Riots and CDG Travels

Old Dec 3, 18, 3:22 pm
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Riots and CDG Travels

Just curious if anyone here has been in/out/through CDG with the reported riots ongoing. Wife, son and I have a long weekend planned heading out on DL Thursday to Tuesday but seems as though things aren't in a great place there. The T-72 hours mark to cancel/change is upcoming quickly, so just trying to figure out how best to handle and if central Paris may not be a great spot to be this upcoming weekend. Any thoughts would be most welcome.
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Old Dec 3, 18, 3:58 pm
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Might be able to get a better response or more accurate info in either the AF or France destinations forums.
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Old Dec 3, 18, 4:46 pm
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I was in Paris on Saturday. Getting on the Opera/Roissy bus from CDG to Opera the driver said he wouldn't go as far as Opera due to the demonstrations. He ended at Gare du Nord and advised anyone to walk. As I walked towards Galeries Lafayette to do some shopping I encountered demonstrators, police and eventually tear gas. Thankfully it was drizzling so I used my wet coat to help breathe out the tear gas. The entire area around Boulevard Haussmann was chaotic, yet I didn't feel unsafe. I witnessed a few yellow jackets throw a Lime scooter and other stuff into a store window, but that was the extent of anything crazy. In fact it was bizarre to see a mix of police with riot shields, yellow jacket protesters, street sellers and tourists not deterred to see the windows at Printemps and Galeries Lafayette. I was more annoyed that the stores all closed up due to the protests.

I took the metro to the Marais where life seemed very normal. Same with the area around Les Halles.

It was sad to see on the news that Arc de Triomphe defaced, burned cars, etc. but that was in an isolated area. But I wouldn't cancel a trip unless Arc de Triomphe was your main destination. I do hear protests will continue again this weekend, but if you stay out of the protest zones and take the RER or Metro, you should not get caught up in traffic or the mess near protest zones.

Enjoy, Paris looks beautiful and ready for Christmas.
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Old Dec 3, 18, 5:37 pm
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If I was in your position, flexible about my plans and still wanted to take the trip - I’d probably audible and take a train elsewhere in France. Most media reports seem to be that the largest clashes are occurring in Paris, and that the rest of the country is seeing more peaceful protests or by and large business as usual.

My strong nomination would be Strasbourg, given the time of year. It’s an absolutely beautiful way to celebrate Christmas - the markets there are the oldest in the world and stunningly beautiful, and the geography of the old town plus the extensive security forces mean it should be relatively untouched by the protests. Markets in SXB are one of the top bucket list experiences I suggest to folks, and you’re in the perfect position to make lemonade out of lemons - a long weekend is just about perfect for a relaxed Alsatian getaway.
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Old Dec 3, 18, 6:19 pm
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I was there as recently on Saturday and encountered no issues, but I am in the 11th, a bit further east than the “action.” I think it really depends on what you’re hoping to do; if you want to hit up some super touristy spots like the Arc de Triomphie or Galeries Lafayette (although I was there on Friday with no problems), you might want to reconsider, but if you don’t mind going about everyday life like a local, you’ll be fine.
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Old Dec 3, 18, 8:30 pm
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Originally Posted by BenA View Post
If I was in your position, flexible about my plans and still wanted to take the trip - I’d probably audible and take a train elsewhere in France. Most media reports seem to be that the largest clashes are occurring in Paris, and that the rest of the country is seeing more peaceful protests or by and large business as usual.

My strong nomination would be Strasbourg, given the time of year. It’s an absolutely beautiful way to celebrate Christmas - the markets there are the oldest in the world and stunningly beautiful, and the geography of the old town plus the extensive security forces mean it should be relatively untouched by the protests. Markets in SXB are one of the top bucket list experiences I suggest to folks, and you’re in the perfect position to make lemonade out of lemons - a long weekend is just about perfect for a relaxed Alsatian getaway.
The problem with going so far is that the OP almost certainly needs to overnight near Paris for the flight home. An airport hotel (I like the Sheraton right in CDG T2, but it can seem expensive at times, especially if you don't have elite status for free lounge access)can solve the problem, or one can pick a destination closer to Paris.

It's a hassle to take the RER into Paris and then a subway to the right train station for the destination, so it could be much simpler to just rent a car at CDG. Still, among the closer destinations, and this will be shoulder/ow season in most places, I like the Champagne region (Reims, Eperney are easy by train), Caen, and Burgundy or Lyon. The latter are south and might be a bit warmer.
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Old Dec 3, 18, 8:32 pm
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Thanks everyone, this is super helpful. Yeah, we're not the type that want to hit all the tourist spots--my wife just likes to take a trip somewhere around Christmas time to get in the spirit and so we thought Paris could be a good spot to do so. Will keep an eye on things and hope we can steer clear. If not, to Strasbourg we go!
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Old Dec 3, 18, 8:36 pm
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Given the situation in Paris, you might be able to convince a DL DM agent to allow you to do a free change to a flight to someplace else (Germany? Munich has a good Christmas market, as do some smaller cities such as Bielefeld) that has a Christmas market and no protests or cars being set on fire on major streets.
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Old Dec 3, 18, 9:03 pm
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Originally Posted by CGNC View Post
Thanks everyone, this is super helpful. Yeah, we're not the type that want to hit all the tourist spots--my wife just likes to take a trip somewhere around Christmas time to get in the spirit and so we thought Paris could be a good spot to do so. Will keep an eye on things and hope we can steer clear. If not, to Strasbourg we go!
You can't go wrong with Strabourg: and the TVG train takes you directly from CDG airport to Strasbourg.
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Old Dec 3, 18, 9:13 pm
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Strasbourg is beautiful at Christmas. Expect hotels to be very booked as the Christmas market is a big draw. I've gone a few times and its definitely worth it.

I am going to Paris next week and am not overly concerned. I lived in Paris for a few years and experienced riots. Just avoid the areas of the protests and things should be mostly normal. The CGT (Public sector union) is calling for a day of protest on December 14th.

The NYTimes has an article about the riots providing information for tourists.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/03/t...ris-riots.html
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Old Dec 3, 18, 9:24 pm
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Originally Posted by BenA View Post
. . . .take a train elsewhere in France. . . .
There are other cities in France?!?!?





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Old Dec 3, 18, 9:43 pm
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Eh Paris is just an old city along a river.

An option to Strasbourg is the Winter Wonders in Brussels.
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Old Dec 3, 18, 11:55 pm
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Incidents like this always seem to be very localized in Paris. Several years ago when I was there, demonstrations and riots broke out in the eastern part of the city around Nation. At the same time, nothing in the central area seemed out of sorts. If I hadn't heard about it on the news, I would never have known it happened!

And this was in Monday's New York Times:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/03/t...gtype=Homepage
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Old Dec 3, 18, 11:56 pm
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Originally Posted by davetravels View Post
There are other cities in France?!?!?





Oui, oui! Oh la la.... : )
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Old Dec 4, 18, 1:58 am
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Since the news just came in that the government will give the protesters what they want (pull the fuel tax increases), I think you're very safe to go!

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46437904
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