Just returned from Paris; misc. info!

May 22nd, 2002, 03:29 PM
  #1  
Sue
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Just returned from Paris; misc. info!

Just thought I would add some practical info re my experiences to some of the questions we keep seeing on forum.
1. Did not take euros with me; ATM at CDG was not working when we arrived. Easily found a cab that accepts credit cards. Could have exchanged $$ for euros at exchange booth (at horrible exchange rate, i'm sure) and/or think there was an ATM on another floor. No real problem, but suppose next time I will go back to getting enough euros here at local bank to get me started. Cab cost 48 euros from CDG,a.m. rush hour, and 46 returning, a.m. also, for 3 of us.

Jet lag is setting in!

2. Clothes--saw everything, and in retrospect, would take a few brighter, springier clothes and not all black.

3. Weather was warmer and nicer than Yahoo had been predicting; has happened before; I must learn not to rely on it for planning.

4. Lunch at Le Grand Vefour: wonderful! Every table was taken; all men had on jackets and ties, women nicely dressed.

5. Shoes; wore Naturalizers that I'd been wearing here in Pgh. for a couple of months; very comfortable, until I tromped around Paris from morn. til nite. Got blisters; gotta rethink this one. Last summer wore Mephisto sandals in Italy for 2 wks and no problem.

6. Safety: felt very safe; no incidents whatsoever. Stayed aware of my surroundings, eg, crowded Metro, and made sure I had my shoulder bag close to me, etc.
 
May 22nd, 2002, 04:06 PM
  #2  
jon
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
That is highly observant of you. Thank you for noticing for me. I agree with you about the dark clothes; a nice set of pink pants, a lime green shirt with violet spots, and orange gloves would be much more suiting. You say all men had jackets and ties on, then go on to say that the women were nicely dressed. Please explain what they wear wearing, and I would like your impression on men with jackets AND ties. Never heard that one. At least it was safe. But how safe?
 
May 22nd, 2002, 05:25 PM
  #3  
Elsa
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thanks Sue for starting this thread. We also just got back from France so I will add to your post since I haven't gotten around to creating my own yet.

We did not take Euros w/ us either, but the ATM machine was working when we used it. Our flt arrived around 6:30am. Coming from AA terminal 2 - after customs turn right & following the signs to "GARE" walk to Hall C - about 12mins. The ATM is on the right just b/4 a sign that says "Enregistreme 5 Terminal #9" - or something very close to that - I can't quite read my writing on the notes I took after arriving on an overnight flt. The sign on or above the ATM says Union de Banques a Paris.

We took the train from CDG to Avignon. The "GARE" signs are well posted. It is located downstairs.

Our AA flt. did not pull up to a jetway. Rather we walked down stairs and then were bused to the terminal. A note re carry-on bags - When the bus dropped us off at the terminal, we had to walk up 2 flts. of stairs. There are a lot of people so you probably won't get tired since the line moves very slowly (it must be terrible in the summer), but you might want to think about lugging your carry on suitcase along. Actually an Eagle Creek suitcase I always used as a carry-on was not allowed this time. Either the dimensions for carry-ons have changed or they aren't as lenient about bags that are just a hair too big.... and the flt. was no where near full.

Also, my comfortable walking shoes that are very well broken in gave me blisters (like Sue), so I tromped around Paris in my sneakers (MUCH better) and I was NOT ticketed by the fashion police.

 
May 22nd, 2002, 06:04 PM
  #4  
MarciaB
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I am just back too. Biggest mistake I made was shoes. I listened to the people here and did not take the running shoes I normally live in in the U.S. I took some SAS walking shoes instead, which are marvelously comfortable, but after the first two miles of Metro stairs, I felt like I was walking on knives.
 
May 22nd, 2002, 08:17 PM
  #5  
Kathleen
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Ooohh, Elsa and Marcia, you, too? I bought Softwalk shoes ($89 a pair!)and broke in two pair before taking them with me to Paris last month, abandoning my trusty running shoes to languish unappreciated at home in the closet. This what happens when we try to conform, when we dismiss our own instincts.

Yes, "walking on knives" approximates my own torturous experience on the Metro steps, but for more prolonged agony, try staggering about the steep hills of Pere Lechaise on those fiendishly uprooted brick paths.

As I soldiered on with sobbing ankles and toes turned cannibalistic, my distracted ears did surely hear the sly snickerings of many an ancient ghost.
 
May 23rd, 2002, 05:54 AM
  #6  
danna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Attention: Jon has just won the a**hole prize on this board, against fierce competition.
 
May 23rd, 2002, 06:28 AM
  #7  
trying
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Sue: When in Paris a month ago, I think I noticed that the cabs (or at least some) take credit cards, but wasn't there a surcharge for that convenience (maybe I'm thinking of London)?
 
