- The stairways for castle and churches are very narrow, the stairs are uneven, tall, and steep. I have size 10 shoes and my foot is twice as wide as the step, and when I say narrow I mean dizzying claustrophobia-inducing narrow. I’m not saying don’t go up but know your limits, pick the less crowded time, and bring a hiking/walking stick.
- The roads in the city are barely two lanes and the sidewalks are half taken up with parked cars. If they are like city people in the US then they have been parked for years if it’s a good spot. Because so many buildings are of historical nature they can’t change the face of the building, which means more uneven steps with narrow doorways. Also, historical buildings were built before elevators, electricity, indoor plumbing, and were inhabited by short people. Put it all together and it becomes a bit handicap inaccessible. Again doesn’t mean don’t go just plan ahead.
- Most of the US tourists are young college kids or people near or at retirement. By young college kids, I mean 18-19-year-old kids who can drink legally and get wasted and speak English to people slowly and loudly. So a polite young American will throw them for a loop. After talking to someone they said Oh you must be from Canada, the unspoken sentence was because you are too nice to be an American.
- You can be in the EU and not use the Euro, currently, 9 countries in the EU don’t use the Euro. However, if Briext does happen it will be 8.
- VAT, value-added tax that all EU countries have (around 20%), and it can make dining out and other goods expensive. If you want to cut down the cost go to supermarket and buy lunch, premade sandwiches, and salads. They usually don’t have the VAT. Most places if you buy over a certain number they will subtract the VAT for you, and maybe free shipping.
- Toilets cost money and they are called toilets, not bathrooms. Usually, if you buy something in the rest stop you get a ticket/token for the toilets. Just make sure you have some coins on hand.
- Maybe it because of the paid toilet situation but those scenic pedestrian bridges in Paris smells like urine (pardon my french•).
- Stores aren’t open 24/7, it’s like Europeans actually have a life-work balance, so weird! Joking aside places do shut down at 5:00 or 17:00 (Europe runs on 24 hour time, like the military in the US) and restaurants close between lunch and dinner.
- Stuff is closed during the week, check before you go. I was let down when I arrived at the Orsay museum in Paris on Monday morning and it was closed.
Pardon my french is a phrase to say sorry for using foul/rude langue but urine is one of the old French words that became an English word after William the Conqueror (French Duke) became King of England. So it’s a pun of a joke.