A stellar month in southeastern France

Aug 17th, 2019, 09:27 AM
  #241  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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karenwoo, if you ever need to visit a foreign ER, I hope you meet the kind doctors and nurses like those who have taken care of us. It gives you another window into their cultures too though not one we expected to see.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Aug 18th, 2019, 08:27 PM
  #242  
kja
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@ HappyTrvlr: I'm glad you had good experiences with the doctors and nurses you have encountered while traveling, and I love your attitude: another window, indeed!
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Aug 19th, 2019, 03:07 AM
  #243  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We've had several unexpected encounters with ERs in the EU, all of them stellar.

I was going to add my thoughts on organizing/planning trips to this thread, but realized the way I plan a trip is obviously going to be vastly different from the way someone coming from North America for a vacation is going to approach it, so no....

I will say, though, that every trip begins with maps - paper maps, strewn out over the kitchen table - it's a ritual I cannot abandon. Then comes the research into exactly how to get from A to B, on which days at which times. I already know WHY I'm going where we're going and what we want to see, so it's just a matter of massaging the details and fitting them into my timeframe.

I actually write out, longhand, every move we make that involves transportation. I add details about our accommodation each night. I note the costs of everything. Sometimes I type this out, not always, but I always make about 4 copies and make sure everyone involved has one.

It's very old-fashioned, but I also have my train tickets and such on my smartphone, so I'm not totally a luddite.

The paper itineraries, BTW, make great frameable souvenirs of our trips. Friends who have traveled with us have asked for them after they return. I think it helps that I have pretty cool handwriting.
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Aug 19th, 2019, 06:55 AM
  #244  
 
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kja, the young resident in the Nafplio ER said that when Americans saw my scars they would think poorly of Greek medicine. I told her that medicine began in Greece with Hippocrates and not to worry, as I was trying to build her confidence! There were no scars at all and my whole forearm had to be stitched!
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Aug 19th, 2019, 06:57 AM
  #245  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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StCirq post reminded me of how we take paper copies of all the info accrued while planning. I have a master spreadsheet that has where, how much, booking site, confirm # etc & I still print out copies of reservations and such. I have had a few occasions where I didn't print out info and then had a problem pulling it up on my phone. Wondering what others do? kja, do you print everything out?
yestravel is offline  
Aug 19th, 2019, 07:48 AM
  #246  
 
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Oh yeah, I have a folder (actually a very pretty cloth thing that's just the right size for A4 printouts) where I keep a paper copy of absolutely everything relating to our trips: train ticket receipts, hotel bookings, museum information, etc.). If nothing else, it serves as great background for trip reports when the trip is done. And I love being able to rummage through it while on a train or in a restaurant and pull out whatever's relevant. I think it's kind of a pity that everyone's got everything stored on just their smartphones these days. It's nowhere near as pretty or romantic as what I'm used to, though I suppose it's practical until the network goes down.
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Aug 19th, 2019, 08:22 AM
  #247  
 
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Originally Posted by StCirq View Post
Oh yeah, I have a folder (actually a very pretty cloth thing that's just the right size for A4 printouts) where I keep a paper copy of absolutely everything relating to our trips: train ticket receipts, hotel bookings, museum information, etc.). If nothing else, it serves as great background for trip reports when the trip is done. And I love being able to rummage through it while on a train or in a restaurant and pull out whatever's relevant. I think it's kind of a pity that everyone's got everything stored on just their smartphones these days. It's nowhere near as pretty or romantic as what I'm used to, though I suppose it's practical until the network goes down.
I agree! No better reading material, right? And yes, everything is just fine until no wifi and panic sets in.
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Aug 19th, 2019, 08:58 AM
  #248  
 
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I always print out all confirmations/reservations. Don't want to depend on technology not working! I also have a sheet for each city that I've typed up with sites I want to see, restaurants, etc. I have all this next to me right now for my upcoming trip to Italy! 😁
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Aug 19th, 2019, 11:10 AM
  #249  
 
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We keep absolutely everything glued inside a pretty journal, the kind made by Peter Pauper, Paper Press or the like. Our most important duplicates are carried inside a flexible plastic folder which never leaves the side pocket of my trusty, twenty-seven year-old Domke camera bag.
I had a stressful job, so it became a ritual (St Cirq's apt choice of word) for me to calm down before bedtime by looking over old journals plus our highlight photo albums. That habit never got tired, never failed. From 1988-94, we also used to lug around a tape recorder (????????-editor) to record audio collages of travel hilites, but that eventually proved to be too much extra effort.

