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France Travel Tips

4.0 stars

Insider advice for your France vacation


pretty_gal
Disneyworld Paris! 5 stars
I am 24, Married but i could not stop myself from being a mischievious kiddo again at this wonderful, thrilling place, DISNEYWORLD!!......I was there in peak winters, when paris encountered the most chilled out day at at -7 degrees but despite of this cold freezing weather i could not resist the wonder rides, the disney show, playing around with those cute and magical disney characters:).... If you are out for a family vacation to paris, do not miss to include this place with eiffel tower, louvre and other churches and monuments.

We reached there in the evening and unfortunately the entry was closed for the day, however, the disney park is open until midnight and entry is free of cost, you have few kids rides there, can shop from disney tshirts to disneygames to softtoys and much more and you find all this mostly at a nominal price and if its for your kids, iam sure you wouldnt want to dissapoint them:)

And you definately have a cure for that empty stomach, you have pastas to pizzerias, a burger shop but....if you want to make it memorable evening, have your meal at plannet hollywood build by Arnold!

A meal for two cost us 45 euros with delicious pastas, mouthwatering grilled chicken, and a choclate brownie with icecream, coffe and nuts:)!!!, there you have a beautiful bunch of people sitting to make it all more lively, excellent staff would come to comfort you every 20 minutes and ask if you needed something!!

All this enjoyment was jus at the disneypark at night which was full of bright lights disney characters and great shops!! we went to disney world the next morning!

we stayed at the kyriad disneyresort, and it was an excellent choice as they have free shuttle from and to airport, and from and to disneyworld till the resort!! you definately save around 80 euros here!!!

The breakfast was great, the rooms were huge and clean!! and a room for 2 with breakfast would clost you 70 euros a night, but u save a lot in travelling!!

TIPS AND INFORMATION:
DISNEY WORLD N WALT DISNEY- OPEN UNTIL 9:30 AM TO 8:00 PM( MIGHT HAVE CHANGED)
TICKET COST- 50 EUROS PER ADULT
BEST TIME TO BE THERE- SUMMERS
NEVER TO VISIT PARIS IN MONTH-- DECEMBER TO MID FEBRUARY!
DISNEYWORLD NOT TO MISS-THUNDER RIDES, 3D MOVIES, STIMULATOR, LIVE DISNEYSHOW(ALL INCLUDED IN THE TICKET!)

Hope it was a helpful tip and you wouldnt want to miss on this!!!:)


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quativia
Buying Goods in France 3 stars
A sorely learnt lesson came when I visited the beautiful Paris from South Africa and wanted to buy myself the newest cellphone on the market. I couldn't because I didn' t have my passport! Something I was never informed of is that a passport is required as an overseas traveller to purchase the likes of a phone - even prepaid. The phone had not come out in South Africa and the dream to be ahead of the pack was dashed. So, for future reference, remember to carry your passport for not only ID'ing yourself and security, but also that all favourite hobby of shopping!

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quativia
Public Swimmings Pools 2 stars
Everyone has a different view when it comes to self-exposure, for me, I'm conservative! On visiting Paris on a international language tour we had free use of the public swimming pools in the area as part of the package. For the girls it was easy but for the guys, it was hell. Coming from South Africa the norm for swimming is ''baggies'' otherwise known as surf shorts, NOT SPEEDOS! Turns out, in France the general consensus is NO CLOTHING in the pool, which includes such items. So, next time you visit a public pool in France, be prepared to bare skin and arrive in the right swimwear, else you'll be made to buy! (They actually have swimwear vending machines!)

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travelkevin
Driving in France - Top Tips 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Driving in France always used to phase me. Not only would the famous Gallic passion display itself in the frequent use of the horn (I used to believe that French cars were built with the ability to just turn the horn on constantly) but the road layout often felt as if it had been thrown together by a particularly merry urban planner after several bottles of vin rouge and maybe a glass or two of absinthe.

These then are my top tips for making sense of it all after several “largely accident free” years of battling the Citröens and signage.

First, the French have a notorious “priorité a droit” rule in urban areas which means that, in theory, anyone emerging from a minor road to your right has right of way and can pull out into the flow of traffic without looking. A yellow diamond sign however, or appropriate road markings, means that you have right of way but the top tip is to always drive slow enough in towns so that you can slam on the brakes if someone does rush out.

In practice this is really rare – even though they have the priority, most drivers emerging from side roads are aware that they might not be seen and so take care.

Next, the signs are colour coded in a straight-forward manner – blue for motorway, green for a major road etc. but if you see the words “itinéraire bis” it means there is an alternative route to the same place avoiding the motorway i.e. alternative route.

In the best scenarios this means you can arrive at a junction and have the same town name signposted to the left and the right – one is the motorway route and the other is the alternative.

