taffimai: (London by andidream)
taffimai ([personal profile] taffimai) wrote2009-05-18 06:10 pm

Side Trip

I have confirmed that I can get enough hotel points to do a three night side trip.

I'm very tempted by Paris, but I don't speak French and I'm worried about getting around the city. I'd hate to be that awful American who goes to a country without knowing the language and needs everyone to speak English for them. I'm also worried about the anti-semitism in France, both from a safety perspective and a "graffiti swastikas do not make for a relaxing vacation" perspective. If anyone has experiences that they would be willing to share, I'd be very grateful.

Of course, there are lots of other options within the UK, but I'm not knowledgeable about them. Again, experiences and opinions are welcome. Please?

[Poll #1402042]

[identity profile] frogmajick.livejournal.com 2009-05-18 10:40 pm (UTC)(link)
If you stay at a decent hotel in Paris, speaking English is part of the concierge's job. At least enough to get you to tourist traps, food, and the bathroom ;p

Everyone should go to Paris at least once if they have the opportunity.

[identity profile] taffimai.livejournal.com 2009-05-18 10:44 pm (UTC)(link)
I'd be at the Hilton, so there should be a decent concierge.

Also? I love that Captain Jack wants me to go to Cardiff!

[identity profile] frogmajick.livejournal.com 2009-05-18 11:33 pm (UTC)(link)
LOL, yes he does. That might be because I wasn't paying much attention to my log-in and you're on both flists.

[identity profile] taffimai.livejournal.com 2009-05-18 11:40 pm (UTC)(link)
I figured. But it was still funny.

[identity profile] stackcats.livejournal.com 2009-05-18 10:55 pm (UTC)(link)
I got around fine when I went to France. I have a smattering of French, but nothing you can't get out of a guidebook. I had no idea France was particularly anti-semitic *has learned something*

I also voted Edinburgh because I LOVE it there. It's a little far, though. Cornwall is nice, I recommend St Ives. If it was me, I'd want to take a break from London and go somewhere quiet, but I don't know how you feel about big cities.

[identity profile] taffimai.livejournal.com 2009-05-18 11:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, that's good to know! I love big cities, but I'd like to see some of the countryside too.

[identity profile] stackcats.livejournal.com 2009-05-18 11:34 pm (UTC)(link)
The countryside is beautiful. I'm aching to move out of this crappy town and live somewhere peaceful and pretty, but you need money to do that =/

[identity profile] taffimai.livejournal.com 2009-05-18 11:39 pm (UTC)(link)
According to Top Gear that's what people caravan for. No?

[identity profile] stackcats.livejournal.com 2009-05-18 11:45 pm (UTC)(link)
I stayed in a caravan once. I think that's why my lower back hurts like a bitch around 40% of the time.

Back to driving lessons soon, though, so my big travel plans will some day be fulfilled.

[identity profile] taffimai.livejournal.com 2009-05-18 11:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Driving lessons = future road trip?

[identity profile] stackcats.livejournal.com 2009-05-19 02:27 pm (UTC)(link)
Driving lessons = future going wherever I want on the spur of the moment.

And I'm free for the 5th!

[identity profile] taffimai.livejournal.com 2009-05-19 07:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Wonderful! E-mail me when you get a second, and we can chat about meeting times/locations. I'm taffyprime at yahoo dot com.

[identity profile] cheesygirl.livejournal.com 2009-05-18 10:59 pm (UTC)(link)
It's been ages since I went to Paris, but it wasn't terribly difficult to get around, even with my horrendous French. Buy a guidebook and a French phrasebook and you should be able to get around well enough.

If you don't get to Paris I'd recommend a day trip from London, to Bath or Stratford on Avon or Canterbury or Salisbury. You need to see the English countryside and experience something other than the hustle and bustle of London. London is great, but England is so much more than that!

[identity profile] stackcats.livejournal.com 2009-05-18 11:35 pm (UTC)(link)
Canterbury is awesome. I live about 30 minutes away from it, and I don't get there enough. Beautiful city.

