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A few thoughts from a first time visitor

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Massachusetts
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for Quebec City, Block Island
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A few thoughts from a first time visitor

First, thanks to all on this forum who made our first time trip to Paris so much easier. We have one more full day to go, unless backups from hurricane Sandy extend our stay even further, but I wanted to give a few first impressions now.

1. The language difference has really been a non issue. While we visit Quebec province often I was concerned about how much French I would need to speak here. While it has been a little more, our ability to communicate has been just fine. No problems whatsoever, even with the cabbies who truly don't speak any English.

2. And speaking of cabs, it has been a great way to go. Yes, everyone talks about taking the metro or one of the hop on/hop off buses or boats, but a cab ride, whether to Notre Dame, or another destination, gives you a real feel for the city, as well as a great chance to see sights you wouldn't see otherwise, or from a different view.

3. The tourist sights, even this time of year, are packed. We had no interest in climbing the steps of Notre Dame, but trying to figure out just to get inside the church for a peak was near impossible. There was a long line, whether to climb up to the top, which you pay for, or to just get inside, I couldn't tell.

4. But walking over to the Latin quarter was great. Many people may try to steer you away from some of the tourist cafes but we've had a wonderful time. The prices have not been outlandish. Ok, I take that back. The bottle of wine I got, in Montmartre, at a great little cafe, was a bit much, but it was my favorite and it was the first time I'd seen it on a menu in France, but otherwise, the food, as expected, has been great.

5. Finally, the money scams. No attempts at pick pocketing. One petition girl. But the truly interesting scam has been the lost or fallen ring. That we've had several times. What gets me is the slight of hand they use. All of a sudden they are beside you asking if this was your ring. It is like a magic trick.

Paris, you have won my heart. This was a taste, an introduction. The more I see, the more I want to know you better.

JDP

Hayti, Missouri
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1. Re: A few thoughts from a first time visitor

Paris is quite addictive. I would actually take walking over the taxis myself, though. There are so many little alleyways you can wander down and get lost in within the city, too.

Massachusetts
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for Quebec City, Block Island
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4,703 posts
41 reviews
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2. Re: A few thoughts from a first time visitor

Oh we have done quite a bit of walking, don't get me wrong. It is just that the cabs seem to give you a private tour if you will that the metro can't. Just our opinion.

JDP

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: A few thoughts from a first time visitor

I confess to being guilty of using a taxi on the need to or want to basis. We walk miles in Paris as it is the perfect place for that. But when in a rush, hopping into a taxi is my splurge, specially if you are near a taxi stand.

Paris, France
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4. Re: A few thoughts from a first time visitor

I take a taxi in Paris about once every 3 years, but I am happy that some people are willing to help them make a living.

Pjk
New Jersey
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for Key West
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5. Re: A few thoughts from a first time visitor

Where did you stay?

Pjk

Hayti, Missouri
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6. Re: A few thoughts from a first time visitor

I would think a bus would be just as good an option for above-ground as a taxi, as well. And a lot more economical!

Massachusetts
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for Quebec City, Block Island
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7. Re: A few thoughts from a first time visitor

Pjk great to hear from you. Le Meridien Etiole. It was part of a tour so not our choice. I'll write more about it another time. A bit out of the way.

JDP

Paris, France
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8. Re: A few thoughts from a first time visitor

One interesting thing about the Méridien Etoile is that even though it doesn't look like it (since it is not a high rise), it is the largest hotel in Paris.

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: A few thoughts from a first time visitor

Exactly, Kerouac2, taxi drivers need some revenue to survive, so three resides a trip helps the floundering French economy.

Pennsylvania
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10. Re: A few thoughts from a first time visitor

I could ride the public buses all day long and do nothing else and still have a great time in Paris.