Finally, the speed limit drops to 50km/h as soon as you pass the sign with a town’s name i.e. there is no sign stating that the limit is now 50, it is just general knowledge that when in town this is the case. The police seem to like to wait 1km beyond these signs for the unwary.


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travelkevin
Driving in France - New Laws (2008) 3 stars
If you’re planning to drive in France then be aware that new legislation has recently come into place which states that you need to carry quite a paraphernalia of backup equipment in your car for safety reasons. Failure to have any of the items required can result in an on-the-spot fine if you’re stopped by the police.

In practice such stops are fairly rare but you may fall foul if you’re caught speeding.

The items you’re supposed to have then are a basic first aid kit, a red warning triangle to put behind your vehicle if it breaks down, a fluorescent (high visibility) jacket and a complete set of spare bulbs for your vehicle’s lights.

The fluorescent jacket also has to be handy i.e. stored in the car and not in the boot and most French drivers now hang them over their driver’s seat!

If driving a left-hand drive vehicle you’ll also need headlight deflectors fitted.


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annatravel
New tax for tourists can become the reality soon 3 stars
French minister of culture has proposed to make a new tax for tourists. The problem is that 41% of French historical sights are in very bed conditions and some are even close to falling apart. 2EUR tax from each tourist taken at the hotel would provide extra 30 million which will go for the restoration of the historical buildings, constructions, monuments and other sights. It is motivated by the fact that about 70% of tourists come to France for sightseeing. Hotel industry is against this idea, as they think that it would badly influence the image of the French hospitality.
I wonder how are they going to separate tourists at the hotels from 30% of people who come lets say for business. On the other hand 2EUR per person is not a big deal and doesn’t really influence the budget of travelers. There are though also some sightseeing tourists who stay at the private premises. After all we all want to visit nice places not being afraid to be hit by a falling stone or to see just the ruins of what looked really nice before.


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MichaelN
The average customer 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
What does this mean for the average account holder of Société Générale? So far there has been no run on the bank. With a profit of 600-800 million, Société Générale is still in the black, which is a good sign in the current banking climate, where many banks have lost money due to involvement in sub-prime lending. Bouton has assured customers and stockholders that the bank is still sound, and will work out of this crisis. Needless to say, the bank is now working to close the security holes that allowed Kerviel to play, single-handed and undetected, with billions of the bank’s money.

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MichaelN
An extra 5.5 billion 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Although the fraud caused a loss of 4.7 billion, Société Générale will still post a profit of 600-800 million euros for its fiscal year 2007. However, the bank must raise an additional 5.5 billion euros in capital to maintain the liquidity ratio required by French banking regulations. There is a question where this new capital will come from. It could come from existing stockholders, or perhaps some large American investment banks such as J.P. Morgan. There is also a concern that in its weakened position, with a stock price driven down by the scandal, it could become a target for a takeover by a rival bank.

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MichaelN
Bigger loss than Barings Bank 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Kerviel’s trading losses far surpassed those of Nick Leeson, who in 1995 lost 1.2 billion dollars on unauthorized trades and caused the collapse of Barings Bank in England. Bouton, the PDG, initially kept the activities secret so as not to alarm the markets, which were already in turmoil over the continuing sub-prime lending crisis that is unwinding in the United States. After closing out the trades that Kerviel had made, Bouton and officers of Société Générale informed the government of the fraud on Wednesday, January 23. Both Bouton and his right-hand man Philippe Citerne have given up 6 months of salary as well as their bonuses as a gesture of good faith to the company, although neither man has been implicated in the fraud

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MichaelN
One man acting alone 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The rogue trading appears to be the work of one man acting alone, identified as Jérôme Kerviel. Kerviel was a former technician in the “back office” – the section of the bank where trades are processed – and was thus intimate with the bank’s IT operations. He was apparently able to mask his trades by creating a fictitious order that was the opposite of the illegal one. For example, if he made an unauthorized buy order, he was able to hide it by making a fictitious sell order for the same amount. Kerviel did his trading in stock futures and options, and he was able to pursue his illegal trading activities for a year before being caught.

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MichaelN
What do the French think? 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
What do the French think of this tabloid-style relationship? Many are put off by a president whose picture is splashed across the celebrity magazines. One man told me that it was a bit embarrassing for the French to see Sarkozy on the cover of the “people” magazines, as the French call them, along with Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. The political opposition has accused Sarkozy of spending too much time pursuing his ex-supermodel and not enough time working on the problems of France. Will Sarkozy and Bruni marry? Will Sarkozy survive this episode in his life? We need to wait and see. If the affair continues as it has, there will be no lack of documentation in the “people” magazines.

