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What were your biggest mistakes when visitong France?

What were your biggest mistakes when visitong France?

Jun 1st, 2007, 11:40 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Not carrying a cell phone.
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Jun 1st, 2007, 11:57 AM
  #22  
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I am planning on leaving the cell phone home. We plan on checking emails each day and calling home every 4 days...MAYBe I should rethink that???
Photobear is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 12:00 PM
  #23  
 
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Arriving at Hotel Kyriad (Chateauroux)late at night.

Do you know that rural hotels actually close up tight late at night. No one is on duty. The doors are locked. Even the parking lot can be locked up tight

We flew into Paris Orly from Prague recently and arrived late due to a big storm. Parisians were leaving in mass for a long holiday weekend. The roads were at a stand still. We ran hours behind. When we finally arrived at the hotel we found it locked up and no one to answer our call. Sleeping in our car wasn't an appealing option.

Thankfully, about 30 minutes later another guest arrived, letting himself in a different entrance. We were so happy to follow him to the new door and found an envelope with our name taped to the door, with the entry code on it, and our room key inserted in the lock of our rooms door.

We loved the thoughtfulness of the French that night!

Yes, we also hate to leave!!
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Jun 1st, 2007, 12:09 PM
  #24  
 
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brando: "not taking the invation of the english sweety who invited me back to her hostel"
nbujic: "should have bought that pair of shoes..."

Men think about sex, and women think about shoes. Got it.

Don't woo her with flowers; give her shoes.

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Jun 1st, 2007, 12:25 PM
  #25  
 
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In 1998, we were told by friends to eat at Sargeant Recruiter on the Ile Saint Louis. The place looked sketchy to begin with, but we took our friends at their word. Big mistake.

The food was god awful, and I'm being generous. It's a restaurant where people come to eat large amounts of bad food and drink too much for not a lot of money.

I still rue the night we wasted a good dinner opportunity in Paris to dine at this place.

maitaitom is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 12:26 PM
  #26  
nbujic
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padraig,
" Men think about sex, and women think about shoes. Got it.

Don't woo her with flowers; give her shoes."

If you make it stilettos , both of you will have what you wanted (AND in Paris)!

 
Jun 1st, 2007, 12:37 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Not allowing enough time to drive from place to place along the winding country roads.

Not taking the cute guy up on his offer when he picked up my friend and me hitchhiking in his truck filled with pork near Rocamadour in 1972. I was sitting between him and the gearshift and he was calling out directions to me about how and when to shift in French. He said he'd pick up his brother and we could all go to Biarritz together. My friend on the brother's lap, I suppose. I may finally get to Biarritz this summer but it won't be the same.

Trying to force my husband and daughter into too much activity one long day in Paris, during which we fit in a visit to the Conciergerie, Sainte Chapelle, the Cluny Museum and the Musee d'Orsay.
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Jun 1st, 2007, 12:42 PM
  #28  
 
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when I was younger -- trying to cram too many places and stuff into a vacation. I've slowed down, but still cover a lot of ground.

not being at major sites early enough to beat the lines --
- Notre Dame towers - 9:30 for a 10am open - wished we were there closer to 9:/9:15
- Eiffel Tower - got there about 10am and stood in way too long lines. Wished we didn't visit the top level but stayed on bottom 2 levels.

never taking enough money.
surfmom is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 12:51 PM
  #29  
 
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What did you dislike? I'm sure there's something - nothing is perfect - but I can't think of anything.

Did you run out of money? No. I'm a saver.

Did you not like it? Are you kidding? A country where I can eat croissants every morning for breakfast (that is, unless I want a pain au chocolat) and sit at cafes for hours?

Did you not plan enough? There's always something that I wish I'd looked up before I went. But nothing major.

Did you over plan? In my world, that's not possible. Having more information gives you more choices.

Did you pick the wrong place to stay or the wrong method of transportation? You can't get everything right, and some things won't be as good as you thought, or just not be to your tastes (how can you know until you try, or until you're there?). Sometimes we've chosen places we wouldn't return to, but that's part of the ups and down of traveling.
Lexma90 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 04:57 PM
  #30  
 
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My dislikes were the same as every other vacation - not having enough time and having too many things we wanted to see/do.

