Paris in 2.5 days: suggestions?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mario Bartel, Jan 16, 2003.

  1. Mario Bartel

    Mario Bartel Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay, we've got London, New York, LA covered here in AH. Let's add Paris.

    I'll have 2.5 days there this summer, at the end of a nearly two-week tour through France (fellow HTFer Jay Hui and myself will be cheering on Lance to his fifth Tour de France victory). It's not a lot of time, so I need to make the most of what little I have. Suggestions? The Eiffel Tower is a given. I'm not a huge fan of following the pack of fellow tourists; I'd rather see and do things that would really give me the flavor of a city's character and people.
     
  2. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Two days?
    OK, here are some suggestions (not in a specific order):
    Use the Métro as much as you can. BTW, it was thoroughly cleaned some years ago and is still being renewed.
    Visit the Sacré-Coeur, sit on the steps - you can be seen from the Eiffel Tower now - (and walk shortly through Monmartre: it's rather touristic, but you simply must have seen the Moulin Rouge area once in your life). Go there, or else leave there, using the little cable train.
    Yes, the Eiffel Tower. From the Eiffel Tower, take a boat across the River Seine.
    Go to La Place de la Défense (using the métro), on your way back in the métro, stop at the Arc de Triomphe and visit it shortly, then proceed.
    Les Tuileries (gardens, lovely walk, can also have lunch there or diner). Walk a bit on Les Champs Elyssées ("Heavenly Fields" [​IMG] ).
    Le Musée d'Orsay (previous railway station), very special atmosphere. Did I mention the Louvre? May be very crowded and the Mona Lisa is smaller than you expected.
    Cross several of the Seine bridges (Pont Neuf!) and walk along the steps of the Seine (Blvd. St. Michel).
    Notre Dame!
    The graveyard of Père Lachaisse is a very quiet place, where you'll also find the graves of many famous persons (Edith Piaf). Nice peaceful spending of a morning.
    Have breakfast on the Rue de Rivoli, lunch in the vicinity of Place St. Michel, dine in the Quartier Latin, or wherever: dine!
    Part of Paris may be blocked on Tour de France days. Generally the Métro will still bring you anywhere.
    Note: Sometimes things go wrong between American tourists and the French. Expect things to be different. Your diner will take longer, don't complain to quickly: it will be worth a wait.
    Also, in general, good habits are still a bit more formal than you may be used to. More "keeping face". But on the other hand, not everyone is as polite as you may expect, sometimes more rude. It's complicated ([​IMG] ), try the "accept strangers" attitude, reminding yourself you're in their country.
    Don't expect them to understand English: French is quite a different language. And learn a few French words. It may make things more easy and they'll really appreciate your attempt.
    And beware of street-thieves (I saw a guy putting down his heavy suitcases for a moment, close to a bank of the Seine, and they were grabbed by a youngster, part of a group, who simply ran away with it, handing it over to friends, etc. like a relay race) and pick-pockets (especially in the métro - they may make public announcements in the stations when they spot suspicious subjects)). Nothing to be really alarmed, but just beware. Almost like New-York.
    Your schedule may be influenced by the weather, of course. When warm and not raining: more outside. I'm sure the above will be more than 2 days already, you'll need a next vacation. [​IMG]
    Have a great journey!
    Cees
     
  3. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Nothing else to add really after the comprehensive guide above [​IMG]. Last time I was there I stayed in the 20e arrondissement, which is a hmmm... "bohemian" neighborhood, much like the Village in NYC. You could go out at 1AM and streets would still be somewhat busy, those "crepe" (pancakes?) vendors stay out late. Lots of Arab, Turkish restaurants and the like. If you enjoy that kind of stuff of course [​IMG]
    You HAVE to see the touristy places, though, really they are worth it.
    --
    Holadem
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  5. Scott Van Dyke

    Scott Van Dyke Supporting Actor

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    Paris? Skip it. I don't care for the French.
     
  6. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    Scott, that was UHM really helpful.

    Cees, I'm suprised you didn't mention the Louvre. Is it much of a dissapointment?

    Brent

    Or would it take a day all by itself?
     
  7. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  8. Mario Bartel

    Mario Bartel Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Cees! Some great suggestions, which I'll be able to cross-reference to my guidebook.[​IMG]
     
  9. Frank Anderson

    Frank Anderson Cinematographer

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    Scott,
    I do not know if you were joking, trying to be funny or what but please refrain from making comments of that sort.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Go Lance! Great idea Mario. Keep us posted as to your views of Le Tour.

