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Paris end of October 2010 - effect of strikes ??

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Can any of the regular Paris posters either resident or visitor comment on the effect that the current situation with strikes has had or may have with

1) the metro - I assume it would be the last transit to shut down - but thats just an assumption

2) the ability of resturants to bring in the quality and freshenss of the produce they need to maintain therir standards.

Any information helpful. Sorry if this post is not appropriate - new to this board.

Will post on return the impressions fo the 'death by foi gras" tour

Regards

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  1. I just got back on Friday and it was fine. The only major disruption was that the RER B train which goes from the airport into town was not operating. It cost 56 Euros for a taxi to the airport, versus 8.70 Euros for the metro and train. We ate at Les Cocottes de Constant and it was great. The metro seemed fine.

    1. We survived two strikes. Each time the Metro shut down such that you could actually still get around, but everything was harder. For example, we took the RER in from CDG expecting to get off in the 5th. The train died one stop short of Gare Nord. We walked over to another line and got to Gare Nord. There we got a train to the exit we wanted. No fun with three bags each. On another outing the train just stopped and we were all told to leave. So, we hiked up to the street and got a cab. If you are coming in to CDG, I'd recommend that you order up a driver.

      We didn't notice any problems at the restaurants with food quality or menu size.

      These strikes are like Chinese Opera...lots of noise, insults and threats as both sides line up, but not much else. We sat at an outdoor cafe just north of the Palais Royal Metro entrance sipping coffee when the police rolled up in MANY buses and ran a barriar between us and the rioters moving toward the government building there...I asked my waiter if we should run. He said, "Some people are angry and want to show it. The police have to respond. Enjoy your cafe leger and relax. Nothing will happen." And, nothing happened except a lot of noise.

      1. Today's a strike day, but RATP and SNCF are reporting that transit IN Paris is running at mostly-normal schedules.

        It's not as bad as some of the recent strike days -- and so far, supplies seem to be running normally.

        Transit information here: www.sncf.com (general updates) - www.ratp.fr (Paris local transport) - www.infolignes.com (long-haul train updates) - www.abcdtrains.com (regional Paris transport, including to/from CDG)

        1 Reply
        1. re: sunshine842

          I arrive in Paris this Thursday and had planned to head out to Normandy by train and rent a car after that but rather than make reservations that cannot be honored I think I'll spend the weekend in Paris and head out early next week (hopefully things will be less chaotic by then).

          I'm just really glad I hadn't made any hard reservations that could not be canceled and as such can roll with whatever comes up.

          As long as I eventually get to my favorite Calvados makers -that's all I care about!

        2. Some buses and bus-stops this AM were crowded , #3 and 8 Metros were reporting some trouble, RER A was 2/3 trains and RER B 1/2 trains with no assured connection at the Gare du Nord which has been the case since last week.

          50% of Orly flights were cancelled, 30 % of CdG ones.

          I've found the best site is the French 24-hour TV channel http://www.france24.com/en/20101019-n...

          1 Reply
          1. re: John Talbott

            Very helpful link. Thanks John. My connection is through London so figured the plane would have enough fuel to do a turnaround from CDG or they could stick me on the Chunnel train which looks to be running ok.

          2. "2) the ability of resturants to bring in the quality and freshenss of the produce they need to maintain therir standards." I cannot speak for other neighborhoods but my outdoor and indoor fruits and vegetables look pretty normal and the trucks for the outdoor markets had no trouble getting into the city this AM. The webcams on FR2 did show some slowness on some roads due to Operation Escargot.

            1. Thank you for asking the question- we, too, are arriving at the end of October for a similar "death by foie gras & and other indulgences" tour. I had planned to order a car for the ride from the airport, but was concerned about the effect on the normal routine of the city. While I'm here- I found a post on another site of the most amazing looking braised foie gras (entire lobe) for two served at l'Ami Jean. Can anyone tell me if this is always on the menu there? I really, really, really want to try it.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mofisch

                l really wanted to as well, was my top thing on my 2009 favorite list. One time this year no one with me wanted to order, the other time not on menu, arrrgh!

                1. re: mofisch

                  I get the impression that it is often - but not permanently - on the menu. But hey we're talking about chez l'Ami Jean for *$#@ sake. There is always but always foie gras, in one form or another. Turns up in your starter and again in your main. I thought Jégo was going to serve it as an amuse-digestif too…

                2. From my experience on September 23, the strikes will cause the most problem to those who aren't thinking. If you follow common sense rules, you will minimize your problems. In our case, relevant buses weren't running. RER and Metro were but on a reduced schedule, meaning: plan extra time waiting for a train. Rely only on the underground rather than surface transport. Taxis may not be able to get across town.

                  Confessing our stupidity only to save others problems, we made several collective bad decisions which cost us several hours time and walking. One person was so fatigued that he voted to continue on the RER to a later stop so as to connect to a bus that theoretically would have let us off across from our hotel. However, we found that that bus was canceled. We opted for a cab which was turned back at all westbound intersections. We bailed from it into a no-mans-land and walked a dozen blocks to a metro which after a connection deposited us a quarter mile from our hotel. All's well that ends well etc. But it was our own stupid decisions that cost us this time and effort. If we had taken the immediate metro from our RER stop, we would have been home hours and many foot-miles earlier.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: mangeur

                    You must have been in the height of things. Yesterday it was one of such days again but I suppose things were organized differently (as I read above RATP drivers may be taking turns). Yesterday all day métro and buses were running just fine, with perhaps a few 2 or 3-minute gaps compared to the usual schedules. You never really know what will happen. Yesterday several bus drivers who had decided not to strike and went to work decided to stop working once they'd been attacked by the police.

                    1. re: Ptipois

                      this morning, RATP was not reporting *any* disruptions to the metro Paris transport network -- RER, Metro, bus, or tram.

                      the RER to CDG was running a mostly-normal schedule.