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Safety in France

Is anyone worried about traveling in France right now? I read in the NYTimes yesterday that reservations are being cancelled in large numbers. I'm flying into Nice and out of Paris soon. I'm sure some common sense precautions will need to be taken. But I can't help but wonder if it's just not a good tine to go. I would appreciate any thoughts. Thank you...

Posted by
15 posts

I am worried. We leave next month for Paris and a side trip to Normandy. We're going but not without a lot of anxiety mixed in with the excitement. I rarely even mention it to people anymore because of the reactions I get. I feel like I'm prepared as far as precautions, there's really only so much you can do anyway, but I too would like to hear from anybody with an upcoming trip as to what they are feeling.

Posted by
6630 posts

It is the nature of terrorism to be unpredictable. I went to a movie in the US last weekend. I go to the mall. I go to outdoor concerts. These are all places where you can be randomly shot in the US. There are no 'precautions' to protect yourself from terrorism. You embrace life or you cower. Those are the only choices. I will be spending a month in southern France and a month in Paris this fall; why let fear of something you can't do anything about drive how you live?

Posted by
12923 posts

On the 11th of September 2001 more than 3,000 Americans, most of them at work in their office, died in New York and Washington at the hands of terrorists, more than all the people killed by terrorists in France since World War II.

Would you have considered then to never visit NYC or DC again as a result of those events?

I can't tell you for sure that nothing will happen when you go, but I can tell you with mathematical certainty that your odds of being killed by a terrorist attack in France are thousands times lower than being killed on a car accident on your way to work. So traveling to France on your vacation is still safer for you than staying home and driving to work every day. You will actually increase your chance of survival by going rather than staying home.

Bad things can happen in life, but you must reason and see things in perspective. If you fail to reason and give in to irrational fear, the terrorists have won.

Go, take the same ordinary precaution you would take if you traveled to any large American city and enjoy your time.

Posted by
13521 posts

Excellent post by Roberto. I couldn't have said it any better (so I'm not going to try!)

Posted by
668 posts

Yes; if only there were a "like" button!

Posted by
104 posts

I am in Paris right now with my husband and 7 year old daugher, midway through a 3 week stay. We took a few extra precautions before we left, such as registering with the state department and downloading the French app that alerts you to terror attacks, and we are in general more aware of our environment. We have never felt unsafe once while in Paris. That said, there is a certain tension, and maybe sadness, here that I have not experienced in past visits. And when I hear wailing sirens (common in a big city) I can't help but to think "I hope that is not an attack". Paris is one of my favortie places in the world and it would never occur to me to cancel my vacation, especially now. However, you are the only one who can decide for yourself.

Posted by
323 posts

We will also be in Paris for a month in September and working our way down to eventually fly out of Nice on the 2nd of November. When people look at us and say "Are you still going to France", we usually say that we are probably as safe or safer there than here. Thank goodness our children(grown and in their 50's) are fine with us going. We always tell them "If anything happens, at least you know we were doing what we love to do.TRAVEL!!" We can't see letting a lunatic fringe keep us from enjoying life. We have "more yesterdays than tomorrows" and we hope to "keep on traveling".

Posted by
8411 posts

"Is anyone worried about traveling in France right now?"
I'm not worried. I leave again in a few weeks for Paris and Nice. Life goes on.

"wonder if it's just not a good tine to go."
The goal of the terrorists is to frighten people and break their spirits. This fight won't be over any time soon, so you have to decide when is a god time to go.

We've been affected reading about the attacks, but how many people here know that yesterday Muslims and Jews all over France joined Christians at services in the churches and cathedrals? There are 75 million good people living there every day who are carrying on.

Posted by
605 posts

I find it helpful (as I am planning for my summer 2017 trip to France) to list out all of the activities that I plan to do and their associated risks and compare those risks to a similar itinerary in the United States (because it is inferred that staying home would be safer than traveling).

The biggest risk to health and safety when traveling is due to motor vehicle accidents. On that score, France has better checks in place against excessive speeding and drunk driving. I feel comfortable in saying that it is safer to drive in France than in the US.

The 2nd biggest risk is disease. Both the US and France have very low instances of water born or other transfer of infectious disease. No shots are needed for either and the water and air are as clean as it gets. Both places are highly safe. It seems that you are less likely to contract lyme disease or zika in France.

