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losangeleseurope Nov 12th, 2005 10:02 AM

Upset about Paris...please help

I need help. I am 41, a risk taker and have back packed through 14 European countries alone. I don't have much fear. With that said, I am to leave for Paris on Nov. 16th for a vacation. I have read EVERY post on this board, the bbc website, etc, since the riots began in Paris (Nov. 2?).
Now the police are "fanning out" near th Eiffel, the Champs, etc. I am beginning to FREAK OUT.
I am staying at the Hotel de Crillon out of pure fear that anything less is not safe.
I now I sound FREAKED OUT but I want a true and accurate assessment of the DANGER in Central Paris.
Should I land at CDG and immediately fly to Madrid? My vacations can be spent anywhere.
Thank you for your replies and I apologize for my ANXIETY (can you tell)?

walkinaround Nov 12th, 2005 10:05 AM

be a man and calm down.

richardab Nov 12th, 2005 10:07 AM

I think the news overdoes it. Its not like they are killing tourists.

cigalechanta Nov 12th, 2005 10:11 AM

this is an email I received today:

Hello mimi,

A small letter to you from Phil, Senior Editor of Paris Eiffel Tower News.

Your read the headlines like I did: Paris is in flames, besieged and burning.

Wow. I was there for 2 weeks just 6 days ago. Did I see that?

If you really want to know the truth, here is my report.

Read it here:

Best regards,

Phil Chavanne
Senior Editor
Paris Eiffel Tower News

cigalechanta Nov 12th, 2005 10:13 AM

and this: Hi Mimi,

Thanks for the link. Reading the page amazed me as much as discussions on
BonjourParis' forum when France opposed the US invasion of Iraq.

All I can say is that no tourist to Paris would ever know anything was going
on except by reading the papers. I live here, and that's the only way I
know. I have seen nothing, in any neighborhood of Paris.

According to today's Herald Tribune, the government is concerned--among
other things--of the effect on tourism, but as of now, there have been no
perceptible cancellations, as there shouldn't be, as no one visiting Paris
is in danger--or even risks anything other than the usual Paris vacation.

Best from Paris,


tod Nov 12th, 2005 10:14 AM

You won't be taking any risks. If I were booked NOTHING would put me off.
Don't forget some newspapers like to sensationalise the smallest thing.
When I was in Paris last month my family got worried because they heard about a bomb threat in the Eiffel Tower. I knew nothing about it although I watched TV everyday. Maybe I missed the report.? I think its good there is an evident police presence.
Just go and have a good time!

LoveItaly Nov 12th, 2005 10:37 AM

From what I read the heavy police presence in Paris is until 8:00am tomorrow (Sunday) due to the holiday. Authorities evidently picked up some info on chatrooms and cellphone word messages talking about bombing the tourist sites in Paris.

At least at this point it does not sound like this heavy police presence will continue but of course things could change at any time.

Madrid? Well Spain has the ETA - the Basque terrorist who are said to be responsible for hundreds of deaths these last year. And of course we all know what happened with the trains in Madrid some months ago. And the bombs in the tube in London.

I also read and saw a photo yesterday that the NYCPD were guarding certain hotels in NYC as they picked up information there was chatter regarding bombing NYC hotels after the three hotel bombings in Jordan.

I personally don't think anyone can "predicate" what future problems will occur be it here in the US, in Europe etc.

All travel has a certain amount of risk. But so does getting out of bed in the morning.

Each person, IMHO, has to evaluate their own anxiety level based on current information and make their decisions accordingly. Best wishes to you.

francophile03 Nov 12th, 2005 10:38 AM

If you're a risk taker who backpacked solo across Europe why would you think you'd be in serious danger going to Paris now?! Gee, Paris is not being torched and all the headline meant is that extra security is being put out due to a planned demonstration (peaceful). Btw, there are always police patroling the train and metro stations normally here and there anyway. It's amazing you want to forgo visiting Paris and go to Madrid. Doesn't Madrid (and other cities) have their own problems?
Calm down!!

fairfax Nov 12th, 2005 10:42 AM

I am sitting at an internet cafe in paris now, and aside from the soldiers at the Tour Eiffel, everything is as usual. No worries!

luckyexpat Nov 12th, 2005 10:50 AM

Ditto!!! As someone who is currently living in Paris with my husband and two children, you have a BETTER chance of winning the lottery than even noticing the "upheaval" in Paris. I thought it was predominantly over!

lucielou Nov 12th, 2005 10:59 AM

losangeleseurope, one of my work mates has just come back from Paris yesterday, she stayed in the 7th her hotel was 10 mins walk from the Eiffel Tower and she was totally unaware of the trouble and how bad the papers and news are reporting it, until I updated her, she saw nothing whatsoever, please dont worry , go ahead and enjoy your time in paris, its totally exaggerated in the press.

