Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Planning Paris -- the Logistics update

For this installment of “The Battis Girls Take on Paris”, I’ll just update you on what we’ve been doing to get ready.

I have officially launched the countdown clock in my head. Dear Sister doesn’t like me to announce the countdown regularly because that puts here X number of days closer to a plane. She is of the ilk that it’s better to just be beamed up to the location, which I think is what she pretends to do in flight, since she seems hardly bothered by actually flying. But DS, don’t read this, there are 70 days until departure. I need this mental countdown to get me through the mundane and minutiae parts of life.

So, independent of me, DS has been collecting things she wants to do and see in a Word document. She has Word documents for many destinations world-wide, and I take my hat off to her for organizing her wish lists like this ahead of ever actually planning to travel to these places. DS is now taking her Paris and Vienna Word documents and plotting the sights listed in them on a map. She is intending to conquer sights in logical order, based on geographical location, which in Paris is fairly easy to do. I think she is also prioritizing things since we know that we won’t get to everything on the list (but will damn well try!)

I have only three must-see destinations for this trip, the Louvre (to see the Vermeers with my sister), the L’Orangerie museum in Paris and the Kunsthistorisches in Vienna. The Orangerie was closed for renovations the first four times I traveled to Paris and reopened the week after my fifth trip to Paris. I missed it bythismuch. The Kusthistorisches I have visited before, but in 2003, its Vermeer was on loan to Tokyo, and that is our sole reason to visit Vienna. We have written the museum and confirmed that it will be on view in April (or else we’ll be knocking into the woman who confirmed its availability!)

I think we have decided that for the purposes of the Paris museum pass, we will be buying the 6 day pass (60 euro) and use it from the Thursday we arrive through the Monday before we depart for Vienna. I think we can easily see the museums we want to see in that amount of time, and easily recoup our money on the pass before we head to Vienna. That will leave one full day and one half day in Paris when we return from Vienna to do things not on the pass, such as Montmartre, Eiffel Tower (we will be staying in that neighborhood then anyway), Musee Marmottan, shopping, etc.

The last logistical bit is to book airport shuttles. Taxis in Paris can be expensive, but I figured our arrival and departure times were well outside of rush hour, so we’d be fine. But today I read that taxi drivers are threatening to strike intermittently for the next few months, so I am going to book shuttles just to have them handy. It’s a flat rate, but oftentimes you have to wait a bit before they pick you up at the airport, and you have to share the ride with other travelers (again, may not be a problem given our time of day to travel). So that is on my agenda as well.

My other task is to pick restaurants all over the city that we could eat at when we are nearby. Since we’re in Vienna for literally 27 hours, I am not as concerned about where we eat, since in my mind, Figlmuller’s heavenly wienerschnitzel is all we’ll need. So I’m focusing on Paris and am devouring a book of restaurant reviews written for Parisians. I am bound and determined not to eat in the touristy, overpriced cafes and still to enjoy authentic Parisian cuisine. I am highlighting restaurants in every arrondissement just to have some ideas handy when we’re there. If anything outstanding pops up, I’ll have the hotels book ahead for us.

Overall, I think we are slowly getting ready. I am not doing much reading as I’ve been to both places before and am really looking forward to just revisiting Paris (one can never see too much Paris) and seeing it through the eyes of my DS.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Anderson said...

your sis is very organized!