Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April 23 – Travel Day from Paris to Amsterdam on the train – General Observations Thus Far

Picture 1: Me on the bank of the Seine - Day 1 in Paris; Picture 2 - Bill under the Eiffel Tower - Day 1 in Paris;  Picture 3: the underside of the Eiffel Tower - Day 1 in Paris

We didn't take any pictures on our travel day from Paris to Amsterdam so the pictures above of Paris will have to suffice.  We have lots more to share on Paris. 

April 23 – Travel Day from Paris to Amsterdam on the train – General Observations Thus Far

  1. It is worth it to take a cab to your accommodations when you arrive in a new city.  Dragging your luggage when you aren’t sure where you are going just isn’t worth it.
  2. Never expect a free coffee refill.
  3. If you are a coffee drinker, learn to say “coffee American” in many languages.
  4. Hotels will be charming but never quite as good as the pictures (exception: Hotel Belvedere Pool on Mallorca)
  5. Once you get to the Paris train station and from there on, you will be charged to use public restrooms.  Be sure you have change.  My tummy was upset when we left Paris, and it cost me a fortune at 70 cents a trip.  Restrooms in restaurants are always free.
  6. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Most people are very helpful.
  7. You can survive without a cell phone.
  8. You can’t survive without some kind of electronic communications.  We don’t have a cell phone, but we have a laptop, a Kindle, and an iPad.
  9. Don’t tip like an American – 10% is fine.
  10. Europeans, for the most part, don’t believe in ice.  You will not find icemakers in your hotel. Beer will be served cellar temperature. 
  11. You can’t get the same kind of over the counter medications here that you can find in the States.  Take what you need with you.
  12. Some hotels will not have elevators.  Be prepared to lug your luggage.
  13. Most hotels now have wifi – if not in your room, you can get it in the lobby.
  14. Hotel elevators are sometimes really skinny.  In Paris, I could fit in the elevator with my luggage and then had to send the elevator back down to get Bill.
  15. Most electronic devices will already have the voltage built in.  Our laptop and our iPad both do.  However, our Kindle needs a converter. Check the cord on your device before you leave – it should say whether it’s set up for 110 -240V or not.  You will need a plug converter.  We bought a kit that contained plug converters and a voltage converter from Triple A in Indianapolis for about $30.
  16. Most hotels now have hair dryers and air conditioning.  This was not the case when we first traveled in 2002.
  17. Now that almost all European hotels are on-line, it’s a lot easier to plan a European trip than it used to be.
  18. You can find anything by googling on the Internet.  We have had to google how to use a French Press to make coffee and how to use a bidet for “other things”.
  19. Every European city has a McDonald’s and a merry-go-round.  We didn’t physically see the one in Granada, but there was a Burger King instead. 
  20. European public transportation is fabulous.  I wish Indianapolis had even a small piece of what they have in Europe.
  21. Train travel in Europe is so easy.  Just watch the board for your track.  Head for the track and get on the train. 

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