The next biggest risk.....and so on, including violent crime, prevalence of guns, biting dogs, terrorism, severe weather, food poisoning.

If you do this exercise you will find that in general, both the US and France (relatively speaking) are similar places to be situated in with respect to the risks that you are likely to encounter while on vacation.

-Matt

Posted by
11450 posts

I am not kidding, i would go tomorrow, with my kids and sick granny too( ok kidding about sick granny)

We were there in june, with our 20 and 26 yr old daughters and their friends, they stayed in an apartment about 15 min walk from us and did their own thing mostly, including going to nighttime concerts etc. We were not particilarily worried at all. I did warn them about drinking themselves into oblivion and walking down dark alleys late at night .

I would not cancel an upcoming trip if i was lucky enough to have another one planned this year.
I

Posted by
2560 posts

We felt safe during our recent stay in Paris. I worried most about pickpockets. Whether to travel or not based on a worry over terrorism is a very individual decision. If you are worried to the point of distress and will be seeing a threat around every corner, maybe you should reconsider your plans. Many have. Personally, I'd be on a plane tomorrow if I could. We have loved our several trips to France, and will not allow terrorists to interfere with travel in a country we enjoy so much. But, that is us.

Posted by
4698 posts

Robin,

You've received great responses here.

Roberto's post summed it up very well, especially when he said this:

Bad things can happen in life, but you must reason and see things in perspective. If you fail to reason and give in to irrational fear, the terrorists have won.

My daughter & I were in Paris in June, during the Euro Cup tournament. There were crowds all around, especially on the fan zone by the Eiffel Tower, & yes, the thought of a possible terrorist attack crossed my mind.
However, I did not to let my worry take over my joy & thus my daughter & I had a wonderful trip (despite the train strikes)!

Do what is right for you, & keep "things in perspective".

Posted by
2466 posts

Stop watching round-the-clock news.
If you have a trip planned, go.
It's as simple as that.

Posted by
3193 posts

I would not hesitate to go to France but would avoid large group events since they provide attractive targets. Will we also avoid college football games in the U.S.(SEC fans certainly won't ), balloon rides(yes) and Florida(maybe) where there have been a variety of issues in recent months?

Posted by
518 posts

Yes, I agree with the statements like, "your chances of (fill in the blank with any disaster or accident here in the US) are far greater than (fill in the blank with any terrorist attack abroad)." I think part of the problem is that terrorist attacks are so sensational, tragic, and, thanks to commercial media, so well covered and further sensationalized, that we have a tendency to think it is somehow more dangerous than anything that could happen to you at home. Part of this is because of the number of deaths in any one incident. But the truth is, your own personal risk, as an individual (not as a mass public group), is not much greater than at home.

Posted by
11845 posts

I'm going in September.

I think there is reason to think about terrorism today, just as there is always a reason to think about crime - even though chances are you won't experience either.

As with most European crime, I'll avoid crowds when I can, stay aware of my surroundings, and avoid places that don't seem safe. To those I'll also plan safe exits in case something happens. I won't really spend time worrying about it as much as spending a little extra time mentally preparing myself, just in case.

If I had one worry, it would be people watching from a cafe in the evening. I've read that ISIS wants to target cafes. I don't think it will stop me from sitting at a cafe, because it's still as rare as a lightning strike or shark attack, but I will pay added attention.

Posted by
13561 posts

Definition: Vacation - A period of time devoted to pleasure, rest, or
relaxation.

So if going to France fits that definition for you personally and individually; then go. Otherwise do something else. Don’t let anyone brow beat you into their standards of tolerance. There is no right or wrong in this question. Your feelings, no matter what they are, at this level and for this activity, are completely valid for making a decision. Personally I am comfortable about the idea of going to France. But that’s just me. You would be just as correct if you would be too nervous to have a good time.

Disregarding the safety issue for a second. You also need to consider the trip disruption issue. You are probably spending a wad to make the trip, how much change in plans are you willing to tolerate if some event occurs and transportation is disrupted or everyone is told to stay inside. What are the odds? What were the odds that there would be a coup in Turkey? I imagine that messed up some trips. Who knows? I put Turkey on my stay away list a year ago, not because I was afraid of being a victim, but because I was afraid of what would happen in general if there were yet another attack. But I could just as easily been wrong … naaaa, I think that one was more likely than not.

