Side Trip

May. 18th, 2009 06:10 pm
taffimai: (London by andidream)
[personal profile] taffimai
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]

Date: 2009-05-18 10:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frogmajick.livejournal.com
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.

Date: 2009-05-18 10:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stackcats.livejournal.com
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.

Date: 2009-05-18 10:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cheesygirl.livejournal.com
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!

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

Date: 2009-05-18 11:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zortified.livejournal.com
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.

Date: 2009-05-18 11:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yasminke.livejournal.com
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.

Date: 2009-05-18 11:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maverick0324.livejournal.com
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.

Date: 2009-05-19 02:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] natlyn.livejournal.com
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.

Date: 2009-05-19 03:22 am (UTC)
ext_1718: (Default)
From: [identity profile] beeej.livejournal.com
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!

Date: 2009-05-19 06:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jadesfire2808.livejournal.com
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!

Date: 2009-05-19 03:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladyvyola.livejournal.com
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.

Date: 2009-05-19 08:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chatona.livejournal.com
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!
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