London and Paris for a long weekend

Jun 19th, 2002, 06:29 AM
  #61  
Vadim
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One more thing. It might sound misterious but I had NEVER had one day of bad weather in any of my trips. Not only trips. My birthday in in the miidle of October and for the last 7 years it was warm enough to have a party at a backyard. This is in NJ!
 
Jun 19th, 2002, 06:56 AM
  #62  
Jennifer
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Hi Vadim,

Do you have a back-up plan to follow in case anything goes wrong? Your plans are ambitious and probably doable, but those who travel frequently also know is that we must expect the unexpected! Although the train ride is only three hours between London and Paris, there is also a fair amount of time getting to and from the train stations, and of course, getting there early so you don't miss the train.

Although your plane gets into London at 10am, you also must clear customs and then take transportation to the city. By the time you get a bite to eat and take time to arrive at the train station, you will only have a few hours to see anything at all. Especially in high tourist season, there will almost always be long lines.

Also, you may want to factor in some "private" time with your wife. You may want to do more than sleep.....!

As for recommendations for hotels, I have a feeling that at this late date if you want a decent hotel, you'd better be prepared to pay some high bucks. I have several to recommend but I guarantee there will have no vacancies.

>>>>2.Should I anticipate any problems taking Metro from Gare du Nord to my hotel around 23:00? Any problems with buying metro tickets, getting euro?

Yes, always anticipate problems! Most likely you will not encounter problems, but perhaps the ATM is out of money or out of commission. Do you speak French?

>>>Any suggestion on what is the best way to spend our days? We have been in both cities a few years ago so I don't think we will want to run from one museum to another but rather try to relax and absorb the atmosphere.

Impossible to answer such a general question. Someone mentioned the London Eye. Personally, I didn't think it was worth the money and time, but it is a "must see" for many people. It really depends on your personal tastes!
However, since you'll be on the go quite a bit, perhaps sitting at a sidewalk cafe near the river in Paris and later strolling along the banks would be a great way to relax.

As far as air-conditioning, it's important to know that what Americans are used to as far as AC is generally not the same as Europeans. Also, many hotels do not turn on their AC until August, no matter how high the thermometer reaches! I've been in Paris when it was very hot in June and when it was so cold in July that I actually went out and bought a coat! If you do get AC, almost guaranteed it will not be as cool as it would be in the US.

Remember that you will be there at the height of the tourist season, so please plan on everything taking twice as long as you think it will. Hopefully, things won't take that long, but you should always plan on it, just in case. Flexibility is really the key to not being disappointed.

Good luck!

Jennifer



 
Jun 19th, 2002, 07:32 AM
  #63  
Enough
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Just go, Vadim. Please. You choose to ignore good advise, so enjoy your holiday. Sounds perfectly delightful to me, I guess you'll enjoy a good night's sleep on the plane, no shower for ages (yes,some of us bathe regularly and appreciate it from fellow travelers) and a hotel with no a/c. It sounds like a the trip from hell, but hey, if you enjoy that sort of thing fine. As some one said way back in this thread, I hope you don't sit next to be on the plane or train .. it could be a little smelly after that many hours!
 
Jun 19th, 2002, 10:56 AM
  #64  
Holy
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What is with these people? Do they run to their hotel and shower as soon as they arrive in Europe? I think some of these posters are letting us in on a little secret, i.e. that they develop BO very quickly! My wife and I always hit the ground running and see as much as I could before going to sleep at 8 or 9 pm on the day of arrival. Yes, we clean up a little (wash our faces/brush our teeth) when we arrive at the airport. But shower? Heck no. Not until the next morning. I bet you have a good time Vadim. One thing's for sure: You will not return to the States lamenting that you didn't have enough time for two or three more showers! Please report back and encourage your wife to report when you return. This is a hoot!
 
Jun 19th, 2002, 02:14 PM
  #65  
xxx
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Vadim - since you already seem to have all your answers there is nothing more to say!

EXCEPT, just how did you plan on getting from LHR to waterloo? There is no direct route and it will take a long time since you will be traveling during the middle of the day. The left luggage facility is in Waterloo Mainline, not Waterloo International. True they are next to each other, however you will have to queue to drop of your bags, queue to pick them up and then get over to Waterloo International for the early check-in. The Eurostar is treated like an international flight - advance check in and security queues more like an airport than train station. Plan on the security queue at Waterloo to take at least 30 minutes.

