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Old 17th July 2016, 10:42   #31
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Default re: European Holiday: 13 days around Italy & France

Day 3 (24-6-2016)


Well, it was our final day in Paris and also our last day of our two week holiday. We were sad that our trip was coming to an end and wished we could stay a bit longer. So on this day, we decided to take the blue line bus tour and return back by afternoon as we had an evening flight. We had our breakfast and proceeded to take the bus tour. These buses are quite slow as the lanes in Paris are small and plus they go through all the famous monuments, which are always crowded. It gets a bit frustrating at times due to the slow pace, but at the end it’s the cheapest and best way of going around Paris. Due to time constraints, we sat on the bus the whole time and only got down to change back to the red line bus. In the afternoon, we came back to Champs Elysees for lunch and to buy sweets from Laduree to take back to Mumbai. Post lunch we headed back to the apartment packed our bags as we had requested our host for a late checkout which they agreed to and had kept packing for the last moment as we had to still do some shopping. Our flight was at 7 pm and we headed towards to the airport by around 3:30. There was traffic on the way and it took us longer than expected to reach Charles de Gaulle Airport. Did not have much time to do any shopping at the airport once the check in formalities were over and headed straight to our departure gate, except for one stop that was Laduree again, which had a store in the airport premises as well. Bought some Macarons to take back to Mumbai and to have on the flight. So this is the end of day three and our trip.

Now Time for some pictures from day 3.


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We tried Macarons, wherever possible, just to find out if we can find anything which is better than what you get at Laduree. But can confirm that Laduree serves the best

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Lanes in Paris are so narrow and still our bus driver decides to overtake this truck and in this process picks up a fight with the truck driver. He also stopped in the middle of the road to go buy some smokes ng


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Looks like an Indian street, with everyone trying to make their way out.

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Closer view of the Paris Opera

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We bought some chocolates and small quantity of Macarons as we were not sure they would last the journey. Plus they had a store at the airport as well, so we bought the remaining Macarons from there, which lasted all the way to Mumbai.

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With the key left on the table, its time to say goodbye to our apartment and Paris city. We leave the last gift for our host besides the welcome note they had left us.

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Humvee

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With these I finally complete a very LONG post. I never imagined in the beginning it would run into 3 pages long. Hope you guys enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed penning it down. Also, hope this thread will help first time travelers like me to plan and execute their Europe trip much better and also avoid doing the amount of research Divya had to do to plan and execute a successful Europe trip.

Would like to thank again my darling wife for the countless number of hours she spent online to make notes and plan every minute detail to make this trip a success; my father in law for all his valuable information and guidance from booking the tickets to getting our visa issues sorted; Uncle Jeff and Uncle Tiberio for making our trip more memorable and, special thanks to Uncle Tiberio for gifting me his riding jacket. Lastly my family for supporting us and letting us do this trip despite all the horrible things that is happening especially in Europe. We were really lucky as we didn't face any untoward situation. As, post our return there was a train accident in Italy, where many people lost their lives and the gruesome terrorist attack in Nice. Hope these people develop some sense soon, and we, humans can once again live in peace.

Happy reading.. And always remember to validate your tickets when travelling in Italy

Last edited by SnS_12 : 19th July 2016 at 08:06.
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Old 20th July 2016, 10:42   #32
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An excellent travelogue - Thank you for sharing.

Moving to main forum!
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Old 20th July 2016, 23:52   #33
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Default Re: European Holiday: 13 days around Italy & France

Amazing Travelogue, SnS & great pictures.

About the visa- Is it necessary to show marriage certificate? Wife & I are planning a trip to Europe but we don't have a marriage certificate (I know- I am lazy :( )? Would be great to hear your insights.

Wish you many more vacations!
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Old 21st July 2016, 01:33   #34
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Default Re: European Holiday: 13 days around Italy & France

Have to say I enjoyed the Como, Bellagio part of your travelogue. I should explore to go there sometime

About your adventures with Trenitalia. The ticket validation is a thing specific to Regionale trains, where the ticket issued can be used anytime in the next 6 months. And that too, only those issued by the kiosk. Doesn't apply if you book online. The validation is to record when you've used it. Actually there is an automated announcement specific for regional trains in English and Italian where they mention this, also shows up on the display boards. Quite easy to miss as a first timer, if you haven't read about it before.

Trenitalia is also the European cousin of Indian Railways, they are notorious at keeping timings. Not the best if you have short connections, is good you had an hour gap at Milano Centrale.

The Ferrari drive is 60 € for 10 min in Maranello. You get reasonably empty roads to ride it as well.

You did Vatican and Colosseum in a day? (gulp) Vatican took the whole day to cover, there wasn't time to cover anything else really.