Posted by
48 posts

I just returned yesterday from a glorious two weeks in France (Paris, Loire, Dordogne). We went with a group of 9, including my two small children, niece/nephew, and my senior-aged mother. We left the day after the Nice attack. I was worried before I left and posted a question about safety precautions, and received much great advice. I did register with the state department, talked to the adults about meet-up places, and made sure each kid had an adult specifically in charge of them when we went out so there would be no moments of "I thought you were watching him!". I tried to stay alert when in crowds (e.g. no spacing out or looking at phones or maps).

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/france/common-sense-precautions-in-paris

I felt safe while we were in Paris, even with the children. Actually being in Paris, faced with the vastness of the city, reminded me how very rare and unpredictable these events are for ordinary people. It's a bit like flying after a plane crash--you know that some day there will be another plane crash, but once you see all the planes taking off and landing safely, you realize that the chance that it will be your plane is very, very small. Once we were in small towns and countryside I figured that the danger was almost nil.

I would probably avoid sporting events, theater, parades, and things like that. But we ate at outdoor cafés, did all the major tourist attractions, took the metro everywhere in Paris (before the trip I thought we might use bus or cab, but we didn't), took the TGV, and were in some crowded areas like the Champs-Elysées, Montmartre, Louvre, and metro at rush hour. In the big, diverse city, everyone was going on with their normal lives. People of all types were commuting to work, having dinner, out with children, behaving normally toward one another.

The only time I felt any concern was on market day in Sarlat. It was crowded, and there were several soldiers walking in pairs through the crowd, wearing fatigues with enormous machine guns. I was taken aback only because I didn't think I would see that type of security outside of big cities, and it made me wonder whether there had been some specific threat. Nevertheless, market day was one of our favorite days in Dordogne, and I would go back again.

Go, and have a wonderful time!
Laura

Posted by
2466 posts

The terrorists have already targeted cafe terraces.
Now they have moved on to small churches in tiny villages.
There is no telling what they'll think of next.
And there is no sense in avoiding what they have already done.

Posted by
518 posts

And while some might feel that "staying alert" while on vacation (such as constantly looking about your surroundings, not spacing out, avoiding places that are too crowded, etc.) might be too much of a burden and a somewhat self-imposed hostage situation, bear in mind that "staying alert" should be your MO, in my opinion, so much so that it shouldn't feel like a burden. It's like saying having to carry a wallet with some ID in it is a burden. After all, shouldn't you always be aware of your surroundings, watch where you're going, rather than having your head down at your phone or somewhere out in space, even here at home in the U.S.? Because being unaware can cause you just as much trouble here at home as abroad.

Posted by
504 posts

I am glad someone brought this up and happy to read the comments. I have a pen pal in Germany whose husband was planning a day trip to France, and she talked him out of it. First she told me after the Munich attacks not to come to Europe at all. Then she told me that visiting France is not a good idea either.

I am in the baby step stages of planning a trip for May 2017. Thanks for the reassurance that "ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances." ;)

Posted by
7 posts

HI Robin,
I'm going to Paris end of August (I'm on the RS city tour that starts 8/28).
I have kept very quiet about this trip, because the reactions of the few people I've told about it have been so negative.
One of my spiritual teachers put it this way -- "Uncertainty is the new normal." I think fighting against that is just a huge waste of your resources.
As it was so well pointed out here by so many of those who responded to you, bad things can happen right where you are.

I'm going to Paris -- and I'm going to have the trip of a lifetime. I hope you will too.

Posted by
3 posts

This forum has really helped me as well because I've been searching for insight of how the tension is in France. I'm flying in and out of Nice at the end of the month for 11 days- visiting a friend in Corsica for 3 nights, Cassis for 1, then Nice for 5 as home base. I was considering changing course to maybe Italy or staying in Monaco due to My anxiety being up since it's a solo trip. Mostly I didn't want to spend precious time just traveling to a "safer" place just to in time to turn around and fly out of Nice again. Any pointers especially from those that have been there recently is much appreciated!

Posted by
518 posts

I have kept very quiet about this trip, because the reactions of the few people I've told about it have been so negative.