I can read that you are getting angry with everyone who tried to give you advice. Very few said anything rude - but you have taken all good suggestions as a slap in your face and snapped back with rude posts. So in future if you don't want to hear advice do not ask for help.
 
Jun 19th, 2002, 03:33 PM
  #66  
Cindy
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I have a really nice hotel suggestion for you in the Marais. Hotel de la Bretonnerie. You can book it thru different internet booking agencies or call direct. The number is listed on the internet. I don't really know the price as I haven't stayed there in a few years, but my husband and I loved it. Good luck with your trip. I think it sounds great, whirlwind and all.
 
Jun 19th, 2002, 09:32 PM
  #67  
xxx
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Cindy, give it up. Vadim has already booked his hotel and decided everything so there is no helping him.
 
Jun 20th, 2002, 01:50 AM
  #68  
Jas
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I've heard that the Moulin Rouge is NOT worth it - poor to indifferent food, tacky show, very touristy.
 
Jun 20th, 2002, 04:21 AM
  #69  
Keith
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Another thing you need to factor in about Eurostar is the fact that it runs on commuter train lines in the UK, not specially built ones. As a result, delays at the UK end are frequent (and most likely on Sundays - the day you return - when most engineering work takes place.)

Like airports, checkin for Eurostar is about 2 hours. So, on the day you arrive, you will need to be at Waterloo for 5.23pm. This is in the middle of the evening rush hour, so you will have to make sure you aim to get there earlier to pick up your luggage - I'd say around 4.45pm to be safe.

The journey in from Heathrow takes about 15 - 20minutes on Heathrow Express. Allow, say, an hour to clear customs & immigration and collect your bags, and you're looking to arrive at Paddington by 11.30am. Get the tube to Waterloo, and you'll be there by about 12 noon. That leaves you 4 and 3/4 hours to see round London and also to find something to eat (admittedly not too difficult.)

Unless you're travelling first class, then I wouldn't consider Eurostar as an alternative to a meal out. The food is not that good!
 
Jun 20th, 2002, 05:04 AM
  #70  
tom
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vadim - I missed the several times you mentioned getting a restful meal on the train. NOT! Unless you are travelimg first class which you have never mentioned. In 2nd class they only have a snacks trolly and a stand up snacks cafe. No actual meals like you are probably expecting.

So now the tale gets worse. Up all night on a redeye flight, rush through the city to drop luggage at waterloo, see something in 3 or 4 hrs, rush back to waterloo to get the luggage, walk over to the international station, check in, eat a lovely meal of soft drinks/beer, crisps, plastic wrapped sandwiches, and candy (standing up or in your front facing seat without a table), get to Paris around midnight and to the hotel 15 to 20 minutes later HOPING that your room is still there. YEP - sure sounds romantic to me.
 
Jun 20th, 2002, 06:53 AM
  #71  
Vadim
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I called to Eurostar office and they told me that I need to be there 30 min before scheduled time for checkin and not earlier. Also, there is a "buffet" car on the train.
Can anyone who actually took the train comment on it?
I was planning to take a tube directly from the airport? Is there a better way?
 
Jun 20th, 2002, 07:08 AM
  #72  
xxx
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Well, you could always walk in from the airport, afterall I think you told us that comfort and rest were not a priority to you. What's a bit of a hike after your plane trip, it will get those old muscles moving.
 
Jun 20th, 2002, 07:36 AM
  #73  
janis
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Sorry, Vadim, the Eurostar "buffet car" is just as Tom describes. A standing snacks bar with wrapped sandwiches, snacks and drinks. Not "buffet" like full meals.

And you can certainly take the tube to Waterloo - but it requires a change from the Piccadilly line to the Jubilee line at Green Park up and down escalators and stairs w your luggage. The trip to Waterloo will take about an hour or slightly more.

Otherwise you could take the LHR/Paddington Express train and then the tube, again with an inconvenient change of lines. In total this trip will take about the same time since you will have to wait 5-15 minutes for the train and then take a 15-20 minute tube ride.

