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SPAIN / FRANCE

The Artistic Spirit of Paris and Barcelona

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Road Scholar
Program #20216RJ
12 Days | 11 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Discussion Board

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Patricia Lucas Apr 15, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Hi Mary George. Looking forward to meeting you. Are you from the Chicago area?


Patricia Lucas Mar 14, 2014 at 11:31 AM

I will be on the 5/22/14 trip following the RS trip to Turkey which ends 5/23. Will return to Chgo. Any other Chicago area travelers? I hope all the past problems have been fixed.
Mary Jo George Apr 14, 2014 at 03:37 PM

Mary Jo George Apr 14, 2014 at 03:37 PM



Richard Melanson Nov 24, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Two days before departure I tore the meniscus in my left knee, so we had to cancel. What a huge disappointment. I'd love for someone on the October trip to join the discussion.
Ellen Bishko Nov 29, 2012 at 10:21 AM

I was on the second trip and had a ball! RS picked us up at the airport and in Paris we used private coaches, not public transportation. Barcelona was wonderful. For me, the most outstanding part was the leadership. I cannot say enough positive things about Silvia. She was absolutely fabulous, and was able todeal with one couple who were particularly difficult. This couple, however, was able to help the other members of the group come together quickly as they were so outrageous in their demands. I would highly recommend this trip. quickly a
Richard Melanson Dec 19, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Thank you, Ellen.


Margaret Thomas Oct 16, 2012 at 09:33 AM

Reply to Richard,
As I say in each of my comments, I think RS tries to do a great job - that's why we bother to comment. Paris is like New York; Barcelona is like Chicago - I always find NY difficult and it does need more care, especially if you are jet lagged and meeting new personalities and getting used to your leader and guide. I find Chicago easy; I think everyone got something out of the relaxed atmosphere in Barcelona, the use of private coaches, the trip to the sea, the 45 bus outside our wonderful hotel and the fabulous meals. Since every group is different, I hope the next one has a great time and will let RS know how to manage this program as well as possible. Good Luck!
Richard Melanson Oct 17, 2012 at 10:57 PM

For next year's program, RS has switched to a much better hotel in Paris--the Villa Modigliani at 13 Rue Delambre. RS listens!


Cathryn Wilson Oct 14, 2012 at 04:24 PM

I was on the first trip, and I think the most important thing is to read the trip description. It's labeled "moderately challenging" which RS describes as walking up to 5 miles/day. Trip material clearly states that extensive use of public transportation is involved, as is the need to get your baggage to and from the train (which we didn't have to do). My only major complaint about the trip was the transfer from CDG airport on arrival; I hope RS has received enough complaints that they'll change that.
Richard Melanson Oct 14, 2012 at 09:54 PM

I just read Margaret's review of this trip, and I hope that RS reads it carefully. It is much, much more negative than your experience, especially in Paris.
Cathryn Wilson Oct 15, 2012 at 12:57 PM

There were a few people on this trip who were obviously unable to deal with the physical challenges of a RS trip clearly labeled as "moderately challenging." Yes, there were times we had to rush, because our coordinator had given us extra "rest" time, or because people were late or just didn't show up. There were some problems, relatively minor to me, caused by (perhaps) poor planning. But, as RS literature clearly states, you have to be flexible when traveling, especially traveling abroad. There are conditions beyond anyone's control (weather, traffic, etc.). I'm truly baffled by people - educated people - who come on these trips and seem surprised by the physical challenges and the less-than- 5-star accomodations. And how can you read the program schedule and NOT expect to have to move quickly to get to everything? It's inconsiderate to go on a trip like this, knowing that you might have problems with the walking, stair-climbing, etc. and then expect the whole group to adapt to your needs?
Judy F Oct 15, 2012 at 01:14 PM

Paris and Barcelona are cities. Some of us took this trip because we enjoy walking in an urban environment, taking subways, etc. instead of riding a tour bus to sightsee.
Cathryn Wilson Oct 15, 2012 at 02:01 PM

Exactly, Judy. I confess that my experience with subways is limited, and I had a little trouble with the metro tickets (!), but once I "got it" I appreciated the convenience of the metro. Private tour busses are costly and would only make the trip more expensive.
Richard Melanson Oct 15, 2012 at 09:45 PM

No Metro for the October trip. Only public buses according to RS.
Laurie Willard May 23, 2013 at 06:53 PM

What a shame. Public transportation, once educated on how to use it, is always a highlight of any trip AND Paris has an incredible bus and metro system.


Judy F Oct 14, 2012 at 01:21 PM

Based on first trip experience:
1.Knowing some basic French, Spanish phrases will be useful.
2. This is a moderately challenging trip for people is good physical condition- with buses, subways, stairs, long walks. Take comfortable walking shoes, sox, and blister protection. Hurrying to make sure everyone gets on bus is necessary.
3. Make sure the guide accompanies you on the bus to the Barcelona Airport so that you get to the proper terminal area.


Ellen Bishko Oct 14, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Nancy, Road Scholar did arrange all of my flights-on British Airways. All of the flights unfortunately are being operated by American Airlines, so it might be a bit more of an adventure getting over there. I do wonder why they have not changed how we are to be picked up, if it was such a mess with the earlier trip.Ellen
Judy F Oct 14, 2012 at 01:23 PM

Nancy- I flew on American with no problems.


Richard Melanson Oct 13, 2012 at 10:12 PM

To those who participated in the Sept/Oct program, what was your experience at Villa Lutece Port Royal. TripAdvisor reviews are mostly negative.
Yolanda Musawwir Oct 14, 2012 at 12:39 PM

did not like the hotel
Cathryn Wilson Oct 14, 2012 at 04:18 PM

I didn't think it was that bad; it was much better than the hotel we had in Florence on another RS trip.
Richard Melanson Oct 14, 2012 at 10:58 PM

What did you like? Breakfast? Beds? Cleanliness? Helpful and friendly staff? Concierge?


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Our Value Promise To You

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Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
10 nights of accommodations
25 meals: 10 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 8 dinners
4 Expert-led lectures
21 Field trips
1 Hands-on experiences
2 Performances

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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