I know, right? There are people we can talk to about travel and those where such talk would just lead to frustration. I took a trip to India some 11 years ago now, and to this day, I've got a friend that STILL brings it up with such incredulity, "...I can't believe he went to INDIA!, why would ANYONE go to India!?" She doesn't just say it directly to me but to others around me.

I'm going to Paris -- and I'm going to have the trip of a lifetime. I hope you will too.

"trip of a lifetime" might sound cliche, but having been to Paris twice, I really see no other way to describe the experience. Other terms I like to use include "smitten" and "euphoric" to describe feelings I had while there.

Posted by
1345 posts

I have just gotten back from France, and we were there in the days of national mourning after the attacks. In terms of safety I did not feel more or less safe this time in the country than any previous times. Crossing the border from Belgium was as per normal. There was a heightened Gendarmerie and Police presence on the roads, a heightened police presence in Belgium as well.

There were the reminders; the national motto on the motorway electronic signs, the flags at half mast or tied up with ribbons on government buildings etc, the black ribbon across the logo of the TV companies, the security notices at museums (notices as a Brit who grew up during the Troubles I had hoped never to see again). There were the sad reminders in the newspaper headlines, and people keeping a distance at the services from an French Arab family having their dinner with the daughter just wanting to play with her princess doll from Frozen and sing Disney songs at other people.

But my take back is it was basically the same France I love visiting and would still love to move to, the restaurants were still busy, cafes still busy, the museums and castles still busy.

Posted by
308 posts

I got a lot of negative reactions from co-workers and family members before my recent trip to Europe due to how the migrant crisis was portrayed by news organizations, and I went to Scandinavia! I realized that these are the same people who always ask me why I would want to go to each destination when I say I have a trip planned. Unless it's Hawaii, Vegas, London, France, or Italy, I get that question. I got that question when I went to Death Valley National Park a few years ago and I thought the answer was obvious. It's a national park!

Posted by
8411 posts

I think Sandra's pen pal may be overwrought, and I wonder how fearful she'd be coming to the States with our daily shootings:

First she told me after the Munich attacks not to come to Europe at all. Then she told me that visiting France is not a good idea either.

My sister-in-law is near Nice and has invited us to come visit--so we will. Our close friends are in Paris, so we're going to see them, too. SandraL, I hope you continue with your planning for 2017 and enjoy your trip.

Posted by
3933 posts

If we hadn't already had our holiday this year (and visited Paris and south of France last Oct) I'd be clamouring to go. It would be great when so many others are frightened away - fewer people around. Maybe some good deals on accoms. And I'm sure locals/restaurants/hoteliers will appreciate you not being frightened away.

Mind you, this is not to lessen or 'pooh-pooh' your anxiety. A lot of us have it. We visited NYC in 2011 during the 10th anni of the WTC attacks. In the back of my mind was...what if they try something because it's the 10 yr anniversary? I didn't really want to voice it out loud because I felt a little silly even thinking it, but there it was. And there we were on Sept 10 visiting the (at the time) construction area around the towers. It's totally normal to have some apprehension.

You just gotta live your life...I hope you enjoy you're trip...it's such a beautiful place.

Posted by
13561 posts

US State Department

Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations
French authorities have spoken publicly about the heightened threat conditions for terrorist attacks in Europe.
• France’s Parliament approved an extension of the state of emergency imposed after the Nice truck attack in July 2016. The state of emergency will now remain in effect until January 26, 2017.
• The state of emergency allows the government to prevent the circulation of individuals and to create zones of protection and security.
The Government of France has released a free smartphone application, SAIP (Information Alert System for People), that will alert users to terrorist attacks, nuclear incidents, dam failures, or other exceptional events. The emergency system sends warnings directly to smartphones, and will include a brief description of what is happening and advice on how to react. The app is available in both French and English. You can download the SAIP app for Android from the Google Play Store and the SAIP app for IPhone from the iTunes store.
• The French government has re-established border controls and movement may be restricted in some areas.
When traveling or living in France, you should:
• Be aware of your local security situation, and take appropriate steps to bolster your personal security.

• You should monitor media and local information sources, Paris’ Travel Information webpage, and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.

• You should address specific safety concerns to French law enforcement authorities who have responsibility for the safety and security of all residents and visitors to France.
U.S. citizens should be aware that demonstrations and large events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational.
• You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.
• Large public gatherings can affect all major incoming arteries to the city in which they occur.
• Demonstrations in one city have the potential to lead to additional public rallies or demonstrations in other locations around the city and country.