Or you could queue for a taxi at Paddington and take a cab to Waterloo. But you will still need to wrestle your luggage.

I know this is a dead horse - but you are trying WAY too much.
 
Jun 20th, 2002, 07:52 AM
  #74  
Jill
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This thread is a riot, why is anyone even bothering to answer this guy? He is clueless about what everyone is talking about and will not listen to good advise. Beating a dead horse is putting it mildly. He wants to do it his way, so let him. All he can do is find out everyone was right all along, but I doubt if he will ever post and say so.
Let's just forget this guy, he's not worthy of so many answers from people who were actually trying to help him. His mind was made up before he posted. I must say I do feel sorry for his wife tho, but maybe she is like him too. Me -- well no way!
 
Jun 20th, 2002, 08:04 AM
  #75  
janis
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Jill: Of course you are right, and I was not going to answer again.

But the dear lost soul got me with his last post - actually thinking "buffet car" means a cooked buffet line like in a restaurant and taking the tube from LHR to Waterloo when his time is so short.

He really hasn't a clue and we ARE really trying to help him.

But you are right - it is a lost cause.

We'll see what his wife thinks of shlepping her luggage (that he packed) on the tube and through three stations (LHR/Green Park/Waterloo) for an hour+ and eating a gourmet dinner consisting of pre-wrapped cheese and pickle sandwiches and prawn flavoured crisps washed down by a warm coke at 9PM.
 
Jun 20th, 2002, 09:13 AM
  #76  
Sara
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Vadim,
I think you'll have a wonderful time! I wish you well. Some people prefer to travel in luxury, getting more sleep than they get at home and moving through the day slowly, doing only a few things, etc. My husband is like that. Nothing wrong with it - but it's not for everyone. Other people, like you and I - and hopefully your wife! - view trips like these as energizing and exciting and an opportunity to stay on the move and take as much in as possible. It's all in how you view "relaxing" and what you want out of your trip. Again, wish you well and look forward to reading your trip report!
- Sara.
 
Jun 20th, 2002, 09:21 AM
  #77  
Nancy
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By now I am convinced this is just a joke. In one of his replies he said that they have been to both London and Paris before. Then why is he asking about the best way to get to London from the airport and has no clue about the tube? It doesn't take multiple trips to Europe to figure out what kind of food you can get out of machines or in trains either. So I think he is just making fun.
 
Jun 20th, 2002, 12:15 PM
  #78  
xxx
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Not to get involved in the debate but to correct an earlier poster. Vadim's information is right, check-in for Eurostar is 30 min NOT 2 hours. At that time of night I don't think the security lines will be a problem.

The buffet car does serve hot food, not just sandwiches. OK, nothing fancy, just pizza, burgers etc but give the guy a break and don't give him inaccurate information. Or, he could buy any takeaway he likes and take it on to the train with him. All the seats DO have tables (like airplanes) or are 4 seats around a central table.
 
Jun 20th, 2002, 01:00 PM
  #79  
xxx
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Most of the seats have TRAY TABLES - just like an airplane. More leg room than on a plane but for sure not a place for a romantic first dinner in Europe. The few real tables are usually taken by families. There are only stand up tables in the buffet car and the ONLY thing I'd eat from there are a pastry and Evian.

You are correct about the advance checkin - 2 hours is not necessary - but on a weeknight at 7:30PM they will need more than 30 minutes. The train will be pretty full and security is tight.
 
Jun 20th, 2002, 02:49 PM
  #80  
Red
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Sorry have to add my two cents. When I get off an transAtlantic flight all I want to do is take a shower and change my clothes. What are you going to do with your luggage during that first day in London before you catch the train to Paris? This is about 2 days worth of not showering and schlepping bags all over a big city. I wouldn't be happy.

Here's what I would do given what you have already planned. Set some expectations - that first day in London is just to transfer to Paris. Take the express train from the airport to either the Victoria or Paddington Station (don't know what airport you are coming into) and then take a cab to the Waterloo station (I'm assuming you are doing Eurostar) and ditch your bags somehow - I can't imagine that there are lockers given the security situation but some poster may know for sure. Grab lunch and look around a bit and then get the train to Paris.
 

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