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To go to Paris soon or not?

To go to Paris soon or not?

Old Nov 14, 15, 7:36 am
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To go to Paris soon or not?

I'd be curious what savvy FT members say about this. Of course there are two schools of thought.

Terrorism will not stop me. France needs our tourism dollars and support. I'm going!

or

This is not about me and my vacation. Let's give them sometime to recover. Paris will not suffer long term if I do not go now.

Thoughts?
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Old Nov 14, 15, 11:55 am
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Live goes on. The sooner you go, the sooner things will recover.
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Old Nov 14, 15, 1:06 pm
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There's a high-value climate junket in a week or two which will be religiously attended by world leaders. At least one of the recent attackers was a "refugee". Some of the rest were likely Frenchmen from the ungovernable Muslim zones surrounding Paris.

I highly suggest you avoid the city for now as its streets are under martial rule, and believe me there's not much fun in that. The French government has trouble controlling the borders and has already ceded hundreds of towns to the lawless populations hosting their homegrown Islamists. The security services are setting up local intel networks much like Israel's system, but they've been overwhelmed and you won't know where and when the next black raid will happen.

Last edited by FlitBen; Nov 14, 15 at 1:21 pm
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Old Nov 14, 15, 1:23 pm
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I have a trip planned next week with a CDG TATL to schengen connection (also through CDG with an overnight connection on the return) and I have no intention to cancel it.

AFAIK there are are no current shortages or logistical issues in France, so it's not like flying into a natural disaster zone after an earthquake or something similar where shelter, food, and water might be in limited supply.

OTOH if someone thinks that they would worry excessively during the trip, I can understand that reasoning.
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Old Nov 14, 15, 1:48 pm
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Long-time reader/lurker, first time poster.

My wife and I have a trip planned to Paris leaving NYC this Wednesday night and returning the next Wednesday. This is a 'babymoon' - our last big trip before our first child, and we emptied out the frequent-flier accounts for business class tickets and splurged a bit on the hotels to make it more luxurious and comfortable than we're used to.

We're split on whether to (1) keep our current plans to spend six nights in Paris, (2) head elsewhere in Europe, or (3) rent a car and spend the time elsewhere in France, or some combination of these options.

We're less concerned about personal safety and any ongoing threat than we are about having a relaxing trip. Not sure to what extent the city will be on guard or edge and if the attractions will be open/accessible.

Normally I wouldn't think twice and would keep the plans, but this was intended to be a different type of trip for us. It definitely feels trite and a case of #firstworldproblems to worry about our comfort after such terrible events, but figured this community would have thoughts. Would welcome any feedback from this group.
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Old Nov 14, 15, 1:57 pm
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According to reports, the Islamist squads were well-equipped with assault gear. This means the French services are not only failing to detect infiltrating raiders, they are also unable to stop ISIL's European teams from bringing heavy infantry weapons into their cities and trains. And it's likely there are follow-on raiding teams still getting their own missions ready. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34823938

It would be prudent to wait until the French get a better picture of what they may be facing in the next week or so.

Last edited by FlitBen; Nov 14, 15 at 2:19 pm
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Old Nov 14, 15, 2:07 pm
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Originally Posted by FlitBen View Post
There's a high-value climate junket in a week or two which will be religiously attended by world leaders. At least one of the recent attackers was a "refugee". Some of the rest were likely Frenchmen from the ungovernable Muslim zones surrounding Paris.

I highly suggest you avoid the city for now as its streets are under martial rule, and believe me there's not much fun in that. The French government has trouble controlling the borders and has already ceded hundreds of towns to the lawless populations hosting their homegrown Islamists. The security services are setting up local intel networks much like Israel's system, but they've been overwhelmed and you won't know where and when the next black raid will happen.
Have you actually been to France? Stop watching the "news" and giving false information.
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Old Nov 14, 15, 2:29 pm
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Originally Posted by firecracker725 View Post
Have you actually been to France? Stop watching the "news" and giving false information.
Have you ever been at a Parisian market that was bombed the next day?
A prescient heads-up on the interior threat which is now emerging as an extended series of coordinated raids: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30914468
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Old Nov 14, 15, 3:23 pm
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Originally Posted by FlitBen View Post
its streets are under martial rule, and believe me there's not much fun in that. The French government has trouble controlling the borders and has already ceded hundreds of towns to the lawless populations hosting their homegrown Islamists. The security services are setting up local intel networks much like Israel's system, but they've been overwhelmed and you won't know where and when the next black raid will happen.
Streets under martial rule, ceded hundreds of towns, I applaud your creativity FitBen. Where in the world did you come up with all of that?
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Old Nov 14, 15, 4:20 pm
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Originally Posted by FlitBen View Post
Have you ever been at a Parisian market that was bombed the next day?
A prescient heads-up on the interior threat which is now emerging as an extended series of coordinated raids: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30914468
As if you have...