Posted by
13561 posts

UK Government

Still current at:3 August 2016Updated:29 July 2016Latest update:
Summary – link to information and advice for British nationals travelling and living in Europe, following the result of the EU referendum

Information and advice for British nationals travelling and living in Europe, following the result of the EU referendum.

There is a high threat from terrorism. Due to ongoing threats to France by Islamist terrorist groups, and recent French military intervention against Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL), the French government has warned the public to be especially vigilant and has reinforced its security measures.

The French government has extended the national state of emergency until 26 January 2017. Check the French government’s advice about what to do if a terrorist attack occurs . See Terrorism

The French government has launched a free smartphone app to alert users about possible security incidents, including all major natural, technological and terrorist-related risks. Users will be able to view alerts for up to eight geographical areas. The app, called SAIP (Système d’alerte et d’information des populations), is available in English and French. You can download the app by entering the term ‘SAIP’ in the Apple App store or Google Play.

While there continue to be large numbers of illegal migrants in and around Calais, who may seek to enter the UK illegally, the security situation has improved significantly since the summer of 2015. Although the risk of incidents has decreased, there have been recent incidents of obstacles being placed on to the road and items being thrown at vehicles on the approach to Calais Port from the A16 motorway. If this happens you should keep moving where it’s safe to do so, or stop and call 112 if it’s not safe to proceed. Keep vehicle doors locked in slow moving traffic in and around Calais, and secure your vehicle when it’s left unattended.

There’s occasional disruption to cross channel services due to strike action and migrant activity in and around Calais. Check the website of your chosen operator before you set off. In the event of any disruption, information about alternative routes and operators is available via this interactive map .

The weekend of 29 to 31 July 2016 is expected to be exceptionally busy on all parts of the French road network due to holiday traffic. Leave extra time for your journey and expect congestion if you are driving in or across France. For more information visit the Bison Futé website

On Saturday 30 July 2016 and Saturday 6 August 2016, collective transport of children (transport organised mainly for people under 18 years of age in vehicles of 9+ seats) is banned throughout France, except for travel within a particular department or between neighbouring departments. For more information, visit the Bison Futé website

Around 17 million British nationals visit France every year. Most visits are trouble-free. The most common problem reported is pick-pocketing. See Safety and security

You should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before you travel. If you already have an EHIC, make sure it hasn’t expired. Some medical costs aren’t covered by the EHIC so you should also take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. See Health

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

The Emergency phone number in France is 112.

Posted by
184 posts

I feel like I am missing something. I know about what happened in Nice and about the murder of the priest. Has there been another attack in France?

I am headed to Paris next month, as it sounds like many others are. It hadn't even crossed my mind to cancel my trip. I do, however, feel quite strongly about not changing my plans because of things that are completely out of my control. Given that, I might not be the best barometer for someone else to base this kind of decision on. I think it is important that everyone make their decision based on what they feel is best for their own family. I know I would not want to spend my vacation anxious about what might happen, so if that would be you, maybe you shouldn't take the trip. Personally, I am going to Paris and do not plan on avoiding any place or event.

Posted by
646 posts

We were in Paris just a few days after the Nice incident. We did not feel unsafe. I would go again tomorrow if I could.

That said, there is secuity everywhere. We saw groups of four armed soldiers in camouflage, body armor, and automatic weapons two to three times a day on the streets. We also saw them at the Eiffle Tower, Napoléon's Tomb, and the D'Orsay. They were not unfriendly or threatening, but they were a reminder of what has happened in France. They are also probably a very good safty measure.

Posted by
646 posts

We were in Paris just a few days after the Nice incident. We did not feel unsafe. I would go again tomorrow if I could.

That said, there is secuity everywhere. We saw groups of four armed soldiers in camouflage, body armor, and automatic weapons two to three times a day on the streets. We also saw them at the Eiffle Tower, Napoléon's Tomb, and the D'Orsay. They were not unfriendly or threatening, but they were a reminder of what has happened in France. They are also probably a very good safty measure.

Posted by
13561 posts

Rosemary, I am pretty much of your mindset about France. My love of Paris exceeds any concern about the on going events. I just posted the two government advisories as information people can use to draw their own conclusions.

