“Isn’t Three Days in Paris Enough?”
OK, I’ve had my second shot and there have been no side effects. Things finally seem to be turning around. I have damn sure had enough of hanging around and not being permitted to travel.
One good sign: the Rail Passengers Association appears ready to resume semi-annual meetings, which are not only informative, but enjoyable as, I suppose, any gathering would be when a group of people with the same interests get together. Tentative dates are four days in Washington next April.
My first draft of an itinerary won’t fly. It’s five weeks– too long to get past my “supervisor” now, but my strategy will be to argue for a five-week trip, grudgingly agree to three weeks, then—at the last minute—find reasons to stretch it back to four.
I am creating a check list for Paris . . . things to see and do that I skipped on previous trips for reasons both good and bad. For instance, there’s a tour about life in Paris during the German occupation in World War Two. That’s going to be a must-do on this visit.
Another is a museum dedicated to the French resistance that I have missed on two prior visits . . . once because it was closed for renovation and once because the hotel receptionist said it was hard to find and she was right. This time I shall persevere.
It was a painful decision, but I have decided not to take the Simplon Orient Express from London to Vienna. This train has been on my bucket list for many years, but it’s very expensive. Also, their promotional video stresses that their guests are expected to “dress for dinner”. I’m quite sure that means a tuxedo for the men, although an acceptable alternative would apparently be a dark grey or navy business suit.
My goodness, I haven’t owned a business suit of any color—let alone a tuxedo—for probably 40 years! The best I could do would be considered business attire in Hawaii: grey slacks, nicely polished leather loafers, and an “aloha shirt”—short sleeved, with a tasteful, not-too-colorful tropical pattern. And tucked in. That’s very important, because if the shirttails are out, that’s considered to be casual dress, clearly not acceptable on the Orient Express.
Way back in 2007, I took my sister to Paris for 11 nights. She had only previously visited on those round Europe coach tours which only stayed 2 nights before heading to the next capital city and was a bit worried at the length of stay. I had spent 14 nights there in 2002. At the end of the 11 nights with my sister, I asked was it too long and she replied ‘”not long enough”. I have been back 3 or 4 times since but not for any longer than a week at a time and Vienna is now becoming more a favourite with me but I was last in Europe in September, 2018
Sadly I cannot plan any overseas tours this year. I have the airfare vouchers from last year valid until the end of 2022 but my country (Aotearo/NZ) still has mandatory 14 days managed isolation costing over $3000 on return. However we have no restrictions at home and the last case of Covid in my city was last June so I cannot complain.