[identity profile] taffimai.livejournal.com 2009-05-18 11:39 pm (UTC)(link)
I will definitely try to do a day trip out to the countryside!

[identity profile] kita0610.livejournal.com 2009-05-18 11:01 pm (UTC)(link)
I have never met a Jew who had an anti-semitic free time in France. Seriously.

[identity profile] taffimai.livejournal.com 2009-05-18 11:07 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, that's what I thought. I might still go, but at least I'll know what I'm getting into.

[identity profile] zortified.livejournal.com 2009-05-18 11:29 pm (UTC)(link)
There are other countries up in that area that speak English. ;-) Norway and Denmark and the rest of Scandanavia are reportedly very nice, friendly, and they-speak-English-there places to visit.

[identity profile] taffimai.livejournal.com 2009-05-18 11:41 pm (UTC)(link)
But they require planes to get there, right?

[identity profile] zortified.livejournal.com 2009-05-18 11:51 pm (UTC)(link)
I have no idea? You could take a boat, I guess. Or TARDIS. ;-)

[identity profile] taffimai.livejournal.com 2009-05-19 12:02 am (UTC)(link)
I'll take the train to Cardiff and then hop on the TARDIS!

[identity profile] stackcats.livejournal.com 2009-05-19 02:28 pm (UTC)(link)
You can Ferry to France or Holland, I know that much. If you go from Scotland, I think you can ferry to Scandinavia.

[identity profile] yasminke.livejournal.com 2009-05-18 11:45 pm (UTC)(link)
I didn't speak a word of French, got lost, but had a decent time anyway. Don't worry about the anti-Semitism; you'll probably not notice any more than you would in NYC. If you start to worry about that, and use the US news to guide you, you'll never go anywhere.

Have fun! If you go to Wales and waant a hike, go to the Brecon Beacons.

[identity profile] taffimai.livejournal.com 2009-05-18 11:46 pm (UTC)(link)
But there are cannibals there!

[identity profile] yasminke.livejournal.com 2009-05-19 02:00 am (UTC)(link)
In the Beacons? Nah -- didn't the guys get rid of them? I could've sworn Gwen & co. took care of the whole lot.

[identity profile] taffimai.livejournal.com 2009-05-19 02:27 am (UTC)(link)
My entire frame of reference is that Brecon Beacons = cannibals. Are you telling me that television has lied to me?

[identity profile] yasminke.livejournal.com 2009-05-19 02:41 am (UTC)(link)
No, no. Just that "they" took care of that little problem.

[identity profile] maverick0324.livejournal.com 2009-05-18 11:57 pm (UTC)(link)
I am completely biased but last summer I went to Edinburgh and it was just the loveliest city ever. The people were nice, the history was amazing and just so much to do.

After Edinburgh I would say Cardiff. I have a friend that swears York is awesome and very small town cottage-y as well.

[identity profile] maverick0324.livejournal.com 2009-05-19 12:08 am (UTC)(link)
*thumbs up* I can't say anything about Paris. My mother hated it because she only knew a bit of french and felt that people were looking down on her for not being absolutely fluent.

She did say the french countryside was absolutely gorgeous and the people nice it was just in Paris people were douche-y.

[identity profile] taffimai.livejournal.com 2009-05-19 08:21 pm (UTC)(link)
That's very helpful, thanks!

Also? We really need to have lunch or something sometime. This is getting silly. :)

[identity profile] natlyn.livejournal.com 2009-05-19 02:19 am (UTC)(link)
I vote for Stonehenge or Liverpool, but as you're not a Beatles fan, probably Stonehenge.

Ok. You can go to Cardiff.

Only go to Paris if you can find an English language 2-3 day guided tour.

[identity profile] taffimai.livejournal.com 2009-05-19 02:28 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, that's smart! I'm not honestly all that thrilled about the idea of Cardiff, but I feel ... obligated?