Underhill Nov 12th, 2005 11:07 AM

Read the posts on the riots at from a number of people who live there.

blissa Nov 12th, 2005 11:15 AM

Hello losangeles europe-don't live in Paris, so I cannot speak for what's going on in the streets there. I do think that the situation is in various regions if the country, not specifically Paris.

i do live in New York, and on many occasions see heavy police prescence, bomb-sniffing dogs, and National Guardsmen around, depending on the level of percieved danger/threat here. My opinion is only based on that daily experience:

You say that you are a risk taker. There is always some element of risk in any trip. Don't freak out, or at least if you have some fear, try not to let it rule your actions. Just find your center, take a few deep breaths and go on and try to have a good experience. Be a force of calm werever you go.

If you are not a journalist covering this situation, I believe you can find many ways to spend your time there without getting too close to it.

If by some very unlikely chance you do get too close to anything, stay calm and find a different a way to leave the area.

Just one more opinion,
Wishing you bon voyage, really!

oldie Nov 12th, 2005 11:48 AM

I am showing my age here, but I was in Boston MA in 1967/68

For three days in 1967, Blue Hill Avenue shops were smashed, set afire, and looted.
There were riots there again after the death of Martin Luther King, Jr.
I can't remember anyone saying that people shouldn't visit Boston.

There was absolutely no danger for tourists.
Go and enjoy Paris. I'm willing to bet that the trouble will be over by the time you get there.

cigalechanta Nov 12th, 2005 11:58 AM

And we have a teen-age shooting about once a week :)

Tuxedocat Nov 12th, 2005 12:24 PM

losangeleseurope: I thought you said you were a risk taker... don't have much fear? Jeeesh... what's the panic about? Even given the news reports, the situation is about civil unrest and not about anti-tourist activities. I am one of those people who take these car burnings and strife with law enforcement very seriously and I can't say that it would prevent me from going to Paris this minute if I had the chance. They should be a bit more vigilant (law enforcement) throughout Paris, but not a single tourist has complained of inconvenience, let alone danger.

Flyboy Nov 12th, 2005 01:18 PM

I returned from Paris last Sunday, which was at least a week into the situation you are reading about and probably about the peak of it, too. For people in central Paris, they know about it because they see and hear about it in the media. It is nothing to have anxiety about; just something to be aware of. Your comment about choosing your hotel "out of pure fear that anything less is not safe" has no relationship at all to the facts. I hope you enjoy the hotel, but that is the wrong reason to choose it and it does not enhance your safety to stay there in comparison to hundreds of other choices you might make.

Christina Nov 12th, 2005 04:51 PM

I did hear there was some more trouble today, but I forget exactly what -- something different. I agree with some of the things others have said, but not others -- I personally wouldn't freak out over this, but I didn't cancel trips to Madrid right after their train bombings (and was there during part of the subsequent problems, and had my train canceled due to a bomb on the tracks) and went to Egypt right after terrorism problems there which were directed at tourists.

However, I will say that I don't understand your connection between France's internal problems and your hotel choice so that you will be safe. They aren't targeting tourists, but the Crillon would be definitely off my list as to a place I would choose to stay to be incognito or out of the limelight -- it's right on the place de la Concorde, a very prominent spot in Paris. If I were afraid and wanted to be in an inconsequential area, I'd stay in some modest hotel in the 14th or something like that.

cigalechanta Nov 12th, 2005 04:57 PM

Christina, is there a report on your trip to Egypt? I'd like to read it.
I suspect you don't write trip reports but I bet they would be interesting and off beaten tracks.

Michael Nov 12th, 2005 05:14 PM

I smell a troll. I doubt that risk taking pack backers stay in the Hotel de Crillon.

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