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A question for the forumites who know France
Tue 7-Sep-10
5:30 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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wave So sorry about your delay Shereen.  Hope it all goes smoothly tomorrow.  big_hug

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Tue 7-Sep-10
10:20 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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Have a great time when you eventually get there, won't you, Shereen?

Hope the weather is nice and warm for you, too. big_hug

brightsparklystuff

"How do you spell 'Love'?" (Piglet). 

"You don't spell it, you feel it" (Pooh).

 'A hug,' said Pooh 'is always the right size!' 

Wed 8-Sep-10
8:51 am
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Shereen
Near Belfast, Northen Ireland

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Cheers guys 🙂

I've got the strangest sense of deja vue this morning! Although the sun is shining today for a change.

Sun 12-Sep-10
5:46 pm
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Shereen
Near Belfast, Northen Ireland

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Hello! I'm back from a lovely 4 days in Paris. I've eaten too much, drank too much and most definitely walked too much. Paris was lovely, Charles de Gaull airport was horrible and I'm going to take forever to catch up online!

Sun 12-Sep-10
5:49 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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Welcome back, Shereen - how did your Dad enjoy the trip?

"How do you spell 'Love'?" (Piglet). 

"You don't spell it, you feel it" (Pooh).

 'A hug,' said Pooh 'is always the right size!' 

Sun 12-Sep-10
7:06 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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wave So glad you had a good time Shereen.  It will take you ages to catch up here, it is so busy!!

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Sun 12-Sep-10
7:10 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Welcome home Shereen!  Good to see you again.  When you've managed to read all the posts we'd love to have the full story of your trip, including how your Dad enjoyed it, please.

I'll try that again!

Sun 12-Sep-10
7:37 pm
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MOS
Cannock Chase

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Hi shereen

hope you had a good time over there ,we did wave as we passed through paris but you were probbably living it up in the fleshpots of the naughtyer side of paris ,whilst we were trundling around the peripherique in the rain .did you wangle around yhe strike ok

MOS xx

sit down with a cupa and the urge will subside

Sun 12-Sep-10
10:35 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Ditto, Shereen - update us after you have caught your breath! big_hug

BTW - my French colleagues have warned me that the next train strike is scheduled for Thursday 23/09. They do love a good strike, them Frenchies, just like our dogs love a good loud barking in the garden every so often! big_laugh

Never knowingly underfed

Mon 13-Sep-10
10:07 am
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Ray and Helle
Denmark/Sweden

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Hi Shereen,

 

I have a quick question. You mentioned that CDG was horrible, I would really like to know if some of the more horrible parts are avoidable, as we are a group going over to "do" paris for four days in November.

 

I am so much looking forward to the trip, especially the Moulin Rouge (we booked the big package, ridiculously expensive, but what the hell)smug

 

Regards, Ray.

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Mon 13-Sep-10
10:45 pm
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Shereen
Near Belfast, Northen Ireland

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Hi Ray

CDG on the way in wasn't too bad, apart from a long queue at passport control because 3 flights had arrived at the same time.

The homeward trip was more fraught.

I'm an early bird so l get to the airport a bit before check-in opens. When we got to the terminal we discovered 1 giant snaking queue which held every single person flying with EasyJet from that terminal. There were 12 check-in desks handling the queue, but it moved slowly. After about 30 minutes of this a lady in airport uniform came trotting along the line with a sign saying 'Belfast'. She said "Belfast? Belfast?" We said "yes". She gestured up the queue and said "Go! Go! Go!", while pointing with her hand. So the little group of Belfast bound folk practically ran up to the first turn in the queue. Only to meet a huge gaggle of confused people.

The airport lady squeezed through the crowd, something that was much harder for the luggage laden passengers to do, and we were directed to the checked in online baggage drop queue. Which split into 3 queues, then 1 closed, then it opened and another closed. We didn't know where to turn.

Finally checked in, we got through passport check painlessly enough (well only a 15 minute queue), but our gate was showing another flight number and destination. The security man told me the gate had been changed. So we all trotted off to 31. Where we went through security and sat down, hoping for a rest before flying. After maybe 10 minutes of sitting there was an announcement telling us the gate had been changed again and we all were herded through to the original gate. Along with another queue of late arrivers. They made this announcement when G was at the loo, 2 flights of stairs down, and a security guard scolded me to go get my husband quick, quick; which I didn't want to do because it meant leaving Dad on his own.

Still, G arrived up the stairs at a trot having heard the announcement, we went through to the other gate and joined Dad in the messy queue of 2 or 3 queues.

And then we boarded the flight, which took off on time and got us home safe.

After nearly 2 and three quarter hours of doing nothing but moving from 1 queue to another. So much for the glamour of international travel!

The main lesson was to allow a lot more time to check in than you'd expect; and be prepared for no opportunities to eat, drink or shop at the airport. The only thing we had access to was a vending machine in the departure gate through security. If we'd stopped to eat in the airport we'd likely have missed check-in.

It was worth it though - Paris is just beautiful. Look: feature=player_embedded

 

(This is just a flying forum visit after catching up on Fiona's blog.)

Tue 14-Sep-10
8:08 am
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Ray and Helle
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Hi Shereen,

 

thanks for the reply,  sounds like you had a bit of an Airport nightmare!

 

I travel a lot around Europe for my job, so I know the hazards well. Paris was one Airport I have not been through as we do not have an Office there.

 

We have now booked on Air France, partly because the low cost carriers flight times cut our time in Paris by eight hours, partly to avoid what happened to you! (Home base carriers usually have far superior infrastructure for moving passengers through check-in and security).

Regs, Ray

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Tue 14-Sep-10
10:13 am
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JoannaS
Latvia

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I think Charles de gualle was on the lists of least favourite airports for my hubby too when he was doing a lot of travellinga bout. Copenhagen airport is nice isn't it Ray! One of the easiest and pleasanest to get around apart from the smoking sections - have they got rid of those yet. Whoops I think I have gone off topic a bitdoh

Tue 14-Sep-10
10:14 am
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Something I learned on my last trip to Paris in Dec is that "Paris" refers to the bit inside the Peripherique. My taxi driver from Gare du Nord station to my hotel in La Defense turned to me and asked "Is it in Paris?". Daft ha'pworth, thought I. Of course it is in flippin' Paris. I only learned afterwards from a French colleague. ok

What a stressful experience, Shereen, especially with Dad in tow. Times have changed drastically from 20 years ago when flying was a thrill and and an enjoyable part of a holiday abroad. frown

Ray - thanks for that tip about local airlines having more efficient transit systems. ok

 

Never knowingly underfed

Tue 14-Sep-10
11:44 am
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Nime is a lovely airport too, as is Nice.

I'll try that again!

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