More Travel Troubles in Europe

November 8, 2011 on 12:06 pm | In Europe travel, France, France Travel, ThereArePlaces.com, portugal travel, things travelers need to know, train travel in europe | 2 Comments

Well, it is going to be a challenging week for travelers in Europe. Many of the train worker unions in France and other countries will be striking today against new railroad competition rules being addressed by the EU. See this article in the Local for more details on the potential problems in France, which are expected to be especially severe around Paris.

A work stoppage by rail workers in Portugal has stopped most rail travel in that country and will be followed by a nationwide general strike on November 24th. See this article in Euronews for more details.

Meanwhile in London, thousands of students are expected to protest this week in regards to cuts in support for the country’s higher education system. Although the students are usually well-mannered, they have been joined by trouble makers in the past and the same is expected this week. See this article from Sky News for more details.

If you are in France or Portugal, check locally to see the impact of the strikes and the potential for disruption that may follow later this week. If you are going to be in London this week, avoid Trafalgar Square and other city areas that are commonly used for demonstrations. Inquire at your hotel about local conditions before venturing out.

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Torrential Rains in France and Italy

November 7, 2011 on 9:08 am | In France, France Travel, Italy, Italy travel, ThereArePlaces.com, air travel, things travelers need to know, travel alert, travel weather warning | 2 Comments

Seemingly unending rains have descended on parts of Europe, with France and Italy being especially hard hit. Many rivers are nearing flood stage and the problem has closed several noted attractions including Pompeii in southern Italy near Naples. Read this account of the action from Euronews for more details. Also, see this article by Reuters for more information on the rains in France.

Travelers in southern France, Italy or northern Spain should exercise extreme caution if visiting the affected areas. If possible, avoid driving in the areas of these countries having problems with flooding. If you are forced to navigate these areas, inquire locally for advice.

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Paris – Snowbound

December 8, 2010 on 11:25 am | In Europe travel, France, France Travel, Paris Travel, air travel, travel warnings, travel weather warning | Comments Off

Paris, the City of Light, has been hit by white. Heavy snow closed the Charles de Gaulle airport and the Eiffel Tower. France has issued a weather alert forecasting snow through Thursday. If you are planning to travel to Paris or central France be prepared for travel delays and lots of white stuff. See this article from CNN for more details.

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Air Traffic Strike in France

July 20, 2010 on 8:09 am | In France, France Travel, ThereArePlaces.com, air travel, strikes, things travelers need to know, travel news | Comments Off

A twenty-four hour air traffic control strike in France will start tonight and end Thursday morning. It is expected that the strike will not affect long haul flights, but shorter flights from Charles DeGaulle (Roissy) and Orly may see a reduction in frequency. Unfortunately, stormy weather is predicted for Wednesday, which may exacerbate the problem. By the way, the strike reflects the desire of the French air traffic controllers to not be a part of the a proposed integrated system of air traffic control that would cover all Europe. See this article at Reuters for detailed information.

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Rioting in Grenoble, France

July 18, 2010 on 8:51 am | In France, France Travel, ThereArePlaces.com, Travel Safety, things travelers need to know, travel news, travel warnings | 1 Comment

There has been rioting in the Grenoble suburb of La Villeneuve over the weekend. The unrest started Friday night when a suspect in an armed robbery of a casino was killed in a gunfight with local police. Over eighty cars were torched in the aftermath of the shooting during two nights of rioting. See this article in Deutsche Welle for more details on this story.

It appears that the riots are waning. However, we advise travelers who may be headed for Grenoble, located at the foot of the French Alps, to delay their travel until next week, if possible.

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Its Snowing…On The Mediterranean Coast of Spain and France

March 9, 2010 on 11:58 am | In Europe travel, France, France Travel, Spain Travel, ThereArePlaces.com, things travelers need to know, travel weather warning | Comments Off

It continues to be a rough winter in Europe and it appears that “Old Man Winter” wants to extend his reach. Today, there was snow in Barcelona. In addition, there was snow in southern France , including Nimes (the link is to a video on the BBC that shows snow and palm trees, something you do not see every day).

Well, spring is on its way and it will be another glorious summer along the Mediterranean Coast of Europe. In fact, with all of the precipitation, it should be a colorful spring as well.

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New Paris Guide

February 28, 2010 on 9:20 pm | In France, France Travel, Paris Travel, ThereArePlaces.com, things travelers need to know, travel | Comments Off

We have been busy at work updating and expending our Guide to the Best Places to Visit in Paris. You can find the New ThereArePlaces Guide here.

Paris is lovely at any time of the year, but the best seasons are rapidly approaching and if you have not yet been to Paris, make this year the one. Our new Paris guide has updated information for all attractions, an expanded list of best places to visit, more photographs and additional “color” commentary on neighborhoods. If you have never been to Paris, see our Paris Travel Tips section for hints of how to make Paris your pearl.

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Paris and The Parisians

February 6, 2010 on 11:46 am | In France, France Travel, Paris Travel, ThereArePlaces.com, personal travel, things travelers need to know | Comments Off

Paris is many things to many people. Tourists consider it one of the most popular cities on earth. Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, the Louvre, the Latin Quarter and other sights make visiting Paris a chance to see some the best attractions the world has to offer. However, many travelers (and, indeed, the French outside of Paris) consider the Parisians to be haughty, impolite and cold.

We have found difficult people around the world and do not think that there are more of them in Paris than elsewhere. However, Parisians are matter of fact, reserved and choose not to participate in small talk. In addition, when they think you have made a bad decision, they are likely to tell you. However, they do not discriminate against travelers; they will tell anyone when they have made a bad decision.

Once, when coming from Orly Airport to the city, we took the Airport Transport Bus to its station in Paris and planned to take a cab to our hotel from that location. When the cab driver eyed our bags, he raised his voice and seemed to be berating me. It took me a second to translate and realize that he was telling me that I had wasted my money on the bus, since I had to buy two tickets and now a cab fare and that I could have traveled from Orly to the hotel by cab for less. He was right and I was not offended at his response, since I had learned something.

Some travelers feel differently about the Parisians and there is an excellent article on the topic of “service” in Paris published by the BBC.

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Strikes In France And Germany

October 21, 2009 on 6:35 am | In France, France Travel, Germany, Germany travel, things travelers need to know, travel news, travel warnings | Comments Off

France was hit by a 24-hour rail strike that has influenced system wide capacity, although the strike has not affected international traffic. See this source for more information if you will be travelling by train in France today.

On another front, unionized janitors in Germany have gone on strike for higher wages and airports are one of the targets. See this report for more details.

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Toxic Seaweed in Brittany, France

August 11, 2009 on 8:14 am | In France, France Travel, Health and travel, things travelers need to know, travel warnings | Comments Off

Brittany, France is suffering from an incursion of toxic seaweed that is capable of causing breathing problems and death in humans and animals. See this article from the BBC for more information. Apparently, the toxic seaweed is related to nitrogen levels and farming in this famous agricultural area.

Although Brittany is a delightful area to tour and one that is popular for its beaches, we recommend that you avoid the shore in this area. Inquire with the local authorities about the extent of the toxic seaweed problem if you are planning a vacation in Brittany.

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