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Save your hard-earned money for baguettes and weed. (Bigger vice: Carbs or THC? Discuss.) WOW air's new flights are excellent news for budget-conscious travelers; starting in October, the low-cost airline will begin offering $99 one-way flights from Boston and Baltimore to Paris and Amsterdam. If you've ever wanted to visit the City of Light — or a red light district.
Here's the deal: WOW will fly from BWI to Amsterdam twice a week and to Paris five times a week; from BOS, WOW will fly to Amsterdam three times a week and to Paris six days a week. To reach both cities you'll stop in Reykjavik to jump on a connecting flight. And yes, you can already book them now. And if you haven't already, check out one of our recent reviews of WOW's famous $99 transatlantic flights; overall, it's a pretty good experience (save for a serious carry-on related inconvenience). Important to note, though, that these flights to Paris and Amsterdam are one-way deals; you'll need to spend more for your trip back. (Or, you know, just plan to while away the the rest of your life amid tulips and windmills.) And as Boston magazine notes, only one flight out of each city per week will go for the $99 rate; the others will still reflect WOW as a low-cost carrier, of course, but they may not be quite so bargain basement.
Still, pretty solid deal. Give your booking finger a warm-up stretch and get to clicking.
[Image: WOW air]
The other week in Paris while crossing over the Seine, we snapped this shot of the Tour Eiffel. But if you look closely, you'll also see a pint-sized version of the Statue of Liberty. #nofilter
This tiny version of Lady Liberty stands on the end of Île aux Cygnes (Isle of Swans.) It was gifted to Paris in 1889 by the Parisian community of America to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution. This was three years after the French gave America the original Statue of Liberty. According to Wikipedia, the statue used to face the Eiffel Tower but now faces West. Another fun fact? The tablet in the statue's hand is inscribed with both the dates of the American Independence and Bastille Day. #nowyouknow
But sorry, you can't go up inside this statue. It's too small. However, if you want to see the real Statue of Liberty, you can reserve your tickets online here. Pedestal access starts at $18 for adults and $9 for children while going up into the crown is $21 for adults and $12 for children.
[Photo: Juliana Shallcross/Jaunted]
The furor over selfie sticks continues after a Disneyland guest whipped one out during California Screamin’, one of the park's fastest and thrilling roller coasters, forcing the ride to shut down for an hour. (The coaster has only one vertical but it’s still pretty
scary thrilling. We’re not even sure when you’d have the time to whip out a selfie stick. #idiots)
Uber / Paris Travel / Taxi Cabs / Taxi Strikes / Velib / Bike-Sharing / → All Tags
But taxi drivers didn't just not show up for work today: they were actively protesting by blocking roads to airports and train stations in the city. And a few of them got violent, as evidenced by this photo on WSJ.com. According to Gawker, even Courtney Love was caught up in the protests at the airport. The hot mess rock star tweeted that she needed to pay men on motorcycles to sneak her out of the airport after her car and driver were attacked.
Incidentally, we used Uber in Paris this morning completely unaware that the taxi strike was even about Uber. Oui, américain stupide.
Yesterday, the Eiffel Tower went dark for the victims at Charlie Hebdo.
Before we take off for the weekend, we wanted to comment on the terrible terrorist attacks that have besieged Paris, and France as a country, this week.
The New York Times has some excellent reporting on the situation as it, sadly, keeps developing, while the New Yorker had a great line in this story from George Packer about standing up to the terrorists-- "So we must all try to be Charlie, not just today but every day."
And of course, we completely agree with this powerful image from Lucille Clerc (not Banksy, as people originally thought.)
Aside from the terrible loss of life in such a violent way, and the scary threat to free speech, we're now hearing that some folks won't travel to Europe because of the terrorist attacks. We've actually heard this several times today.
So far, the U.S. State Department has warned travelers to "remain vigilant" but they haven't restricted travel to Paris, although the French government and Paris police have upped security seemingly everywhere.
While the situation is still unfolding in Paris, boycotting travel to Europe is not the answer. That just letting the terrorists win. And we can't let them do that.
Are you afraid to travel abroad because of the recent attacks? Share your concerns in comments below.
