would I regret skipping Paris....

Old Jan 20th, 2014, 06:23 PM
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Of course, another alternative would be -and this is from a "Parisphile"-to skip the other places and concentrate on magnificent Paris.
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 06:28 PM
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Except for Kent I have been to and love all the places you list. Paris is my favorite city but I always wanted to go there. I don't think you have time on this trip. And I don't think your question was ignorant.
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 06:29 PM
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"Does Paris have a special something that is not missing from London and Rome?" Don't you mean... "have something that IS missing"..... ANSWER: YES. Been to London twice and Rome twice ( separately, dont like to combine countries usually), but Paris 6 times. It is aesthetically & architecturally so much more a beautiful city, neighborhood by neighborhood. There is just so much to see. These three cities are distinct, and especially from each other. There are plenty of responses above to consider so I'll not elaborate my rationale; but primarily, you need to educate yourself by reading and re-reading travel guides thoroughly to do away with ridiculous presumptions you seem to have.
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 06:36 PM
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indyhiker, let me explain where I was coming from. My lack of knowledge on Paris is a fact. As an early step in planning my trip I bought the Rick Steves' pocket guides to Paris, London and Rome. I began to see that all 3 cities in one trip might be unwise so I was attempting to begin to compare/contrast the three. I was trying to ask people not to sell me on Paris but explain how it is different from London and Rome. If I had unlimited time and resources I wouldn't question my decision to see all three of these great cities/countries.

Sorry.
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 06:51 PM
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StCirq, I was only going to be able to spend 2.5 days in Paris so of course I am going to be seeing it on a superficial tourist type level.

And the point about the bread was to illustrate the amazing cuisine of Paris would be lost on me much the same way that the amazing Chefs and food in New Orleans would be lost on me. I realize it is my loss. As far as London, I would like to eat at a cool Polish restaurant because I rather enjoy piergoies and I imagine I will sample something at the Borough Market. I imagine that in Rome I will enjoy take away pizza, some gnocchi maybe and gelato. Food is just not a big thing for me is all. I didn't mean it as an insult to Paris.
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 06:54 PM
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You have a point 330east. I feel with as many people as I have offended(unintentionally) with this post, that I need to do something.
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 06:56 PM
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Thank you Micheline.
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 07:00 PM
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Thank you aliced for catching that error. I will educate myself.
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 07:09 PM
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For a first timer -- I personally think London and Paris are the very best 'toe in the water' for Europe. London is . . . Well, London. Massive and full of the most amazing free museums and galleries, and the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey, and great food, and theatre, and Hampton Court Palace an massive parks and the river.

Then there is Paris -- VERY accessible, beautiful architecture, iconic views, casual bistros where one can sit and people watch, and wonderful food, and the river, terrific museums/galleries (most cost €€)

IMO Rome is 'less manageable' - more helter skelter, harder to get one's head around. Terrific place to visit OF COURSE. But reading between the lines of your various posts -- I think London/Cotswolds/Kent and Paris are a better 'fit' for your first trip.
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 07:10 PM
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Polish food in London? That's novel! Any particular place?

Pizza, gnocchi, and gelato sounds fine for Rome.

My point was the same is true for Paris. There's no reason to hold Paris on some culinary pedestal that you feel you can't attain. But it doesn't have to be crossaints and baguettes. There's African food, Asian food, crèpes, pizza, pasta, tagines, street food of all kinds, steack-frites, mussels, sandwiches, soups, soufflés...and it doesn't even matter if you don't care about food. You seem to have this strange idea that Paris is going to judge you don't care much about fine dining.Paris isn't even going to notice you're there. Same goes for New Orleans.
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 07:15 PM
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<< I was trying to ask people not to sell me on Paris but explain how it is different from London and Rome. >>

If you had asked this question you would have received different responses.

Less noise than Rome, less sprawling than London or Rome. More of a Medieval feel in certain parts. More diverse sightseeing than Rome, particularly regarding museums. More music/musical events, more green space. Churches in Rome are more magnificent. Food is better than in London; about the same as Rome although since you're not eating anything but bread it doesn't matter. People are more aloof than London, about the same as people in Rome. Lots of street markets full of beautiful food, magnificent cemeteries (all other cemeteries pale in comparison), better busking, incredible stained glass, astounding pastries (should I beat the dead horse, again??). Rome has the best sculpture at the Borghese but Paris has many museums devoted to sculpture (Rodin, Maillol, Zadkine) plus the sculpture at the Louvre and in the cemeteries, and in the gardens, and in the churchyards. Many benches to sit down for free (try to find that in Rome). And finally, joie de vivre.

https://modigliani.shutterfly.com/paris2007/161
https://modigliani.shutterfly.com/paris2007/145
https://modigliani.shutterfly.com/paris2007/114

Each city has its own feel. It's like trying to compare Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York.

