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comment by WanderingEng
WanderingEng  ·  419 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Planning for Paris

Thanks for sharing this. I enjoyed reading it. How long were you there in total?

Your pictures make me want to go, especially that shot of the Eiffel Tower with the tourist in the road. It's a reminder that this is a real thing with people and not just the same picture we always see.

How packed was the Louvre away from the Mona Lisa? I walked through the National Gallery of Canada in 2006 and enjoyed it. Those big galleries with famous artwork can be very impressive. Was the the Louvre much less busy in other areas?

I chuckled at this:

    Most of our trips are last-minute affairs, with activities and even accommodations arranged at airports or on arrival.

You and I seem a lot alike, but finally here is a clear difference. I'm the traveler who arrives with a folder of printed directions for each step, organized in order along with printed hotel and flight confirmations at the appropriate step. This has changed with data, too.

wasoxygen  ·  406 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You'd dig it the most.

The Louvre is huge, so I am sure there are many quiet corners where you could quietly contemplate the fine art, though it might be oil paintings of fruit and dead kings.

We stayed four nights. The main reason for the last-minute arrangements is that we travel standby, so we never know if we will even arrive. I also prefer to do more advance research, but many times we have changed the destination the day before based on flight loads.

On an earlier trip to Paris, we couldn't get on the JFK-CDG flight. We saw that there was a flight to London leaving in an hour, and figured that was close enough, got listed and got cleared. On arriving at Gatwick, we discovered that all the low-cost carriers flew out of Heathrow, or vice versa. A black cab was something crazy like £60, and the Underground was too slow and intimidating (without a smartphone).

We ended up taking the train, which wasn't cheap but worked out great. We arrived at the Gare du Nord and I booked a room using a pay phone and my prepared list of possible accommodations. Ready to settle in at last, we stepped outside to get a ride to the hotel and discovered a line around the block; the taxi drivers were on strike!