No markets nor tourist destinations have been attacked. My husband was in Paris during the Charlie Hebdo attacks, and we've taken our three small children there twice since. I'd go again tomorrow, since I'm only a 3 hour TGV ride away. Terrorists don't scare me, and fear mongers such as yourself are no better.
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Old Nov 14, 15, 4:24 pm
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I'm over there in a couple of weeks, to see some close friends. This shower is not going to keep me away.
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Old Nov 14, 15, 4:38 pm
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Originally Posted by Tamino View Post
Streets under martial rule, ceded hundreds of towns, I applaud your creativity FitBen. Where in the world did you come up with all of that?
Indeed. What a load of scaremongering, ignorant rubbish.

I am in Paris now and was here last night when the attacks happened. Yes the streets, metro etc are quiet and most places are closed but that's very different from martial rule.
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Old Nov 14, 15, 4:51 pm
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I'm away from home right now, will buy a new home next week, and can't take any more time away from my classes -

but were I able to, I'd try hard to get to Paris right now. Aside from Paris probably being the safest city in the world at this point, I would go as a gesture of support and solidarity, and to offset in some small way the people who are cancelling planned trips for what I consider to be a poor reason. (It would also be nice to taste some really good bread.)
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Old Nov 14, 15, 5:12 pm
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I have my first Paris trip planned for US Thanksgiving Week. I am sadden by the recent attacks. Being a traveler who likes to blend in with the locals, I booked an apartment in the 10th Arrondissement near Canal Saint Martin, 5mins walk from a site of attack. I contacted the apartment owner to make sure he is fine. He said life must go on, and he would still welcome me.

From a safety point of view, I am not too worried. I think it's safer to travel now than a month ago, since everyone is on high alert, but I will see how it unfolds the next few days to see if there are any raids or gunfire.

From an inconvenience perspective, I wasn't planning on hitting major tourist sites like the Louvre to see Mona Lisa or climbing Eiffel Tower anyway. I prefer to experience neighborhoods, wander around the streets, relax, take photos, rather than checking off tourist sites. But now that there might be fewer tourists, I wonder if the Louvre might be quiet enough to make checking Mona Lisa worthwhile.

Admittedly, the mood might be dampened, but people in Paris are strong and will bounce back no problem. I learn a great deal about people when I travel, and even as Paris is recovering from trauma, I believe this trip will be a particularly worthwhile trip.
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Old Nov 14, 15, 5:30 pm
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Originally Posted by blahman View Post
I have my first Paris trip planned for US Thanksgiving Week. I am sadden by the recent attacks. Being a traveler who likes to blend in with the locals, I booked an apartment in the 10th Arrondissement near Canal Saint Martin, 5mins walk from a site of attack. I contacted the apartment owner to make sure he is fine. He said life must go on, and he would still welcome me.

From a safety point of view, I am not too worried. I think it's safer to travel now than a month ago, since everyone is on high alert, but I will see how it unfolds the next few days to see if there are any raids or gunfire.

From an inconvenience perspective, I wasn't planning on hitting major tourist sites like the Louvre to see Mona Lisa or climbing Eiffel Tower anyway. I prefer to experience neighborhoods, wander around the streets, relax, take photos, rather than checking off tourist sites. But now that there might be fewer tourists, I wonder if the Louvre might be quiet enough to make checking Mona Lisa worthwhile.

Admittedly, the mood might be dampened, but people in Paris are strong and will bounce back no problem. I learn a great deal about people when I travel, and even as Paris is recovering from trauma, I believe this trip will be a particularly worthwhile trip.
Your trip sounds just perfect. Paris is an amazing city to wander in. Be sure and park yourself at a cafe on a busy street to people watch. You see nearly everything. Do make time to see Monet's Water Lillies. You can be in and out in under an hour, and it's not nearly as busy as other sites.
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