Subject: CDG Airport to Paris - Tickets
Hello Ziners,

We are just back from a few days in Paris and a couple of weeks in Italy. Some tips we picked up on the way -

A month or so ago, Joel in Chicago talked about taking the RER from CDG airport into Paris and the Metro system. The lines to buy a ticket from an agent at the CDG RER station are long - about 30 minutes. There are automated self-service machines just outside the ticket office which are easy to use but which take Euro coins only and no bills. Be advised that there is a change machine on the left wall as you enter the ticket agent office at the CDG RER station. If you have Euro bills, you can get change from the machine, use the self-service ticket machines and avoid the long agent line. There are no signs directing you to the change machine but it is in plain sight on the wall to the left once you enter the ticket office.

Once we got into Paris, one of our group of 4 was immediately confronted by a pair of pickpockets as we loaded onto the Metro car. As our fried stepped onto the Metro car, one gentleman pulled up short in front of him, just inside the car and started pulling on our friend's pantlegs like he wanted him to move back or was standing on something the gentleman had dropped. The other guy was pushing our friend from behind like he was trying to get onto the car before the doors shut but he was in fact going through our friend's rear pockets. Fortunately, our friend was wearing a moneybelt and nothing was taken. Both of the perpetrators jumped off the car just as the doors closed. The regular commutors on the Metro we talked with said this was a very common occurence when people with large bags try to get on the Metro. They see the same people working the tricks on the same trains every day. Wear a money belt!

Finally, as recommended by someone on this site, we flew Volare Air from Paris Orly to Venice for about $80 per person. In fact, the tickets were only 40 Euros each and the balance of the cost was for taxes and service charges. This was about $30 per person cheaper than the night train and took only an hour and a half versus 10 hours or so for the night train. The public transportation connections from central Paris to Orly were great,

much better than the connections from CDG to Paris. We were able to spend an additonal night in Paris (and eat another great meal!) and arrived in Venice by 11 am rested and refreshed rather than tired by the long train ride. I would recommend Volare Air for your flights in Europe to or from Italian destinations.

Doug in Springfield