Posted by
12898 posts

If I did not have pressing problems to attend to here, I would be going to France in August. After all, c'est ça Paris..

This last trip ended for me at the end of June, went mainly to Austria and Germany, no France this time. I know I'm addressing your question indirectly, still it pertains to safety. Language heard mostly from tourists in tourist visited areas of Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Dresden were undoubtedly Italian, Russian, and Mandarin Chinese, sometimes every day. It certainly was not American English. If Americans are fewer in number because of this heightened security, this does not seem to reduce the numbers of other tourist nationalities. Likewise in the hotels I stayed in Dresden, Frankfurt, Vienna.

Posted by
13561 posts

Fred, just prior to the most recent terrorist attack in France I read that tourism levels had rebounded to 2014 levels and it looked as though things were going to get back to normal. Tourism by US citizens in Europe is actually up as compared to last year, not much, but some. They may be choosing places other than the old mainstays for reasons other than terrorism.

Posted by
518 posts

Also remember, just when you think you or the government has figured it out, some new attack will happen in a place that no one considered OR an attack that everyone thought would happen in a very obvious place, won't happen at all. Examples abound.

Posted by
12898 posts

@ James...Compared to recent years my flight going over SFO to Frankfurt on 24 May was not full, lots of empty seats, which surprised me since in Economy I expected to be in a sardine can. A nice surprise that this flight was not. It's all at random and by chance the people as tourists you notice/hear in train stations, tourist areas, the particular sites, shops, subways, in the trains, etc, etc there were days I saw Russians, Mandarin Chinese, and Italians daily, as being most noticeable in overhearing the language spoken.

Posted by
2466 posts

Those of us who actually live in Paris can attest to the fact that life is going on as normally as possible.

Nobody is avoiding cafe terraces, airports, train stations, churches, museums or major monuments.
If you have already planned your vacation, there is no reason to cancel it.
Take reasonable precautions, such as keeping your family informed while you travel, and if avoiding crowds makes you feel better, go ahead - but there is no reason to avoid crowds if there is something you really want to see or do.

There is ample protection in the streets and at the major attractions - you'll feel very secure.

Posted by
12898 posts

Of course, these places are not being avoided in Paris, either by locals or tourists, that's a given.

Posted by
1804 posts

Chexbres comment about not being so overly cautious avoiding crowds that you miss out on doing something you really want to do is spot on. Stuff can happen anywhere, at any time, and in other countries besides France, so get out there and do what you want. I was in France after some previous attacks. I was more concerned about how the flooding and labor strikes/train strikes and gas shortages might impact my ability to get around and do things than I was about terrorists.

I was also in Paris during UEFA tournament and Fete de la Musique. I went to lots of the events and was in the middle of a lot of very large crowds. The UEFA Fan Zone that had been set up in front of the Eiffel Tower was like trying to get into Fort Knox with all the security. I had to go through three separate checkpoints and get patted down at each checkpoint with my bag searched just to get inside the fenced area. Quite frankly, the only place I questioned how lax security was in France was CDG. This was the only time ever I have gotten off an international flight and had the agent ask ZERO questions about what I was doing in France. She looked at me, took my passport, stamped it and handed it back.

Posted by
13561 posts

front of the Eiffel Tower was like trying to get into Fort Knox with
all the security. I had to go through three separate checkpoints and
get patted down at each checkpoint with my bag searched just to get
inside the fenced area.

Gee that sounds fun! Can hardly wait!!!!

Posted by
2466 posts

JamesE - sorry, but the soccer match is over.
Going to the Eiffel Tower is just like it always is - but now any drinks in cans or bottles will be confiscated. This is because the concessionaires need the income.

Posted by
9 posts

I'm heading there at the end of September with three friends for two weeks. Can't wait! We will be 'on our guard' and have downloaded the SAIP app, but other than that, we are proceeding with our plans and plan to have a great time in a beautiful place! I'm a bit nervous, but not nervous enough to cancel this long-planned trip.

Posted by
13561 posts

Chexbres, that's too bad. I was looking forward to a good French pat down.

What is more disturbing than Paris is what I saw on BBC last night about London's police force. It is indeed a new world.