*heads off to look for English tours*
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[identity profile] beeej.livejournal.com 2009-05-19 03:22 am (UTC)(link)
Edinburgh is great, but that would be a distance. Bath is absolutely lovely. My favorite areas that I've visited in the UK are the Highlands of Scotland (even further distance than Edinburgh), and Cornwall. We spent several days exploring Cornwall just last fall, and had a fantastic time. It's several hours from London, though.

I haven't been to Cardiff yet, but I'll be there with a fangirl excursion to see teh Barrowman in his Christmas panto in January. I'm looking forward to that!

[identity profile] taffimai.livejournal.com 2009-05-19 03:55 am (UTC)(link)
Cool, thank you! *hugs*

Sure you don't want to see teh Barrowman in La Cage? Honestly, I'm regretting the timing of this trip a bit.
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[identity profile] beeej.livejournal.com 2009-05-19 04:05 am (UTC)(link)
I wish I could! Would that I was independently wealthy with unlimited vacation so that I could fly across the pond whenever I wanted. [livejournal.com profile] jhava took me to the panto when I was over for Pegasus in January, and I loved it so much that I have to see it next year, too. :D

[identity profile] taffimai.livejournal.com 2009-05-19 08:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Ah, see, I'm more of a musical theater girl. So I'd prefer La Cage over either the concert or panto. I think. I've never been to panto.
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[identity profile] beeej.livejournal.com 2009-05-19 08:44 pm (UTC)(link)
Panto is like musical theater on crack. They're always based on children's stories of fairy tales, and always include general silliness and cross-dressing. This one is Robin Hood. There's a robot. John is wearing crushed velvet tights and singing "Hunk a Hunk a Burning Love". And ice skating in the middle of Sherwood Forest. *g*

[identity profile] taffimai.livejournal.com 2009-05-19 10:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Ummm. It sounds interesting ... I think I'd prefer the drag queens.

[identity profile] jadesfire2808.livejournal.com 2009-05-19 06:08 am (UTC)(link)
I haven't filled out the poll because I figure I'd be no help whatsoever:

~ My personal top three would be Glasgow (lots of galleries and indoor things for *when* it rains), Cardiff, then Edinburgh.
~ Bath is beautiful, but I wouldn't have said you could spend 3 days there if you don't have a car to get out of the city. But it's on the way to Cardiff from London, so you might be able to fit it in.
~ Also on the way from London to Cardiff is Oxford, which has got lots of, you know, history and stuff ;). I'm just saying... (what dates are you around? 'cause London's not far...)

This is going to be a great trip for you! Woot!

[identity profile] taffimai.livejournal.com 2009-05-19 08:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Cool, thank you! I'm flying in on May 28th and flying back out on June 10th. I'd love to get together, if you have time.

[identity profile] ladyvyola.livejournal.com 2009-05-19 03:25 pm (UTC)(link)
My first trip to England was to York. In January. Not exactly tourist season. Or weather, given that the city, including our hotel, was flooded.

I loved it. Spent the entire week walking the city, including along (or on top of!) every inch of the Roman walls surrounding the city, through the very cool museums and gardens, along the rivers, and stuffing myself in the teashops. Climbed to the top of York Minster. Roamed the Shambles. Saw the panto. Toured the Roman baths under a pub. Touched a wall that was built up by Romans, Norman, Yorkists, and Victorians. Felt like I was living in Terry Pratchett's Ankh-Morpork.

[identity profile] chatona.livejournal.com 2009-05-19 08:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Paris is absolutely gorgeous and I love it. Also, in my experience it really depends on which parts of Paris you are in when it comes to such things as anti-semitism. It exists, but I haven't come across it in the three times I've been in there, personally. It's definitely possible to visit the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Musée d'Orsay and l'Opera Garnier (those are the places I would highly recommend, plus some others that I would have to look into a guide book to remember) without making any negative experience. I think the danger of getting robbed is much higher than being subjected/exposed/insert appropriate verb to anti-semitism in those areas.

Buuuuuuuuuuuuut to be honest, I am also QUITE partial to Dublin. I mean. I did spent eight months there and it's a fantastic and gorgeous and lovely city. You should go see both!