I bet you felt right at home, seeing the road rage at Paris
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Old 21st July 2016, 12:47   #35
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Default Re: European Holiday: 13 days around Italy & France

Wow, thoroughly enjoyed the entire travelogue, also the pics were just awesome. I had visited Europe last September but part of group tour. Saw many more places but not in as detail as you did.
I can see that both of you have sweeth tooth just like me!!!
I am from Navi Mumbai so maybe we can meet and plan an exciting holiday together in the future. My passion is Travel as I and my family get to visit newer places, cultures, food, sweets!!!
Wishing both of you many more memorable trips and yes keep posting even longer travelogues which will inspire me to follow your footsteps to visit those places yet to be visited by me.
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Old 21st July 2016, 15:48   #36
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Default Re: European Holiday: 13 days around Italy & France

Beautiful Travelogue! Italy seems like a lovely place. where both old and new co-exist
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Old 21st July 2016, 21:19   #37
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Amazing and an Amazing Travelogue. I especially envy you for the food that you had all this while!!
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Old 22nd July 2016, 10:01   #38
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Default Re: European Holiday: 13 days around Italy & France

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazy Driver View Post
Amazing Travelogue, SnS & great pictures.

About the visa- Is it necessary to show marriage certificate? Wife & I are planning a trip to Europe but we don't have a marriage certificate (I know- I am lazy :( )? Would be great to hear your insights.

Wish you many more vacations!
Thank you. I don't think without a marriage certificate it would be possible to get a visa. We were asked to submit a copy and show the original at the time of submitting our documents and when we were called for the interview. So, would suggest you apply for yours, before applying for a visa.

Quote:
Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
Have to say I enjoyed the Como, Bellagio part of your travelogue. I should explore to go there sometime

About your adventures with Trenitalia. The ticket validation is a thing specific to Regionale trains, where the ticket issued can be used anytime in the next 6 months. And that too, only those issued by the kiosk. Doesn't apply if you book online. The validation is to record when you've used it. Actually there is an automated announcement specific for regional trains in English and Italian where they mention this, also shows up on the display boards. Quite easy to miss as a first timer, if you haven't read about it before.

Trenitalia is also the European cousin of Indian Railways, they are notorious at keeping timings. Not the best if you have short connections, is good you had an hour gap at Milano Centrale.

The Ferrari drive is 60 € for 10 min in Maranello. You get reasonably empty roads to ride it as well.

You did Vatican and Colosseum in a day? (gulp) Vatican took the whole day to cover, there wasn't time to cover anything else really.

I bet you felt right at home, seeing the road rage at Paris
Thank you. Yes, you should definitely visit Como, if you haven't been there still. We are waiting for uncle Tiberio to buy his boat, so we can make our second visit. The ticket validation incident was a learning and as you said its quite easy to miss for a first timer like us. But, the Kiosk never should a display pop up for validation. After we were fined the next Kiosk we purchased our ticket it did should to validate your ticket, which was surprising.

I had researched about the 10 minute Ferrari ride in Maranello, But since we never made it to Maranello, ended up not doing it. But, I am glad I did it in Paris, as 10 minutes is too short a time to get familiarized with a car and that too a Ferrari. Plus, driving a Ferrari in Paris, was value for money, specially redlining it in the tunnel in every gear.

The Vatican and Colosseum in a day is not advisable and we were able to do it since we went for a guided tour.

Yup, the road rage in Paris really felt like we are in India and was really unnecessary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Subroto Bhowmik View Post
Wow, thoroughly enjoyed the entire travelogue, also the pics were just awesome. I had visited Europe last September but part of group tour. Saw many more places but not in as detail as you did.
I can see that both of you have sweeth tooth just like me!!!
I am from Navi Mumbai so maybe we can meet and plan an exciting holiday together in the future. My passion is Travel as I and my family get to visit newer places, cultures, food, sweets!!!
Wishing both of you many more memorable trips and yes keep posting even longer travelogues which will inspire me to follow your footsteps to visit those places yet to be visited by me.
Thank you. Yes, we both are foodies and can definitely catch up sometime. We walked so much in those 13 days, but still managed to add 4 kgs each to our weight thanks to all the desserts and sweets we ate.

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Originally Posted by frostbite911 View Post
Beautiful Travelogue! Italy seems like a lovely place. where both old and new co-exist
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gabrielthomas View Post
Amazing and an Amazing Travelogue. I especially envy you for the food that you had all this while!!
Thank you. Being a foodie, we always like to try out new things. And, since I don't restrict my meat intake only to chicken, I was able to try out a lot of new delicacies, I never had before.
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Old 22nd July 2016, 11:40   #39
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Default Re: European Holiday: 13 days around Italy & France

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Originally Posted by SnS_12 View Post
Thank you. I don't think without a marriage certificate it would be possible to get a visa. We were asked to submit a copy and show the original at the time of submitting our documents and when we were called for the interview. So, would suggest you apply for yours, before applying for a visa.



Thank you. Yes, you should definitely visit Como, if you haven't been there still. We are waiting for uncle Tiberio to buy his boat, so we can make our second visit. The ticket validation incident was a learning and as you said its quite easy to miss for a first timer like us. But, the Kiosk never should a display pop up for validation. After we were fined the next Kiosk we purchased our ticket it did should to validate your ticket, which was surprising.

