Some jet-lagged thoughts from Paris

Old Aug 19th, 2008, 05:05 PM
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RAC
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Some jet-lagged thoughts from Paris

I just finished a great 9 night trip in Paris, and wanted to get some immediate impressions out there. I'll post a full trip report a little later.

Underrated:

1. Parisians. Didn't encounter a single jerk there. Everyone was nice, pleasant, and tried to be as helpful as they could.

2. The Paris Museum Pass. We got the 6-day, 60 Euro passes, and saved over $40 Euros a piece. Also, they saved a TON of time. Avoiding the monster ticket line at Versailles alone was worth the price.

Overrated:

1. Carte Orange. By the time you factor in the price of passport photos, you're not going to save much money at all with this thing. Also, they're not sold at most stations. Just buy carnets and save yourself the hassle.

2. The restaurant scene. Now, of course this is subjective, and we were there in August, when a lot of places were closed. But, it was easier to find Italian and Asian cuisine than good little French places (Rotisserie D'En Face was a noble exception). To top things off, one bistro (Bistro D'Hubert) was closed even though they had earlier confirmed reservations for us for that night. Grrrr.

Anyhow, more details later.
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Old Aug 19th, 2008, 05:20 PM
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>> Parisians. Didn't encounter a single jerk there. Everyone was nice, pleasant, and tried to be as helpful as they could.<<

Well, the 10th day is the charm.
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Old Aug 19th, 2008, 05:21 PM
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By the way, I agree with you about Parisian restaurants.
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Old Aug 19th, 2008, 05:23 PM
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1. RATP accepts home-made digital prints that cost you nothing but ink. A single carnet of ten Tickets 't' probably won't be enough for a more than two or three days. Then you have to buy another, and suddenly you've spent 22,80€, which is 6€ more than a Carte Orange.

2. Cieldeparis.com (Each meal is served with a free panoramic view of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower.)
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Old Aug 19th, 2008, 05:40 PM
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I don't see the Paris Museum Pass and carte orange as being over or under rated. It depends on the individual circumstances. A person shouldn't be buying a carte orange if they don't plan on using the buses, metro, and or RER enough to justify the cost. Consequently a person doesn't need the museum pass if you aren't going to go to enough of the sites to justify the cost or time spent waiting in lines.
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Old Aug 19th, 2008, 05:41 PM
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Ok, I'll be in Paris in 12 days and I have no clue what Carte Orange is or what a carnet is. Help!
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Old Aug 19th, 2008, 05:42 PM
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you can bring your own photo for carte orange. Is the resto en face, the one in the Marais?
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Old Aug 19th, 2008, 05:56 PM
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nysmom: Here's the Readers' Digest version of Paris Transport options:

http://preview.tinyurl.com/5p3mwv
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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 02:03 AM
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A carnet costs 11.40 Euros for 10.

Maybe once or twice we used the metro more than three times.

Also, remember that Carte Orange (the only weekly pass of any value) is strictly Monday-Sunday. If you arrive on a Thursday, it's worthless.

Also, a zone 1-2 Carte Orange doesn't cover trips to Versailles.

The Museum Pass does allow you to bypass some monster lines (Louvre, Orsay, and especially Versailles).

As far as restaurants are concerned, I know there are plenty of great ones in Paris at any time of year. However, the trick is finding them. Maybe it's laziness on my part, but I'm not a fan of having to research restaurants. In contrast, take a place like Rome where it's hard to avoid having a great meal (which we did manage to do once).

Rotisserie D'en Face is just off Rue Dauphine in St. Germain (an easy stroll from Pont Neuf).
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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 05:34 AM
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RAC,

and it could be your taste in food...

My kids loved the food in Rome, I prefer dining in Paris.

I don't really go in for pasta.

Makes a difference.

g.
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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 05:55 AM
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I thought they just did away with the Carte Orange (although I still have one that I use as an external hard drive, but that's another story).

As for food -- if you don't like pasta, you shouldn't eat it in Roma. There are many other things to eat. I think the ambience, service and freshness of restaurant food in Paris has declined.
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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 06:10 AM
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Also, remember that Carte Orange (the only weekly pass of any value) is strictly Monday-Sunday. If you arrive on a Thursday, it's worthless.

And if you use a Carte Orange for a week, it costs 2,40€ a day. Whether it's your best option depends on many factors.

It is a disservice to prospective travelers simply to say it's "overrated" or "worthless."
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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 06:28 AM
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What would really be a disservice is to go on talking about the Carte Orange if it no longer exists.

It appears to have been retired as of this month, and replaced by the Passe Navigo Découverte for tourists.

http://homepage.univie.ac.at/horst.p...07/002175.html
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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 06:33 AM
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http://www.parisbuscards.com/pblog/i...y080426-115457
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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 07:57 AM
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Well, I bought and used a Carte Orange, so it's not officially dead. But, it wasn't a huge moneysaver by any measure.
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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 08:14 AM
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It can be, but just like the museum pass you need to use it enough to justify the purchase.
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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 08:16 AM
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We got the Carte Navigo Decouverte last year in Paris, and found it to be a great convenience. Even if you don't use it a lot, being able to merely swipe it at the turnstiles on the metro, or at the machine on the bus saves a lot of hassle. I find messing about with the tickets from a Carnet to be much more trouble. Which ones have I used? How many trips will I take today? Do I need to buy another before the ticket booth closes?

With the Navigo you have one solid, small plastic holder that is convenient to carry, and not likely to get misplaced. I can't count the times I have waited and waited beyond the turnstile while my DW fumbles in her purse, trying to find a valid metro ticket.

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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 08:51 AM
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I think restaurants are just luck of the draw, especially when you don't research. I am not a huge restaurant researcher either, and quite contrary to your comment above we found it hard to have a good meal in Rome. Not that any of our meals were bad, but only a few of them stick out as being really good, and we've visited 3 times. I blame nobody but myself, of course, for not doing proper research, but I'm not one that wants to go completely out of my way for a good meal and instead just menu shop when hunger strikes.

I had a few good meals in Paris, particularly at some of the smaller bistros, but I'm not really a foodie so I definitely didn't seek out any gourmet restaurants.

Tracy
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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 08:58 AM
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Carte Navigo is a month-long pass, right? I wish I was lucky enough to be able to use one of those bad boys.

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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 09:03 AM
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I'll throw another pebble in the pond. I'm here for two weeks, and I was all set to go for Carte Orange on the Navigo Découverte - but I tried out Vélib for 24 hours. Since then, I've used it far more than bus and metro.
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