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MichaelN
Société Générale in Crisis 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The latest shock to France is the massive bank fraud perpetrated by an employee upon Société Générale. Société Générale, reputed to be one of the most solid and well-managed banks in France, discovered early this week that one of its employees, a trader, had been making unauthorized trades on the firms account, to the tune of up to 50 billion at certain points in time. A routine security check on Sunday, January 20, 2008, revealed the activity. The bank was able to shut down the operation, but the net result was a loss of 4.7 billion euros for the banking giant. The PDG (CEO in French), Daniel Bouton, offered to resign, but the board of directors declined the resignation, wishing him to stay and manage the bank through this crisis.

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MichaelN
Whirl-wind courtship 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Bruni has been seen in the company of such rock stars as Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton, and had a serious relationship with Raphael Enthoven, with whom she had her son, Aurélien, in 2001. Raphael Enthoven is the son of publisher Jean-Paul Enthoven. Bruni met Sarkozy at a dinner party in November 2007, at the home of public relations advisor Jacques Séguéla, and the French president was immediately taken with her. What has followed has been what looks to be a whirl-wind courtship, culminating in the vacation to Egypt. The press has had ample opportunities to photograph the couple, and neither Sarkozy nor Bruni seem to mind.

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MichaelN
Supermodel and Singer 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
At the age of 19 Carla began a career as a model, and achieved the rank of supermodel. She pursued her modelling career for 10 years, and during the 1990s was one of the most photographed models in the world, with her photograph appearing on all of the top fashion and celebrity magazines. In 1997, at the age of 29, she ended her modelling career to devote her time to music. Her musical career has been successful as well. In 2002 she released an album “Quelqu’un m’a dit” (Someone told me) in which she sang her compositions solo, accompanying herself on guitar. The album sold 2 million copies.

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MichaelN
Italian Origin 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Carla Bruni Tedeschi, better known as Carla Bruni, is of Italian birth, but spent much of her life in France. She was born in Turin in 1968. She is the daughter of rich Italian industrialist Alberto Bruni Tedeschi and concert pianist Marysa Borini. She grew up in an atmosphere of privilege and appreciation for music and the arts, living in a villa in Italy and later in a well appointed apartment in Paris. Both her father and mother were deeply involved in music, and Carla grew up composing songs and playing the guitar.

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MichaelN
Euro Disney 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The couple Sarkozy-Bruni first appeared together publicly for the record in December 2007, when they had a “date” at Euro Disney. They were photographed by the paparazzi and made the covers of three “people” magazines, “Point de Vue”, “Paris Match”, and “Closer.” Later, Bruni and Sarkozy spent the Christmas holidays together in Egypt, followed by a weekend in Jordan. Their relationship has become very close in this period of time. Rumors are now swirling that the two may marry in February. There has even been speculation that Bruni is pregnant with Sarkozy’s child.

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MichaelN
Sarkozy and Carla Bruni 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I left France for the U.S. on December 3, for the Christmas holidays. At that time, Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s new president, was barely in the news. When I returned four weeks later, there he was on the front cover of all the big magazines, accompanied by the very attractive Carla Bruni. When did this all come about? The last big personal story on Sarkozy was the divorce from his wife, Cécilia. This happened in October 2007. Now, three months later, he was in the company of another attractive woman. Who was she and how did they meet? Since I had been out of the country for the unveiling to the press, I had to do some quick research

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MichaelN
The Psalette Cloister 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
As you leave the cathedral, it is well worth paying a visit to the Psalette Cloister. Built on the north side of the cathedral, it is part of a large monastery that once attached to the cathedral. The cloister consists of three galleries. Part of the architecture is in the flamboyant Gothic style, and part is in the Renaissance style. One of the highlights of the cloister is a magnificent spiral staircase that leads up to the scriptorium. A visit to a Gothic cathedral such as Saint Gatien is always a moving experience. We see a structure that took centuries to build, with architectural details that exist no longer. When you are in Tours, take some time and visit this historic site.


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MichaelN
Highlights 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The entire cathedral is a magnificent example of Gothic architecture. Of particular note are the spires, which rise up over 80 meters. The three Gothic doorways are also particularly detailed and beautifully ornamented, and the gallery above the West rose window is quite stunning. The cathedral suffered damage to its sculptures during the Wars of Religion, and during the Revolution it became a temple for the Goddess of Reason. By the 19th century is was declared an historic landmark. The cathedral has thus survived for seven centuries, and stands today as one of the most beautiful churches in France.


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MichaelN
Gothic Architecture 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
A long building period resulted in Saint Gatien having elements of the rayonnant Gothic, flamboyant Gothic, and even Rennaissance, architectural styles. Dating back to the 13th century, the Chancel is an excellent example of the pure Gothic style. The stained glass windows also date to the 13th century. You can find stained glass telling the story of Genesis, as well as windows depicting the life of John the Baptist or Saint John the Evangelist. The transept, built in the 14th century, has two incredibly beautiful rose windows. From the 14th to the 15th century the nave and the side aisles were built, exhibiting the flamboyant Gothic style, and the spires, completed in 16th century, were topped off in the Italian Renaissance style.


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