[Photos via Twitter and Instagram]
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The Eurostar and the French TGV may take up most of the spotlight of Europe’s high-speed rail network, but there are other options for zooming through the continent’s patchwork of countries, depending on where you go. There is the sleek, white, and German ICE and, if you’re looking to travel between Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris, the shiny, red Thalys.
Thalys reduces Amsterdam to Paris, a 316-mile, 5-hour drive, to almost three hours flat (ok, 3 hours and 14 minutes) of high-speed comfort. It runs between Amsterdam Central Station and Paris Gare du Nord, giving you the advantage of city center to city center travel too. Stops along the way include Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Brussels.
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Travelers to Paris this winter (and from now on) will enjoy improved views as a popular form of tourist graffiti has been cleared from bridges over the Seine River.
The "No Love Locks" movement of earlier this year, which protested the practice of attaching a heavy-duty lock to a bridge rail to "secure" a relationship, has been successful. While gaining signatures for the petition, No Love Locks estimated that the Pont de Arts Bridge alone was covered with 93 metric tons of extraneous metal. Aside from their being unsightly, the heavy use of these locks is a problem for the structural integrity of the historic bridges.
Are they art? No. Are they romantic? Maybe for the fleeting minute you attach a lock and then leave the bridge, making its clean-up Paris' problem. "It's vandalism, and it's taken the ambiance away from the bridges."
City officials began a mass removal of the locks in September, replacing them with plastic panels over the bridge architecture to prevent tourists from attaching more. And the difference is definitely noticeable.
Sure, we love all the speed and comfort of modern travel, but it didn't get that way overnight. Every Thursday, we're going to take a look back at travel the way it used to be, whether that's decades or centuries ago. This is Throwback Thursday, travel edition.
For all we talk about in-flight meals, you might think that praising (or criticizing) what's served onboard where is a new concept. A 1958 Air France postcard we acquired proves that obsession with in-flight food is hardly anything new.
Written by an American onboard a flight from Rome to Paris during a European "Grand Tour," the traveler is surprised, in a good way, by the food offered on the flight. On a similar Air France route today, you might be lucky to receive a complimentary beverage and perhaps a croissant.
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Even tombstones get multiple kisses in France.
Every country, and culture, has its customs. The Japanese consider tipping after meals an insult. And in Germany, you should never—ever!—jaywalk, even if it’s 4:00 a.m. and there’s no traffic.
Meanwhile, in France, the cheek—or cheek-to-cheek or cheek-to-cheek-to-cheek—kiss is a sort of cultural delicacy, like fine wine. For example, you wouldn't order a Lyon wine in the heart of Burgundy, just in the same way you might want to be cautious when you kiss only two cheeks in Burgundy, when, typically, you should kiss four.
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We realize travel budgets may be limited, but it’s free to dream. This is where contests come into the picture, and there's always the chance that you could be the big winner—just don't forget to tell us if you are!
Here are 4 Paris contests to enter right now:
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Labor Day means more than just the official end of summer and unofficial end of wearing white pants. With the start of September comes the countdown to what fashion insiders dub "Fashion Month," the series of fashion weeks which will introduce the trends and top designs for 2015.
As fashion weeks move to world capitals and new runways, they take with them the top editors, stylists, models, and fashion photographers to create a burst of creative energy and something of a "scene" in these cities. As such, fashion week can be the cooled time to visit these cities, so long as you're prepared to pay a premium for the best hotels and restaurants in which to be seen.
Mark them down, here are the dates to know for upcoming Fashion Weeks around the world:
We have all been in that travel situation where things don’t exactly meet—or live up to—expectations. The place wasn’t as good as it looked in pictures, the folks weren’t as friendly, or that imagined utopia just doesn’t exist outside your mind. Apparently this is somewhat common for some visitors to Paris, and that’s why Paris Syndrome is a thing.
We’ve mentioned it before, and it even has is very own Wikipedia page—so you know it has to be true. There’s all kinds of signs and symptoms, but basically it boils down to culture shock and things not being exactly as what was imagined. Japanese tourists seem to be one of the groups that suffers from things the most, but now there are reports that Chinese tourists are getting bummed out as well.