since we didn't do one. We arrived in the city about 11 a.m. (after departing the previous day in the afternoon). We were so excited that we knew we couldn't just sit around. We just spent the time meandering around the city and getting our bearings, along with learning the metro (very easy to learn). We had an early dinner that night and turned in early knowing we'd be very tired the next day. It worked out well for us since we were rested up and things fell right in line from then on.

I can recommend Paris Vision for group tours. We only used them for a day trip to London, not in Paris, but we were very happy with them and their prices were reasonable. I'm sure they have a website if you wish to check them out. I found that you could prepay and book ahead with them...at least that's what we did. We just picked up our tickets once we arrived in Paris.

The Louvre is so big that it would take over a decade to spend 10 minutes in front of each piece of art. Therefore, we got a floor plan when we went and decided what we wanted to see the most. We spent about 3/4 of a day in the Louvre, but you can spend half your trip (or all of it for that matter) in there. I'd suggest searching for info on the web as to what the main attractions are (i.e. Mona Lisa, etc). Don't miss the French sculpture room, though. It is quite a sight.

Hope you enjoy your trip! Paris is a fabulous city.
Old May 18th, 2002, 12:54 PM
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1)FNAC has film developing. Have never had film developed in Paris, but these are stores sort of like BestBuy or Circuit City.
2)l'Open Tour are hop on/hop off buses with, I think, three different routes. http://www.gotoparis.net/gotoparis/opentour.html
Parivision and Cityrama have guided tours; a search on the web should find their sites easily.
3)The Louvre does have tours in English. www.louvre.fr
I don't think you really need a guide for Pere Lachaise. You can find a map at the main entrance, or at many of the cafes and newspaper stores in the area. A website that's really great for finding who's where www.findagrave.com There's also a book called "Permanent Parisians"; probably find it at your library, it's all about the cemeteries in Paris, with who's where, and *I think* maps (been a while since I've looked at the book). There's a site, but all in French - if you don't read French, you can still sort of figure out the hours and maps

If you go to the sites above about the Louvre and Pere Lachaise, you can take "tours" to get an idea what's where. Rick Steves' book, called something like "Mona Winks", is a quick overview of the Louvre. It's really hard to recommend "must-sees" - for example, Mona Lisa, Nike, Venus de Milo are the biggies in the Louvre... personally, I like the Egyptian stuff, but if that's ho-hum to you, then that's not a must-see - you might prefer Italian Renaissance painters. To me, the must-sees are what float YOUR boat, not anyone elses. Pere Lachaise can really be seen all in one trip - that doesn't mean a 1/2 day tour is all there is - I visit it quite often for the not-so-famous graves (the sculptures and stained glass in some of the mausoleums is astounding), but the famous gravesites can be toured very easily with a map.

Enjoy your trip; take time to wander down little streets; don't forget to look up; catch sneak peeks into courtyards through open doors; visit the not-so-touristy places like the St Lambert area of the 15eme or the villas around Parc Montsouris, and see Paris as she really is (500 tourists all snapping pictures of the Eiffel Tower isn't it).
Old May 18th, 2002, 01:14 PM
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It's great on arrival day to just walk around ,AND a fun thing to do to get oriented is to go to the top of Samarataine department store (about ll floors) and enjoy the gorgeous view of all of Paris. It's a complete open air circle and each view is marked as to what it is. Samarataine is on the right bank, next to the Seine, and down from the Louvre, Palais Royal etc.
I am pretty sure you'd be safe getting your film developed after arriving home....I don't understand people's "paranoia" about this....I've NEVER had any trouble, whether the film was in my purse, carryon , OR suitcase. Apparently it happens when the speed used is over 1000.....the average traveler usually uses not over 400 speed.
Some people take a bus tour for an overview on arrival day....and many fall asleep on it(if they have traveled all night on a plane). I imagine there are the tours that are in every city....like Cityrama??or whatever they are called.
The French Tourist Office can send you any info and brochures by calling them in New York....(IF you live in the States...it's hard to tell nowdays with e-mail addresses!!!) Have a great time.
Old May 18th, 2002, 05:43 PM
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There are a lot of tour groups in Paris, two big main ones are Cityrama www.cityrama.com and Parisvision www.parisvision.com There are some more expensive, specialized tours, also. The cemetery doesn't give tours that I know of at Pere Lachaise, although various private guides and groups do. If you get a guide who really knows history of the persons, it can be done very well and enhance the visit, but unfortunately I only know of some in French. Because you want to know about walking tours and main things to see, I might suggest you get a good guidebook, as think it will answer a lot of your questions and help you plan better, as well as enjoy your trip more. A basic Michelin Green guide to Paris will have walking tours, and detailed descriptions of the Louvre and Pere Lachaise, with comments on the highlights. There is a lot of good information online nowadays, but I don't think it substitutes for a guidebook for large cities with so much to see. I'm sure there are other guidebooks with that info, also, but that one is good if you don't need it for basics, hotels, etc.

As for the Louvre, though, you can get overview tours in English there by signing up at the welcome desk under the pyramid at Hall Napoleon. I don't recall the times, there are several every day, but those details were posted in another thread on the Louvre recently which you could probably find by searching on "louvre". They do get quite filled up, though. The cost is minimal, a few euro, as I recall.
Old May 18th, 2002, 07:01 PM
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On my first day in Paris I took a day tour with Paris Visions and was very happy. It gave me an overall view. My hotel was only 1/2 block from paris Visions on the Rue de Rivoli. First stop was a tour on the bateau mouche, then to the Eiffel Tower with lunch included at Altitude 95. From there we went to Notre Dame and ended the tour with The Louvre.

Of course along the way I was able to see quite a bit of Paris. I highly recommend it. From that point on I was on my own and had a wonderful time
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