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A week in London, then a month in France - all by public transport

A week in London, then a month in France - all by public transport

Old Nov 3rd, 2018, 06:23 AM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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I still struggle with opening hours when I'm travelling in France rather than when I'm at my destination, though Mrs Bilbo struggles more. She can't seem to understand that 12 to 12:30 is when lunch starts not 2:30 and that bakeries close at 1pm so if you want a sandwich it is no good driving by one at 12:55 with a "there will be a nicer one along in a minute".

Still, I love the fact that car parks stop charging from 12-2pm to allow you time to digest lunch without clock pressure.
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Old Jan 13th, 2019, 07:11 AM
  #42  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
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Thanks for posting your trip report and lovely pictures. I have put Dinan on my list for possible future visits.
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Old Jan 14th, 2019, 11:02 AM
  #43  
 
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Great (and helpful) report and of course comments from the many experienced international travelers here, many with a great sense of humor. We're in the process of planning our London / Paris / French Alps trip this June. Regarding speaking the language, YES, I wonder if it is not better to say "thank-you very much" in English or to completely butcher the pronunciation of merci beaucoup. I heavily lean towards the former, but I (have learned a bit late) that as Kay suggests, a "bonjour madame", can go a long way (and I'm pretty sure even I can pronounce that). Kay, the train info you provided agrees with much of what I've learned and I'm looking into the websites you mentioned.
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Old Jan 15th, 2019, 09:52 PM
  #44  
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I'm so glad this is of some use to other travellers. I get a lot of good info from browsing through trip reports and just wanted to return the favour.

Kay
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Old Jan 15th, 2019, 10:48 PM
  #45  
 
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Thank you for posting.. and I LOVE seeing the photos..

Do you mind mentioning the name of the hotel in Paris that randomly canceled your booking.. just so I never use it.. its would be most unpleasant for me as I hate last minute scramble to find hotels.. I book months in advance to get just what I want at the price I want.
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Old Jan 16th, 2019, 12:47 AM
  #46  
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Hi justineparis, the hotel in Paris that cancelled our booking was Hotel Michelet Odeon. I'm not sure why they cancelled but I wonder if it was a miscommunication. They took a deposit amount even though I was sure we were just providing the credit card for guarantee and the confirmation said the deposit was zero. I queried it and they said it was to test the validity of the card (fair enough I guess) and a reversal had been done. According to our bank account a week later, there was no reversal so I asked again. I didn't want to get to Paris and have an argument about what had already been paid. They sent through details of the initial transaction, the cancelled transaction and also said the reservation was cancelled. I was reading the email, thinking noooooooooooooo!!! I quickly wrote back and said please don't cancel but they just sent a copy of the two transactions. A bit of a saga really.

We took stacks of photos, happy to post more! it's so different having a digital camera. Years ago with a film camera we were very careful before pressing the shutter

Kay
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Old Jan 16th, 2019, 08:40 AM
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by jlub View Post
. Regarding speaking the language, YES, I wonder if it is not better to say "thank-you very much" in English or to completely butcher the pronunciation of merci beaucoup. I heavily lean towards the former, but I (have learned a bit late) that as Kay suggests, a "bonjour madame", can go a long way (and I'm pretty sure even I can pronounce that). .
Trust me, as a francophone, that making the effort to get the top 20 phrases off pat (use youtube at least) goes a very long way outside Paris. Don't worry everyone knows you are not French by your clothes alone let alone your "use of space" but saying Bonjour with a hint of a French accent does not make you sound like an idiot it shows that you have tried to step towards a society that the French are very proud of. If you smile sincerely at the same time you are away.

Two days ago I was formally introduced to a man of 80, the owner of a restaurant, formaly, which is very easy to do. I spoke virtually nothing else to him and I shook his hand. We were away. Just lose the fear and grasp the opportunity.

Inside Paris, bah, it is harder to tell.
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Old Jan 16th, 2019, 09:13 AM
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
Trust me, as a francophone, that making the effort to get the top 20 phrases off pat (use youtube at least) goes a very long way outside Paris. Don't worry everyone knows you are not French by your clothes alone let alone your "use of space" but saying Bonjour with a hint of a French accent does not make you sound like an idiot it shows that you have tried to step towards a society that the French are very proud of. If you smile sincerely at the same time you are away.
.
Our first trip to Paris some years ago, we had arrived into Orly at 10 AM after 14 hours, taken the RER into the city, then found out where to switch to the Metro, and were wandering on the streets trying to find our apartment rental on Rue de Cevennes. We ran into a woman who I asked if she knew where Rue de suh vens was. No bounjour, no nothing. She said there was no such place. we were very tired and lost - that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. Turns out, we were just around the corner.
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Old Jan 21st, 2019, 12:35 PM
  #49  
 
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Enjoying your report! Many of your locations are on my preliminary itinerary for later this year. Looking forward to more!
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Old Mar 12th, 2019, 05:17 AM
  #50  
 
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Hi there,
Planning a trip now to France. Have a problem so decided to ask here. Is that allowed to take an electronic cigarette with you while traveling?? I was reading a blog on Vapingdaily about vaping in airports. But what about a plane? And what about France? Would it be a problem for me to vape there? Really hope for some help. Thanks in advance.
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Old Mar 12th, 2019, 09:01 AM
  #51  
 
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lemon4: you need to start a new thread of your own since your question has nothing to do with this trip report . . . But no, vaping is not allowed on airplanes, at least not on any airline I've flown.
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Old Mar 13th, 2019, 02:05 AM
  #52  
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I agree that you'd get more replies starting a new thread. I think vaping would be illegal on all flights but we noticed a huge number of people vaping in France. There are lots of vape shops too. Personally, I just don't get it but you will see them everywhere. I'm not sure if you are able to take it on the plane, you might need to put it in checked luggage. I'd check with your airline or run the risk of it being confiscated at security.

Kay
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Old Mar 13th, 2019, 02:11 AM
  #53  
 
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Thanks for answering. Will contact my airline.
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Old Mar 13th, 2019, 02:19 AM
  #54  
 
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Basically same rules apply for cigarette and vaping : when cigarette is forbidden so is vaping.
So not alloed on the plane.
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Old Mar 13th, 2019, 04:49 AM
  #55  
 
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Dear KayF--I'm enjoying reading this. My husband and I are also fans of doing trips by public transport, so it was fun to see how you arranged things.

I am so happy you loved Dinan. It's one of my favorite places, and our time there was too short.
AZ
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Old Mar 13th, 2019, 08:07 PM
  #56  
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You are welcome lemon4. Have a good trip.

Thanks for reading AZ, we had 3 nights in Dinan and really enjoyed our time there. The area down on the river was a surprise, so picturesque. I guess a lot of visitors to Dinan wouldn't have time to walk down the path to see the lower area but definitely worthwhile if you go back again.

The public transport all worked fine, we've driven in Europe on other trips and there are pros and cons with both. Generally I think public transport in Europe is a lot less hassle.

Kay
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