I do not travel without personal defense preparation. Ever. Over two decades and 100,000 miles on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, thousands of miles traveling between Key West and Newport, and thousands more miles of international travel over the last decade, I’ve learned a lot of lessons.
- Be aware at all times of your environment. Sounds simple, but it’s easy to get distracted while visiting new places:
- Be prepared to deal a deadly blow if required.
I rely on SOG tactical knives and flashlights I never travel without either. For example, my Harley was always loaded while on road trips. On international trips, I carefully check my gear in detailed compliance with international regulations. It goes without saying, to never carry weapons on board a flight.
Debbie and I spend the better part of two months a year in France, mostly in Paris, but also in Burgundy (safe and quiet). France is loaded with Muslims, some of whom are more troubling than others. Do not bite for the hype that certain zones are A-OK to walk or even drive in. They are not safe, and we do our best to eschew all. My posts (see here and here) will help you out.
The recent deadly Paris knifing was in the Opera area. I know it well and have never been comfortable with how quickly it can turn from touristy to sketchy.
Our favorites are the 6th, 7th, 8th and 16th arrondissements (districts). We, of course, visit others such as the 1st-2nd (Louvre) and 3rd-4th (Marais), but we prefer to stay in a hotel situated in our favorite arrondissements. For example, one hotel we like in the 8th is surrounded 24/7 by automatic-wielding highly trained and visible military police because of the proximity to the presidential palace and various foreign embassies.
You will benefit from downloading my series on Paris Palace Hotels, which are works in regular process. We have and do stay in five-star non-Palaces on our favored Left Bank, in the 6th or 7th. To date, the left bank does not have a Palace hotel.
A note on Paris hotels: All hotels are rated from one to five stars, and then there is the rare Palace designation, The numbered stars must be posted on the front of each hotel’s main entrance.
I often hear that that one or another trendy boutique or five-star hotel is much cheaper than a Palace, but nearly as good. Nonsense! I am not aware of a single non-Palace that can come close to comparing with a Palace. This does not mean that there aren’t a number of first-rate properties that I would heartily advise. But to compare equally to an officially designated Palace? Absolutely not.
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