    Will you attempt any of the stages just to see what its like? I have some friends some years back who decided to descend the Col d’Madeleine. It began to rain part way down and they described this as the scariest time of their lives.

    You are going to love Paris!
     
  11. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    BTW one of the things we liked most about the Hotel Cayre was that it had the "Rude De Bac" Metro stop right in front of the door!
     
  12. Scott Van Dyke

    Scott Van Dyke Supporting Actor

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    My appologies to all. Have a nice time in Paris Mario.
     
  13. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Hey guys, when I tell my friends (non-cycling ones) I'm going to the Tour de France, they think I'm going to be in it. :)

    I don't speak French, I would get stuck in Quebec! I think there is going to a be a ton of non-native tourists milling around France, maybe we'll try to hook up with some that do.

    As far as the riding, I'm bringing my hill climber (a 12-26 cassette with an Ultegra triple) and hope to do as much of the riding as the police will let me. They close the course after a certain time but you can ride the course before and stop at a good viewing spot. I hope we can do the Tourmalet!

    Jay
     
  14. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    I have always had a great time there and have found the french extremely nice...but if you want to be hated, here's a guide

    Wear loud clothes that you wouldn't be seen dead in at home!
    Shorts, running suits and T shirts will make you seem invisible or like a german invader.

    Speak loud in short bursts of 'American' and louder when they pretend not to understand you; then louder and slower....Pink Panther movies are helpful in the accent

    Ask for french Fries and french onion soup and a bud!

    Wee Wee
     
  15. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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  16. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

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    I went to the 96 Tour de France and watched part of it from the top of the Arc de Triumphe. I'm not much of a cycling fan, I was just over there (I had actually flown in that morning @ 6am and was VERY tired!) but it was pretty neat to go see, even to me!
    Through sheer randomness I ended up sitting next to and eating with (not together, per se, but it was a six person table and the cafe was busy, so they just put us all together...) with the former prime minister of Denmark (really!) and one question I asked if he had seen any of the Tour de France (considering Bjarne Riis had won it) and he said no, but he would tell all his friends he had so they wouldn't make fun of him. That was my most interesting day in Paris, I think. [​IMG]
    The street vendors around the Notre Dame area are pretty neat. At least, I thought they were when I was 16...
    I spent more time in the Alps (Val d'Isere and hiking) and southern France (Avingon, Nimes) than Paris. I'm ashamed to say I didn't even go to the Louvre... but at that age I wasn't very interested in art. :b Versailles is right close to Paris and you might be interested in that. But you don't have a lot of time. The grounds were more interesting than the castle/mansion itself.
    I would highly recommend Nimes as it has two of the best preserved Roman ruins in the world. The The Pont du Gard (the great aquaduct) isn't too far away either, IIRC. Avingon has the Palais des Pape (Popes Palace) and a huge summer festival...
    Be friendly and polite and try to speak some French (e.g., 'parlez-vous anglais?' 'si-vous plait' 'je suis bete american' ) Have fun...
     
  17. Zane Charron

    Zane Charron Second Unit

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    Paris is a great city. I still remember the time I tried ordering a croissant from a stand in what I thought was a decent French accent. The guy looked at me like "What?". I said it again and then he proceeded to tell me the CORRECT pronunciation of the word which sounded more like "Hrasan!". Or maybe he was clearing his throat.
    Anyway, if you're into all-things-morbid like me, you might check out one of the almost-undiscovered by tourists "City of the Dead", a miles-long underground labyrinth comprised of about 6 million Parisians who had to be moved in the 1700's from the cemetaries as the city expanded. Here's a link.
    http://www.smithsonianmag.si.edu/smi...catacombs.html
    You'd never know it was there unless you were looking for it. The entrance is a kiosk in the middle of a 4 lane road, if I remember right. It's creepy, but I'm a sucker for underground catacombs and crypts and such. Most major European cities have 'em.
     
  18. Khoa Tran

    Khoa Tran Supporting Actor

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    BEWARE! the metro stinks really bad! uhmm french people do not wear deoderant and it will be summer so just beware, you might as well join the group and not wear any as well....no public rest rooms, you're gonna have to buy something to go the restroom and beware of the gay prostitutes....=) have fun!
     
  19. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    I figured that was the case.

    I'd probably be there forever then. I tend to spend 2 hours in your average art store.

    I tend to get lost in the art, and love trying to figure out what the artist was thinking.

    Brent
     
  20. Ron Etaylor

    Ron Etaylor Second Unit

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    Another vote for the Louvre(most other museums are a joke after you see this) and the catacombs...verry cool.
     

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