private tour guide for Paris

Old Aug 3rd, 2005, 01:15 AM
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private tour guide for Paris

A friend of ours suggested that we get a private tour guide for some of our stay in Paris- maybe a day or two half days. Has anyone done this or able to recommend a good person or website.....and while I think of it Paris in mid September what is the weather doing? Any handy clothing hints?
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Old Aug 3rd, 2005, 03:46 AM
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Hi,
We have had a variety of private tour guides in Rome, Florence and Paris. It made our “first time” sight seeing much easier. They took us to the "must sees" in the cities, as well as museums, so we did not waste our time finding them. Having read guide books, we were familiar with the sights, but the guides were able to elaborate on them, and we were able to ask questions.

Except for one, all of our guides were great. We used two in Paris. One Paris guide was great. The other just went through the motions with no real enthusiasm. She talked on or checked her cell phone (should have been turned off) and was not interested in answering questions. She just kept walking (ahead of us at times) and giving her obviously rehearsed monologue. Hers was an introductory walking tour (7 hours). She ended up leaving us on the “wrong side of the river”, at least an hours walk from our hotel. Being our first time in Paris, we were unfamiliar with the metro/bus systems (I know they are user friendly.). Both of us exercise and walk often, but we were exhausted. We ended up walking back to our hotel. The blisters that formed were my first of a 3+ week vacation, and they were bothersome for the rest of the week in Paris. Do I sound as if I am venting? Well, I am. Sorry, we just returned from Paris, and it is fresh in my mind.

I would like to give you the name of the good tour guide, but I am reluctant to put her name on the Internet. Any ideas?

Walkteach
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Old Aug 3rd, 2005, 03:57 AM
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I can totally recommend Michael Osman for a Paris guide. He will show you things in Paris that you would not see or know about otherwise. We engaged him for 2 days last fall for our family's trip--8 adults. Everyone had been to Paris at least once and DH and I many times. He is terrific. He is an artist and guided us through the Louvre and Orsay on one day. His charge is ultra reasonable. He will meet you as early as you want and stay as late as you can walk or ride. He will customize to whatever you want. He is engaging with a super sense of humor. Find him at www.parisfind.aol .
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Old Aug 3rd, 2005, 05:12 AM
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Thank you very much walkteach and gretchen for your advice. I would want to vent too if someone like that was spoiling my day....and I was left with blisters as a souvenir! Gretchen did already email Michael Osman, sounds great and I guess I will have to wait and see if he is available. If not perhaps I can pursue your good tour guide walkteach.For a non computer person I am really enjoying entering the world of fodorites. Such great stories information and helpful advice. Thanks again
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Old Aug 3rd, 2005, 09:31 AM
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Michael has a good friend, an opera singer, who might be available if he isn't. We met him--very nice fellow.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2005, 02:13 PM
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Just google for "personal paris tours" and you'll get a long list of possibilities (including yours truly). Some guides work through agencies, others freelance. Quality is extremely variable, from marvelous to horrific; it doesn't hurt to ask for references. Styles vary just as much: some guides work by the hour, some by the day. Some guides give fixed, pre-determined tours on specific themes or in specific areas, while others simply take you wherever you wish to go--and still others are somewhere in between, showing you the places you'll probably want to see but still being flexible. Fixed tours tend to be 1-5 hours in length from what I've seen; tours that you control yourself (with respect to what you want to see) are more likely to be full days or half days.

As far as clothing goes, it will probably still be warm (perhaps hot) in September, so dress in cool clothing--but do bring something to keep you warm in case it gets chilly (something you can put over the cool clothing).

All personal or private tours are likely to involve a <i>great deal</i> of walking, so good walking shoes are more important than anything else.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2005, 05:36 PM
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Get MIchael or someone he recommends. PLEASE.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2005, 06:06 PM
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Here's another HUGE recommendation for Michael Osman. He is positively magnificent. Though, it may not be possible to book him at this late date for mid-September - but highly recommend giving it a try anyway. If he's not available, anyone he recommends will be fabulous as well.

As for clothing - weather in Paris is always dramatically &quot;variable&quot;. You can check the &quot;averages&quot; and 10-day forecasts now and just prior to leaving at weather.com or accuweather.com (just consider the differences...).

Best bet is to pack the ubiquitous &quot;layers&quot;. Typically, you get dressed for the day, then bring along a sweater or jacket and a rain jacket/coat, which you'll add and remove throughout the day, as you'll likely experience three seasons within each day. An umbrella or hood is nearly essential all the time for unexpected showers. Note that you cannot even depend upon the morning weather forecast on the TV. You most likely will not need wool, shorts, or sandals in September.
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