Posted by
3933 posts

Ceidleh - same thing happened when we came into CDG - glanced at the passport, stamped and off we went. Also happened in Naples - take passport, stamp, off we went - all of 10 secs. ;)

Posted by
518 posts

*

If you are getting reactions that make you almost annoyed to tell
anyone, then don't. Share your pictures when you get home.

*

I like that. It's sort of like saying, "yeah, I went and it was great and look at all these amazing things I saw and did..."

Posted by
31471 posts

The changes to the Police force in London are really nothing to be concerned about. That's just the way it is these days, and it's not likely to ever revert to the way it was. I saw the same BBC report and as Emma mentioned this doesn't really increase the total number of armed officers too much (they're just "better armed").

The same changes are happening here in Canada in response to the current situation. Most police forces are now equipped with C8 carbines (similar to an M-16) in addition to their side arms, they wear body armour and most have access to an armoured vehicle if required.

Given some of the horrific events that have happened here (Mayerthorpe, Moncton), I think it's important to give the police the equipment they need to do their job effectively and safely.

Posted by
988 posts

We'll have to see how they end up classifying Russell Sq. it's important to realize that people with mental illness are even more likely to be radicalized or influenced by others than people who are mentally healthy and well grounded. iSIS has already tweeted they are delighted by the event in Russell Sq. This is how they operate now.
So an American tourist killed in London. I think it's time to be a bit more realistic and accept that you can be the victim of a violent crime in Europe. There is more to watch out for than pickpockets. All the crime statistics that can be quoted doesn't change the outcome for the woman or her husband.
There's risk and you have to accept it. I do know that I will be checking my will and making sure my affairs are in order before I get on a plane next summer. I've never felt that need before but I now think it's the responsible thing to do.

Posted by
13561 posts

MrsEB It is only the military style assault knives that I have problems with.

Posted by
19 posts

Hi Robin,

I was in Paris from July 17-21. And was on a cruise that called on Cannes, where I was planning to take a trip to Nice, the day after the attack, but obviously no one on the ship told us. Can't comment on Nice, but for Paris, we were driven by a friend and there a sections of Paris that I would avoid i.e. Stalingrad - if you have ever been to Detroit downtown, it's similar feel in that area.

Generally, you see police presence here and there. People would advise you to avoid crowded areas, but hey, if you're a tourist, where else will you be? Just be alert and don't stay out too late. In popular tourist sites e.g. Louvre, Versailles etc., they've all implemented security measures. But otherwise, it seems like business as usual for Parisians.

I did hear people cancelling their plans for France and instead went to other European countries (like Portugal and Spain), if you really feel that uneasy, then perhaps think about moving your plans around?

Posted by
12898 posts

Every time I landed in France at CDG after a flight from SFO with United or Air France and went through Immigration, I was never asked any questions as to why I was coming to France or what I was doing there or how long. I handed over my passport, the guy looks at me, after he runs the passport through, I'm given back my passport after it is stamped. No words exchanged at all.
The same experience in Germany at FRA, except this time on 25 May I was asked a few perfunctory questions.

I wish I were flying back to Vienna in August or Sept.

Posted by
2466 posts

The reason that you "whiz right on through passport control" is that your passport has already been scanned when you left your home country.
If anything were amiss, you would not have been permitted to leave.
The agents just take a glance at your photo, I suppose to be certain that nobody might have switched passports along the way.

Posted by
3933 posts

The UK always asks us the usual questions when we enter - how long are you here...where are you staying...business or pleasure...(most times we fly into London - either from Canada or other places in Europe), as they did when we flew into the USA (including the - are you travelling with more than $10,000? (I wish)), which is why it seemed so odd for the passport checkers in Paris and Naples (which we flew to from London) to not even ask how long we were in the country for...not that there's anything wrong with that. Anything that makes getting out of the airport faster is a bonus.

Posted by
21731 posts

Most fear is irrational. Therefore, any rational argument does little to nothing in reducing the fear. So only you can make the decision to go or not to go. We are headed to London and France next month for over a month. My biggest fear, and it is not irrational, is driving to the airport safely.

Posted by
335 posts

Janettravels: "You embrace life or you cower." I choose embracing life, especially in Paris!!

Posted by
518 posts

Most fear is irrational. Therefore, any rational argument does little to nothing in reducing the fear.

Like superstition: "I always travel with my lucky day bag!"