Aren't we lucky to all be able to travel?
I am done. The KJATR.
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Aug 19th, 2019, 07:24 PM
  #250  
kja
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@ StCirq: As you know, not all Fodorites are from North America, so feel free to share your thoughts on organizing and planning trips in greater detail!

@ HappyTrvlr: Sounds like you received excellent medical care (your whole forearm had to be stitched?!? With no scars at all!?! Wow on both counts!) Seems that you treated your young resident with incredible kindness and grace. Kudos!

@ zebec: A tape recorder?!? BYH!!! That said, I definitely agree that reliving a trip can be a wonderful way to leave the stresses of a day behind. And OMG, we are lucky to be able to travel.

@ StCirq &
@ yestravel &
@ SusanP &
@ zebec;
.....I maps!
.....I having paper copies of key documents -- and ones that aren't key, too!
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Aug 20th, 2019, 10:51 AM
  #251  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,390
GPS in Europe

Would Google Maps on an iPhone be just as good as any other GPS?
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Aug 20th, 2019, 11:27 AM
  #252  
 
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Originally Posted by cabovacation View Post
Would Google Maps on an iPhone be just as good as any other GPS?
I use my iPhone google maps all the time. I canít compare it to a GPS with the car as I have never gotten one when teaveling. I find at home the iPhone is better than my car GPS. You do need data or WiFi to use the iPhone in real time.
yestravel is offline  
Aug 20th, 2019, 05:46 PM
  #253  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
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I print out all confirmations, tickets, documents, etc. and put them in a soft 3-ring binder, which I bring with me on all our trips. I absolutely DO NOT rely on my phone or my husband's phone. Paper is safer. And I put the binder in my carry-on.
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Aug 20th, 2019, 06:53 PM
  #254  
kja
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@ cabovacation: I'm sorry, but I can't answer your question. I would strongly encourage you to start your own thread to get the information you need.

@ yestravel: Thanks for trying to answer cabovacation's question!

@ KarenWoo: I'm with you -- paper in my carry-on, but with back-up copies on my Kindle and in an e-mail to myself. Just one point of disagreement -- I don't use a 3-ring binder: too heavy!
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Nov 6th, 2019, 03:53 AM
  #255  
 
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Just discovered this thread. Bookmarking for reading in full. It sounds like a fabulous trip!
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Nov 6th, 2019, 06:54 PM
  #256  
kja
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@ starrs: It was a fabulous trip! I hope you enjoy the report; feel free to pose questions if you have any.
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Nov 7th, 2019, 12:12 AM
  #257  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I've just found this report and I've loved it. We were travelling around the same time. In Arles I stayed at the AirBNB across the road from your hotel (AirBNB not recommended).

I've loved reading your descriptions of places I've been to. I'm not much of a planner but some of your research would certainly have benefited me on my May trip. You move so quickly you make me seem like a sloth as well. 3 days in a place is my minimum. And no driving (we drive on the other side of the road!)

Also, I experienced similar problems with the Tourist Office in Lyon, getting information of openings and schedules. There seemed to be more emphasis on selling than providing good information, All were very pleasant, though.

Thanks for taking the time to write this report.
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Nov 7th, 2019, 05:23 PM
  #258  
kja
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@ margo_oz: OMG, I wonder if we ran into each other! Isn't it sad that the TI in Lyon provided misinformation to two different Fodorites during the same month? NOT a good sign, IMO.

Thanks for your kind words -- it's nice to know that you enjoyed my trip report. BTW, I think its great that the world includes people who travel at different paces, and note that one could have done most of my trip with 3-night stays -- I just prefer to move on when I can.
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Nov 8th, 2019, 07:54 AM
  #259  
 
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Every time this TR pops up to the top, I check in to see what's new. Nice to see it's still drawing new fans.

I had read kja's and rhon's planning methods when they were first posted but just now decided to copy them to my France file to read them more closely. There's always something you can learn from the masters.

We've gotten incorrect and outdated information many times from tourist offices. Because we return to the same areas, we now know which OTs we can rely on and which we can't, but in any new location we're at the OT's mercy. I've sometimes asked the OT person to call and check on something for me, when their info contradicts other info I have. Then we both know for sure.
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Nov 8th, 2019, 08:02 PM
  #260  
kja
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@ Coquelicot: Hi, again! I, too, am pleased that this report is drawing new fans -- and holding on to a few who were with me as I posted. As a committed advance planner (but not necessarily a "master"), I rarely go to Tourist Information Offices, and honestly (obviously) expected accurate information. Live and learn! Asking them to call is good advice.
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