May 23rd, 2002, 06:35 AM
  #8  
s.fowler
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thanks for the helpful hints everyone -- I'm up and away in 3 weeks I'm planning on getting $50 in euro before I leave -- CDG is so flakey.

As for shoes, I live in my Ecco sandals and take a pair of easy spirit tie shoes for rainy/cold days.
 
May 23rd, 2002, 06:40 AM
  #9  
Sue
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
"Trying" : didn't seem to be a surcharge; fee was 48 euros for a very heavy morn. rush hour (there had been a breakdown and traffic was worse than usual); I wouldn't use credit card for taxi unless in situation we found ourselves in. I thought 48 was fairly reasonable, considering there were 3 of us with 3 lg. suitcases and 3 carry-ons.
 
May 23rd, 2002, 07:00 AM
  #10  
trying
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Sue: That does seem reasonable. Somewhere, must have been London, I noted that cc's were accepted, but for a bit of an added price.
 
May 23rd, 2002, 07:34 AM
  #11  
MarciaB
Guest
 
Posts: n/a

Kathleen wrote: "Yes, "walking on knives" approximates my own torturous experience on the Metro steps, but for more prolonged agony, try staggering about the steep hills of Pere Lechaise on those fiendishly uprooted brick paths."

Hahahahhahaha. When I realized the error I had made in not bringing my trusty running shoes, I tried to remedy it by buying a pair of Clarks Springers sandals which need NO break-in. That was me you passed hobbling along in Pere LaChaise in my new sandals. At least the new sandals made the old SAS feel like heaven on earth when I put them back on.
 
May 23rd, 2002, 07:43 AM
  #12  
Christine
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
This is great information. I will be visiting Paris for the first time in mid-August (I know...it's going to be hot and humid!)Has anyone else been there in late August? When they say "hot & humid" what do they mean my hot ... 80-90-? I must say that I have read so much back and forth about the appropriate clothing. Since I'm a California girl, casual is my middle name, but I suspect I should abandon my normal jeans and t-shirt for something a little more upscale. Would appreciate any pointers. I am so happy I found this site. What a huge help it has been and I haven't even left for my trip yet!
Thanks to all.
 
May 23rd, 2002, 07:52 AM
  #13  
elaine
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi Christine
do a search here on Paris and you will find tons of opinions, from clothes to museums.

I have a long file on Paris; if you'd like to see it, email me
 
May 23rd, 2002, 08:02 AM
  #14  
greg
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Sue's experience with ATM shows exactly why you should read a recommenation such as "don't exchange any money before you go, use ATM card, ATM everywhere, no problem whatsoever" with a grain of salt.
 
May 23rd, 2002, 08:07 AM
  #15  
Dee
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Greg,

Why the hostility? I mean, everything here, in a way, must be taken with a grain of salt because the postings are opinions--varying by economics, personal taste, etc.

Dee
 
May 23rd, 2002, 08:11 AM
  #16  
Sue
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I forgot to mention that the AmEx ATM beside the "generic" ATM at CDG was working, but none of us had an AmEx card. I'm generally of the "no problem with ATMs school of thought" myself but will be a bit more cautious in future-- not enough to get traveler's checks, tho!
 
May 23rd, 2002, 09:01 AM
  #17  
danna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Dee - If think Greg is hostile... I'm afraid you're in for a rude awakening on this board.
 
May 23rd, 2002, 09:14 AM
  #18  
Dee
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Danna,

I know, I know...maybe I'm just having a bad day
 
May 23rd, 2002, 10:48 AM
  #19  
Chloe
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
We took 100 euros that we got at our bank, exchange rate was not terrible. Our cab, non rush hour, was about 40--from CDG to rue Cler area. Was closer to 50 going back--it was a no traffic Sunday but we called for the cab and there was 8 euros on the meter by the time he got to our hotel.

I took well broken in white new balance sneakers (I know, I've heard it's the worst one could imagine doing in Paris) and a pair of well broken in black boots. Actually, there were so many colored sneakers if I'd went that route I think I personally would have felt a little more comfortable, personally. I was glad to have the change of shoes, I still got blisters with the sneakers believe it or not. Paris requires *alot* of walking.

We had a huge number of ATM machines in our neighborhood and saw them all over the place. Only had trouble withdrawing money once, and by the afternoon the problem was cleared up. The post offices all have ATM machines.

It's worth it to bring an umbrella, or a hooded rain coat of some kind. We had showers two or three times during our stay.

Another comment re: dressing, the temps varied from pretty warm to downright chilly in a week's time. Layer.
 
May 23rd, 2002, 10:49 AM
  #20  
Colleen
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Anne: That's just the kind of comment I was looking for - for some reason this place has taken my imagination away and the pictures look stunning.
Thanks again

 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:07 AM.