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Paris day after Thanksgiving for week-3wks in Europe..

My husband & I have planned 3 weeks in Europe about 2 months ago in concerns of only weather. Now with current situations, I've been stay or go left & right. I've decided that Paris is likely safest place to be for a while, & hoping same for Brussels, Amsterdam & Geneva... We are traveling them all in considering transferring with job to Brussels or Amsterdam. We'll spend 1st week in Paris, visit other destinations, then back to Paris for last week before flight back home. We have rented an apartment next to Louve & have been excited over the plans till tragedy, then raids everywhere. Does anyone know if things are still closed? I saw where the arc is closed today but can't seem to find out other places. I know Thanksgiving isn't a holiday in Europe, but wondering if even with recent or current situations in Paris there will still be special holidays things to enjoy around December 15th-20th. Our last visit was incredible in April! Absolutely did not want to leave back to Tennessee! The weather was perfect, so I don't know what to expect at all with this trip. Anyone speak to any of this?

Posted by
8223 posts

The Christmas Markets are in full swing, the Grande Roue at Concord is up, the ice rink at Hotel deVIlle, is (I believe ) up and running. This is a great time of year for Paris. The shops are full of treats for CHristmas and heck Parisian bakeries, cheese shops, butcher shops are full of wonderful things year round. We did a dinner party at the rented apartment we had in October and got a boned stuffed duck and a pork loin stuffed with figs and apricots done by the butcher -- easy to prepare as it was over ready and fantastic. The take out shops have this time of year charcrout garnie (the markets do as well) and sometimes cassoulet -- and if you can't find cassoulet in the traiteur you can find pretty fair cassoulet in the supermarkets and add duck confit or extra sausage. We particularly love a sausage called montbelliard -- great with potatoes and haricort vert and easy to prepare. One of the great things about an apartment is being able to sample things we don't have so easily at home.

The museums and monuments are open on regular schedules according to friends of ours in Paris. The metro/RER is up and running and crowded as usual.

Posted by
8293 posts

The skating rink at Hotel de Ville usually is installed the first week of December, as are the beautifully decorated windows of the department stores on Boul Haussmann, definitely worth a visit. Of course, the Ferris wheel at Place de la Concorde will be operating .... never been on it but badly want to. There used to be a huge Christmas market on the plaza at la Defense. Check to see if it still operates because it was spectacular.

Posted by
17 posts

Thanks for the info. Would have missed some of the things you mentioned! I'm over the fear & ready to experience the people, history & beauty of Paris again even if it's going to be cold! Been told Cuddle Duds are perfect for under clothing, so I have them to try.

Posted by
2 posts

We'll be in Paris in two weeks and, according to the long term forecast, it looks to be pretty mild - possibly the mid-50s! That Ice skating rink might start melting! And I'm not sure I feel Paris will be "safe" (whatever that means...) but I'll be darned if I let those horrible people have a victory in keeping us away!

I've never been to Paris during the holidays and can't wait!

Posted by
17 posts

Yes, I was just comparing our weather here in Tennessee to the areas will be visiting & believe it may be colder here! Makes my packing kinda confusing cause will visit Switzerland where will need all the heavy coats. Totally with you on the not knowing how "safe" will be but know we aren't letting fear & what's been done get in our way of living the life we want to live!

Posted by
8223 posts

I always travel with silk long johns -- they take no space and add that extra layer that makes a difference. If you have a down jacket or coat that can be crushed and the right layers, you can travel in cold weather without too much luggage -- we do it all the time. Wear the heavy boots on the plane and plan layers of silk, and wool and polartek.

Posted by
17 posts

I keep forgetting I got cuddle duds this year. I've never used them & looking forward to them keeping me warm! It's the wind in Amsterdam & Brussels that I've been looking at. Brrrrrrrr

Posted by
9862 posts

The ice rink at the Hotel de Ville opens (if it opens as scheduled, and I would say that is anyone's guess right now) on December 18th.

Posted by
32265 posts

gmo,

The threat level has now been increased to the highest level in Brussels, so that city is locked down completely, and Metro service has been suspended. It's hard to say how long this will last, but hopefully things will return to normal by December.

Posted by
17 posts

Is it just a known usual thing that Bryssels is shut down at the level of security it's at, or was there an announcement we missed? I get email updates from u.s. Department of safety website. They were late sending the info about Brussels though, which concerns me they are behind news channels.

Posted by
9862 posts

gmom, check the Belgium thread. I put up information about the heightened terror threat and closure of metro at 11:00 France/Belgium time this morning (i.e. 9 hours ago).

State Department is always ALWAYS going to be behind the media. It's the nature of bureaucracy. You need to be checking a good European news source like the Guardian out of the UK or France 24 (available in English). (By which I mean, check their websites for info.)

Posted by
17 posts

Does anyone know a French news site that has English option? Sad to say I'm one of those Americans who visits other country's knowing only essential words/phrases.

Posted by
14580 posts

I agreed with France 24 ...very helpful, more comprehensive. The French newspaper Le Monde also has an English language version. Maybe that's available at an university bookstore in your area.