I've had at least 1 really terrible meal in Paris and quite a few mediocre meals so I can assure you that Paris is not about fine dining unless you have a large budget.
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 07:18 PM
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I love Paris but your trip is already verrrry busy. Add time to Rome, which, because of its buzzing, thrumming chaos, can be harder for some people to warm up to. For me, Rome was love at first sight. Took longer with Paris, but now I'm an ardent Parisophile too.
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 07:23 PM
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And it took me 3+ trips to warm up to Rome, whereas Paris was love at first sight, so it's different for everyone.
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 07:46 PM
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I don't think you should be judged harshly for questioning the love affair with Paris. But I agree with some of the other posters in that you have a full agenda already. If you decide you want to visit Paris, come back on a later trip and give it the time you think it deserves. There is no doubt Paris is a great city (size, cultural influence), but it's not for everyone (I liked Paris but I'm in no hurry to return . I think you will have a wonderful trip and don't worry about Paris for now.

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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 07:47 PM
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Oh, pressed too early - didn't mean to have that huge laughing face there, just a smiley.

Lavandula
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 07:52 PM
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To clarify - I meant >>But reading between the lines of your various posts -- I think <u>just</u> London/Cotswolds/Kent and Paris are a better 'fit' for your first trip.<<

That would be great for the short time you have which is just under 2.5 weeks.

Otherwise I'd do <u>just</u> Italy.
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 10:24 PM
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No traveler can afford to miss Paris.Its strange that you confined Paris to just museums and food. What about the Architecture ? Attractions ? Ambiance? I dont know what made you say this but I hope this stampede on the thread helps you realize why you cant afford to miss Paris .
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 10:42 PM
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French food is not all hoity toity.. common menu items are steak and fries, roast chicken, Beef stew, and grilled cheese and ham sandwiches( Croque Monsieurs) . Crepes are popular and can be had in a restaurant or from street stands.. I love getting a ham and cheese crepe for lunch and just finding a place to sit and enjoy it and people watch.
I like Rome.. but I had a harder time finding food I liked.. and I dislike the bread there ... a lot! lol

Paris is more compact in a way.. from where you are staying you could walk to a lot of the major sites. I find the sights in Rome alot more spread out.

London .. hmmm, while there I would assume you would be visiting a museum or two?


I think what ruffled a few feathers is you did seem to have some rather obvious bias against Paris but no real knowledge to back it up.. for goodness sake you really think we all go there to eat fancy food all day long.. lol

Regardless I find your trip way too busy.. a lovely tour of train stations and airports though.

I think you have 7 places in less then 20 days!!! I would visit 3 ,, maybe 4 max. Reason being is everytime you move you basically lose a day in travel.. checking out of hotel , getting to train station or airport, the transport time, getting to next hotel , checking in,, minimally this uses a half day even for shorter jaunts. So cut Paris... I think you have it set up to fail you.. too short a visit to overcome all the bias.. if you gave it 3-4 days at least you may be able to calm down and just enjoy walking the medieval center.. seeing the buildings, watching the people.. soaking up the beauty of this timeless city.

PS I love London,,will be there again ( 5th time) this summer ,, ( and of course thats after a week in Paris,, my fave ) but London is simply not as "beautiful" as Paris. If you like architecture Paris is definately a city you should get to visit.. There are some pretty sterile ug o lee building in London, the rebuilds after the bombing I guess.
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Old Jan 21st, 2014, 02:53 AM
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StCirq, it did take you three times to warm up to Rome? I might have to try it again then. I was in awe when I stepped out into the light at the metro station in Paris. Saint Eustache was right there and my Mom's rellies were in their church records so it sort of sang to me. I just love walkable Paris. London is the same way for me.
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Old Jan 21st, 2014, 03:05 AM
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For a first timer, I believe you need to trim your trip down to 3 or maybe 4 cities...you need to take into account all the travel time therein. Otherwise, it will be a blur when you return.

I personally love Paris so am biased but do think you should give it a shot. Rick Steve's guidebooks are quite good and should be beneficial to you. You might want to wander around the travel section at a Barnes & Noble which I just did for a trip I am planning in May to see what strikes your eye.
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