I had researched about the 10 minute Ferrari ride in Maranello, But since we never made it to Maranello, ended up not doing it. But, I am glad I did it in Paris, as 10 minutes is too short a time to get familiarized with a car and that too a Ferrari. Plus, driving a Ferrari in Paris, was value for money, specially redlining it in the tunnel in every gear.

The Vatican and Colosseum in a day is not advisable and we were able to do it since we went for a guided tour.

Yup, the road rage in Paris really felt like we are in India and was really unnecessary.



Thank you. Yes, we both are foodies and can definitely catch up sometime. We walked so much in those 13 days, but still managed to add 4 kgs each to our weight thanks to all the desserts and sweets we ate.



Thank you!



Thank you. Being a foodie, we always like to try out new things. And, since I don't restrict my meat intake only to chicken, I was able to try out a lot of new delicacies, I never had before.
Ya ticket Validation is a new thing for us when we visit Italy. But i am surprised your Airbnb host didnt inform you the same. Mine did when i visited Italy since we had to use buses mostly in Rome and we used a weekly pass to get around.

Also dont think Marriage Certificate is mandatory if you can show both of you as seperate Applicants, ie seperate bank accounts with sufficient money etc.

Road Rage in Paris..wow.. didnt encounter that..but Italians drive more like us i felt. Park where they want, when signal goes on, its like a race for them etc

Great pics btw and looks like you folks had a great time.. This should atleast show people who choose package tour from India to go to europe..Touring by yourself across Europe is so much fun and relaxing than have some one motor you along!!

Last edited by shadows123 : 22nd July 2016 at 11:42.
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Old 22nd July 2016, 11:49   #40
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Superb Travelogue...Thanks. Number and variety of Bikes in these countries is mind-blowing as also the fooood.
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Old 22nd July 2016, 12:28   #41
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Ya ticket Validation is a new thing for us when we visit Italy. But i am surprised your Airbnb host didnt inform you the same. Mine did when i visited Italy since we had to use buses mostly in Rome and we used a weekly pass to get around.

Also dont think Marriage Certificate is mandatory if you can show both of you as seperate Applicants, ie seperate bank accounts with sufficient money etc.

Road Rage in Paris..wow.. didnt encounter that..but Italians drive more like us i felt. Park where they want, when signal goes on, its like a race for them etc

Great pics btw and looks like you folks had a great time.. This should atleast show people who choose package tour from India to go to europe..Touring by yourself across Europe is so much fun and relaxing than have some one motor you along!!

Thank you. No, no one told us about the ticket validation procedure and never read about it earlier as well. But, its a lesson learnt, and hope can avoid getting into this situation post reading our experience. On the marriage certificate, i am really not sure, as we submitted different bank account details and obviously our applications were separate, and still we were asked to produce it. Plus my wife's name is already endorsed in my new passport.

Finally, both of us really don't fancy going by package tours. You do end up paying more for seeing or visiting fewer places compared to a package tour. But, then we don't mind paying more for a better experience.

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Superb Travelogue...Thanks. Number and variety of Bikes in these countries is mind-blowing as also the fooood.
Thank you. Its always a visual treat , when you're travelling to these countries
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Old 22nd July 2016, 13:48   #42
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Beautiful travelogue. All of your snaps tell your interest in bikes, cars and food, especially desserts. The Ferrari drive might have made your trip memorable. Wish you to have more trips and travelogues.
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Old 22nd July 2016, 21:00   #43
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Man you do have hell of a sweet tooth and a brilliant narration skill. Loved the Italy part of the travelogue. Never knew these ferrari guys charge 89 euros for the drive, saw a couple around Notre Dame with Go Pro cameras mounted last year, and wondered why would someone drive around the city like that. Totally agree with the beware of extra friendly folks part, no one would believe how scamming such strangers are in Europe. Me and my group got scammed of 30Euros in Paris by a man who helped us buy full day metro tickets which turned out single ride only. Congratulations on a very well planned and executed lovely vacation though.
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Old 24th July 2016, 03:40   #44
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But, the Kiosk never should a display pop up for validation.
The ticket kiosks don't display anything about validation. The validation thing is there because of the way the non electronic regional tickets are printed, they don't specify the time and are valid for a month or 2.

The need for validation is specified on the ticket itself as Da Convalidare (meaning To be validated). Here's a sample ticket:



In this example ticket, it also mentions that the ticket is valid for 6 hrs from validation time.

The validation machines are something like this (there are more of this white and green than the yellow ones). In large stations like Bologna you'll find a machine at every platform:



So the only way the ticket inspector knows you have used it only for this journey is from the validation stamp.

Last edited by narayans80 : 24th July 2016 at 03:48.
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Old 24th July 2016, 10:38   #45
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As mentioned in my post, we had purchased a lot of Murano glass artifacts. Most of the delicate and bigger items we had opted to have it shipped to India, rather than carry it with us as they were fragile. Now, it was over 25 days from the day we purchased those items and we hadn't received our shipment and we were thinking that maybe we have been conned and we will never receive the items.

But, pleased to inform that we did receive the parcel yesterday with all items intact.

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