Two minor omplaints:

Having to deal with smokers in restaurants (although I understand that's becoming a thing of the past).

I don't care the the French definition of park or garden - too formal, too much gravel - not enough open grassy areas and flowers running wild. I like the British/American style better.
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Jun 1st, 2007, 05:57 PM
  #31  
 
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Absolutely loved the shoe comment! Haven't fallen in France, but everywhere in USA--yes, a pair of possibly unneccesary new shoes.
The funny thing: two pairs are called 'No Name' made in France.
Go figure.
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Jun 1st, 2007, 06:31 PM
  #32  
 
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Photobear - Why are you going to check your e-mail every day? Need a spam infusion?

You're on vacation! Send postcards if you must, and forget everything else. No one needs to contact you unless it's an emergency and I'm guessing that important people for you know where you're stayng and can contact the hotel if necessary.
kenav is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 07:16 PM
  #33  
 
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Regret: Not planning well. We had too many things on the to see/to do list (boatloads of recommendations from other Paris travellers), and didn't start out by prioritizing. So the first few days we ended up spending time on things which weren't that significant to us, and then ran out of time at the end of the week for things we'd really wanted to do.
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Jun 1st, 2007, 07:52 PM
  #34  
 
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What did you dislike? Smoking in the restaurant. We went to this wonderful restaurant called Swann and Vincent and I couldn't enjoy my food because I was having a hard time breathing.

Did you run out of money? no, we knew our limits

Did you not like it? France wonderful France.

Did you not plan enough? We had a lazy schedule.

Did you over plan? I think we did fine with our schedule

Did you pick the wrong place to stay or the wrong method of transportation? No,
but I did wonder what it would be like to stay at the Ritz, we stayed nearby.

I just got back from Paris yesterday and I miss it already. I think I am going to skip Venice this year and go back to beautiful Paris!
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Jun 1st, 2007, 08:42 PM
  #35  
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Well, we will check email each day because we are renting an apartment and I want to make sure our staff can get in touch with us if really needed.

Also, my Dad has a heart condition, so I am always worried. That's why we may just get a cell phone while there for peace of mind.
Photobear is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 09:09 PM
  #36  
 
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First trip: Not looking down at the pavement in front of me where I walked. (A lot of people don't clean up after their dogs.)

Subsequent trip with boyfriend: Not looking down at the pavement in front of where my boyfriend was walking, as well as where I was walking. (If your companion steps in dog poo, it's not that much different than if you stepped in dog poo.)

First trip mistake: Spending too much time (in fact, not being able to figure out how to get away from) the very touristy main drags (Champs Elysees, the area around the Louvre, Les Halles, Ile Saint Louis and Blvd Saint Germain).

Make sure you make some plans that take you at least a little off the beaten path, so that you can see the parts of Paris that residents see.

Be prepared for rain almost any day. Although Paris can have several days or even a week or two of uninterrupted sun, it's more common for there to be relatively brief showers on at least a few days during your visit. The rain doesn't usually last long, so get thee to a cafe. But pack a tiny lightweight umbrella so that you can be prepared at any time. I carry one with me on any day when it's anything other than bright blue sky stretching in every direction I can see from my apartment. (Often it's blue sky on one side and grey on the other. Go figure.)
Kate_W is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 09:10 PM
  #37  
 
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Oh, I should add the other first trip mistake. Don't stay with your ex in his dorm room, just because it's free accommodation.
Kate_W is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 09:22 PM
  #38  
 
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My only mistake regarding visiting France is not doing it sooner. I wish I'd gone about 20 years earlier than my first trip in 2000.
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Jun 2nd, 2007, 04:50 AM
  #39  
 
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When we first went to France I hadn't been in Europe for many years and had forgotten how even large grocery stores close for lunch outside of large cities.

Inevitably I found myself standing at the charcuterie and boulangerie counters as they we shutting off the lights and telling everyone it was time to leave.

The only thing I dislike in France are some of the public toilet facilities. The ones in Conques come to mind.

Planning was about right. Several days in Paris and 10 days in the countryside.

We didn't spend too much as shopping is never big on my itinerary.
We rented a car which was right for us as we like the independence and driving back roads.
Since that first trip we've been back many times and fall more in love with it each time.
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