Subject: Paris return notes
Hi Ya'll, We have just returned from our initial visit of 10 days to Paris and wanted to pass along some quick thoughts.

We made arrangements with Voyages a Paris for airport to hotel and vice versa travel. If you use them, I would strongly suggest that you clarify a pickup door at the airport. It took us an hour and three phone calls to finally locate one another. All in all, going to the hotel was problematic. However, the return trip to the airport was handled extremely well but that may be in part to my phone calls and exact clarification of time/location of pickup.

The STRIKES!!! I think these are going to continue thru the summer. They are random and vary. (The national sport of France as we were repeatedly told.) One day, all government run museums were closed. One day, all trains in France were down. Other days, various trains. Other days various museums. The d'Orsay never opened while we were there which was most disappointing since it was our top priority. However, we did realize that just pick another museum and if you are half lucky, you will find a great one. Our's was the Andre-Jacquemart on Hausmann Blvd. Not on the pass but a fantastic visit.

Meals Despite all my research, somehow I missed the fact that the good lunch (plat du jour) is stopped by 2:30 (14:30). So for a few days we had to rely on Croque Monsieur or salad. But, that is a real taste comparisom in itself since we never found any two Croques alike!!! Nor was the cheese in the Salad Frommage ever quite the same! Catch the plat du jour whenever possible. (A few recommendations will be forthcoming.)

Sites Notre Dame--be early or be prepared for a line, no way out. St Chappelle--same as above but the line is to go thru the scanners. Louvre--use the Lyons (lions) entrance, pass or not, there is no line and you enter the museum extremely close to Mona Lisa and move on. St Sulpice--very bright and beautiful St Eustache--extremely interesting for the architectural mix. Somewhat saddened by its disrepair. Madeline--fascinating inside; outside--see the Parthenon replica in Nashville, TN Chartres---GO!!!! Take Malcom Miller's tour. Awesome place. Eifel Tower---long, long lines at night to go up. Samaritane department store--I was really dreading being in a department store until I went to the panorama.

We really had no problems with anything once we got to the hotel. Our weather was awful but we weren't visiting for the weather, right? A great first visit. We hope to return. If anyone wants more information, just email and I will be happy to provide my comments.

Rudy in coastal, warm, sunny and countryside NC