Ira Does France

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Sep 13th, 2005, 08:25 AM
  #21
 
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Good to hear from you, Ira. Keep the field reports coming!
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Sep 13th, 2005, 10:20 AM
  #22
 
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I'm glad you enjoy your stay Ira!
Scarlett and carolyne, this may help you with french keyboards :
http://gofrance.about.com/cs/interne.../keyboards.htm
good luck!
coco
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Sep 13th, 2005, 10:29 AM
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Ira loved your bit about the fellow tourist at immigration that was never seen again. LOL!

I am coming with pens and I won't get off the line, LOL.
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Sep 13th, 2005, 10:33 AM
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Ira, our esteemed roving reporter. Keep it up, darling.
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Sep 13th, 2005, 10:43 AM
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Thanks for the update, Ira. Sounds like you're having a great time.
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Sep 13th, 2005, 11:14 AM
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How come only 1 out of 5 people on that flight traveled with a pen? What is wrong with people, it is always amazing to me how people manage to go anywhere. Don't most people have a pen on them at all times, but especially when traveling?
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Sep 13th, 2005, 01:46 PM
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Hi Ira, I was just thinking of you this morning! How great to read your airport/trip experiences to date. And I, who can hardly manage our keyboard here in the US, really have fun with the ones in Italy LOL so understand your frustrations. Enjoy every moment of your trip!
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Sep 13th, 2005, 04:17 PM
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What a horror story at CDG! We've always gotten through quickly, and now I see how lucky we must have been.

Mention of Carcassone always brings back memories of reading about it in the Richard Halliburton books. The sheer massive scale of the place is amazing, even though it's not the real medieval thing.

More, please.

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Sep 13th, 2005, 04:53 PM
  #29
 
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Hello, Ira! Congratulations, you post made it to the front page!

And that keyboard... argh... but it may be fun if you try to choose words easier to type, good luck
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Sep 13th, 2005, 06:22 PM
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Looking forward to the rest, Ira. Glad you made the connection, after the wait at CDG. What hotel did you stay at in Carcassone? I definitely want to see it sometime, but will probably agree with your LW. Don't us tourists ruin just about everything?? So annoying!
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Sep 13th, 2005, 06:25 PM
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Excuse me, Ira, for the question re hotel in Carcassone. I see that is answered in your first 6 words of report. I think it's my bedtime.
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Sep 13th, 2005, 07:27 PM
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Ira,

Glad you are enjoying Carcassonne. I loved it despite the tacky tourist shops, although it does take some imagination to see past them.

I hope the rest of your trip makes up for the fun and adventures complements of AF..

Bon voyage!
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Sep 13th, 2005, 07:50 PM
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Thqnks for the report. Frqnce sounds bequtiful qs qlways.

I qgree with Lqdy Wife qbout Cqrcqssone.
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Sep 13th, 2005, 08:23 PM
  #34
 
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ira: If you get too bored at the touristy C., you can always hop a plane back to ATL for our GTG! Guaranteed a fun time! \/

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Sep 14th, 2005, 04:19 AM
  #35
 
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Coco: thank you, that is useful to know. I had no idea.

Christina: I am always getting annoyed with my hubby who never thinks to take a pen to winetastings & then wants to borrow mine all the time !!
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Sep 14th, 2005, 11:41 PM
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Oh Ira, I wish I were there now, it's my favorite city, French keyboards and all.
If you go to Montsegur, check out Chez Patillo in Montferrier (on the way). Great midday meals, local cuisine and good value. If you read French, check out www.cathares.org for the best guide (in French) to the Cathars, chateaux, etc. Don't forget to try the
Blanquette in Limoux..sparkling wine which preceded Champagne by a century or more. I don't care if it's famous, Rennes le Chateau is a waste of time (except for the view, fantastic) and
now you have to pay to see the grave of the abbe.
Very good markets in the Lower City (Carcassonne) on Saturdays. The Cite IS
touristy, but it's still the original stones, and I like to just sit outside the main gate by the merry-go-round and enjoy the view. While I usually rent a house in a small village, I have stayed at Hotel De l'Octroi. Not far from the Cite, the owner speaks English, very friendly and charming, I had a room for 45 euro, air conditioning, plus petit dejeuner (I forget how much). I did not have a lot of luck trying to get some hotels to reply to my faxes (and they were in French).
Carcassonne also has the budget chain hotels, Hotel Etap (under 35 euro),
Premiere, etc...basic, clean accomodations, I have used them all over France with satisfaction.
Please try French pizza, it is quite different from American...but good!
Please go to Mirepoix...it is wonderful.
Small, very old, and charming. Many English people vacation here, so you can find magazines, newspapers, in English. It's not that far from Carcassonne...
Don't pass up drinking the local wines (Corbieres especially!)...underated and
excellent. When it gets very warm, head into the Pyrenees...beautiful country...
and they have the fantastic caves at Niaux and Lombreves...not as well known as Lascaux, but the real thing. (near Tarascon sur Ariege and Ax les Thermes.
Which brings up the thermal springs at Ax and Alet les Bains..(I haven't tried yet).Nostradamus lived in Alet...

I had a problem with Air France (not as bad as yours though)...with Delta filing for bankruptcy, I wonder how that will affect AF's service from the US (they share).

Have a wonderful time for all of us still here in the states...
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Sep 15th, 2005, 08:37 AM
  #37
 
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Good to hear from you Ira, regardless of the typing!

I happen to agree with your lady wife on Carcassonne.

Glad you enjoyed L'Envers du Decor--we had a memorable meal in the garden there, perhaps made even more memorable by the birds flying overhead that managed to poop right in my husband's wine glass. Oh well, it's a story to tell, right? And he did get a clean glass.
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Sep 15th, 2005, 08:52 AM
  #38
 
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Bonjour ira, in beloved France.
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Sep 15th, 2005, 09:33 AM
  #39
 
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Hi Ira, wish I were still there. Our plane left two hours late due to engine trouble.
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Sep 15th, 2005, 09:56 AM
  #40
 
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ira, have a great time!
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