France 2009


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Lyon

A fountain in the main square where we had lunch.

Note how they make it appear as though there is steam coming out of the horse's nose. Actually it is just a fine mist spray of water

We both had the same salad for lunch. That is an artichoke heart on top of the lettuce.

The city hall in the same square where we had lunch with the horse fountain.

The opera house.

The Rhone river

A walking bridge across the river.

A park along the river. The have slides for the children that run from the elevated sidewalk down to the park level..

Tomorrow we take the train to Paris and then Monday we fly home. The train goes right to the airport.

A few suggestions for all travelers.

This time, we only rented a car to drive to Normandy and Mt Saint Michelle. Normally, we would have had a car the whole time we were in Nice. The parking was always such a problem that we gave up this year and instead relied on public transportation be it bus or train. What a relief. Parking anywhere in Europe is a pain.

Instead of using a credit card, we paid most everything in cash. I bought my Euros at the Bank of America in Florida. The exchange rate was very favorable.

As usual, I carry nothing in my pants pockets. I have a small over the shoulder carry all bag with a zipper to close it. My wallet, cash and passport all are in it. There are pickpockets everywhere and it wise not to place anything in your pockets. Don't worry they will not grab the bag. Just be sure to hold it close to you and never set it down without keeping a close watch on it.

Americans refuse to believe it, but look at every menu. It says right there 15% service included. You need not tip. Even if you use a credit card you will plainly see that there is no place on it to add a tip as it is included. Most American insist on leave an extra tip. It is not expected. I will admit that if the bill is 19 Europe, I leave a 20 and do not pick up the change. But if it is 20, I leave a 20 Euro note and depart. Watch the Europeans at the table next to you. You will see that they do the exact same thing.

Bring very comfortable walking shoes, and leave the fancy leather shoes at home. You will walk a lot.

Under pack, don't over pack. The less luggage the better.

THE CELL PHONE - there are two phone systems in the USA
CDMA used by Verizon and Sprint
GSM used by AT&T and T-Mobile
GSM is the European standard, so if you have an AT&T or T-Mobile phone it will work in Europe with no problem. However there are expensive Roaming charges. Call you cell carrier before departing to get the discounted packages that they offer.
Certain few Verizon and Sprint phones are dual band, meaning that they work on both CDMA and GSM systems. Again, speak with your carrier about discounted Roaming arrangements.

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