Subject: Passes, carte orange, Slovenia, etc.
Hi, everyone -

First of all, thanks to those who offered advice & suggestions about Slovenia. I spent a week there during my recent trip to Europe, and enjoyed it immensely.

My suggestion to anyone going into the mountains of Slovenia is to stay at Lake Bohinj rather than at Lake Bled. Bohinj is far less built up than the area around Bled, and opportunities for walking or serious mountain hiking are endless. People I met while staying at Bohinj recommended Bled as a day trip (local buses are inexpensive and easy to use.)

Again this trip I spent time in Romania. On the road, we stayed in Marosvasarhely (Turgu Mures) and Szekelyudvarhely, two larger places in Transylvania, in very nice hotels. With the exchange rate as it is, 4-star is more than affordable in Romania.

I finished the trip with two weeks in Paris. In answer to the pass vs. tickets question, I agree with those who advised buying the RER ticket into Paris, then purchasing a carnet (10 tickets for 10 Euros.) You do so much walking in Paris that 10 tickets will last a long time. While the Carte Orange might be useful if you planned to make a lot of bus trips to distant parts of the city, I still think the carnet is better.

One more thing - everywhere I went, there were people (most of them looked to be travelers over 50) with fresh bandages, casts and other marks of injury. I am sure this was linked to the hot weather - traveling is stressful at any time, but especially when weather is extreme. Be careful!

Julie in Seattle, where the weather is gorgeous today