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Independent Paris: People, Places, Culture

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Road Scholar
Program #10034RJ

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9 Days | 8 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
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. 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.
Gail from Sopchoppy, FL Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 11/07/15 - 11/15/15
For a non-French speaking, infrequent (49 years ago) traveler to Paris this program was perfect. But I think it would have also suited a person more familiar with Paris since she could easily be independent while enjoying being part of a group. I like getting to experience a city by walking or using its public transportation. Our guide, Louis, and instructor, James, were the best!

DEBRA from HUNTINGTON, NY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/23/15 - 10/31/15
A most excellent adventure! We laughed, we cried, we ate , we drank, we soaked up all Paris had to offer! An amazing week with some great like-minded adventurers!

Charlotte from Cleveland, OH Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 10/10/15 - 10/18/15
During this well run tour with extremely competent leadership and an erudite engaging lecturer our group saw many of the fantastic sights of Paris and in addition many of the side street wonders. We had ample time to explore Paris by metro and bus on our own as well as to enjoy tours with our interesting Road Scholar colleagues . An excellent program.

Sally from Cambridge, MA Number of programs attended: 11
Date attended: 10/10/15 - 10/18/15
Whether this will be your first visit to Paris or another one of many…do go. You will revisit old favorites and discover some new ones. If you are an independent soul you will have time to find your own adventure. Need help--a resourceful, responsive leader will be at the ready.

Susan from Yardley, PA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/10/15 - 10/18/15
A great opportunity to introduce or remind yourself of this wonderful city!

Stephen from Seattle, WA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/10/15 - 10/18/15
Independent Paris provided an outstanding smorgasbord of the sights and sounds of one of the world's greatest cities!

Bill from Yardley, PA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/10/15 - 10/18/15
This was a great opportunity for my wife and I to get reacquainted with Paris after a long absence and to see parts of the city we'd never seen. The program provided a wonderful mix of structured excursions to different parts of the city and opportunities to go off on our own.

Joe from Oak Park, IL Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/10/15 - 10/18/15
This was the best trip ever. Saw and did more than I ever thought possible. The tour guides, Malcolm and especially Louie, were thorough, good natured, knowledgeable, and insightful about Paris, its people, its food and drink, its drivers, its myths and its beauty. If you have never been to Paris, this is the trip to introduce you to its wonders.

Anne from Ashland, VA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/19/15 - 09/27/15
You can always make your own arrangements and visit a location. However, having knowledgeable guides, such as James and Adrian, truly enriches the experience and makes for a memorable journey. Having your reservations made for you and the details taken care of is icing on the cake. I highly recommend Road Scholar!

Eleanor from Bay Shore, NY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/19/15 - 09/27/15
If you want to do a lot more than just buy a airplane ticket to a destination and discover the area on your own, Then the Road Scholar group is for you! Well organized, so much to learn new people to meet and time to go discover on your own also!

Susan from Burlingame, CA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 09/26/15 - 10/04/15
This is a very good program for those who do not wish to be weighed down with planning their own trip or for those who do not have the confidence to negotiate a major European city on their own. It involves a lot of walking on cobblestones. It is important to know that you must be able to walk up and down many stairs for the Metro, at least twice a day. (Only once did I see an escalator or elevator.)

Robert from Bryan, TX Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 09/25/15 - 10/03/15
Very good introduction to Paris.

Ralph from Portland, OR Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 09/19/15 - 09/27/15
The Independent Paris tour was, in one word, Great. Adrian, group leader, was our guardian angel, making sure we all arrived in one piece and that those who were going somewhere independent of the group knew how to get where they were going and back again. James, our lecturer and museum guide, was a walking encyclopedia adding depth and richness to our experience. Paris is wonderful and the Parisians impressed me with their hospitality making this a wonderful experience whether we were with the group or on our own.

Carla from Milwaukee, WI Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/19/15 - 09/27/15
This was my 3rd Paris visit and 1st Road Scholar trip. I loved it! Our guide James was brilliant and I learned so much more than I ever expected! Our trip leader Adrian was fabulous in keeping us all together and getting us where we were supposed to be. It was a wonderful experience. Wish it hadn't gone by so quickly!

Barbara from Ashland, VA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 09/19/15 - 09/27/15
This was a perfect combination of guided tours and time to explore on our own.

Stanley from Moraga, CA Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 09/04/15 - 09/12/15
Outstanding program! Although I am a retired French teacher and have visited Paris numerous times, I thoroughly enjoyed this programming and recommend it heartily. I wanted to be in the company of other people, which is why I chose this program, rather than just travel alone. There was plenty of free time to be able to explore independently , yet lots of wonderful information, even about places I had already visited. Superbly organized by Brigitte, the tour leader. Margaret, our guide, had lots of interesting things to tell us. I also liked the fact that we used public transportation (métro, bus) for all our travel around the city.

S. T. from Minneapolis, MN Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 07/04/15 - 07/12/15
The Roadscholar website I found to be user friendly. I feel that the site assists clients in a clear manner to access that kinds of programs they are looking for and answers questions that clients might have as well.

Breton from St Augustine, FL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/06/15 - 06/14/15
I learned so much & found it all fascinating: the trip of a lifetime, really!

Thomas A. from Brookline, MA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/30/15 - 06/07/15
This is an excellent program. It is designed to give you an in-depth understanding of the history and today's culture of Paris — not simply visits to well-known monuments. Highly recommended.

Christy from Fairfax, VA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/08/15 - 05/16/15
I have visited Paris many times and went on this program mostly to experience Paris through the eyes of two friends who had not been before. I was extremely surprised and delighted with the breadth and depth of the experience of Paris provided by Road Scholar in such a compressed time frame. It is difficult to imagine a program that could have made an introduction to this exquisite city any better.

Diana from Topeka, KS Number of programs attended: 17
Date attended: 05/30/15 - 06/07/15
Wonderful overview of Paris full of art and history. Be sure to wear comfortable and sturdy shoes.

Elizabeth from Tucson, AZ Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/08/15 - 05/16/15
We found the Independent Paris to be a grand journey with informative guides and wonderful travelling companions. We enjoyed seeing so much of this grand and glorious historically rich city! Kay Rencken and Bill Parsons

Joan from Northport, NY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/02/15 - 05/10/15
Wonderful introduction to the culture and history of Paris. Informative guides with a true love and knowledge of their city. Came away with a very positive feeling for the City of Light.

Barbara from Blue Bell, PA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 05/02/15 - 05/10/15
A great way to learn the history and culture of Paris. With the insight of our terrific guides Malcolm and Emmanuel, Paris really came alive. Many options were available as well. Whether you wanted to stay with our guide our venture out on your own, the city and its surroundings were there for you to explore.

Henry from S. Sutton, NH Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/02/15 - 05/10/15
A terrific way to get introduced to both the grand historic sights of Paris and the local communities & culture.

Deborah from Lake Elmo, MN Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/02/15 - 05/10/15
Gain insights on the beautiful modern and historical sights of Paris while building confidence in your ability to tour independently.

Carolyn from Shelby Township, MI Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/18/15 - 04/26/15
I highly recommend the Independent Tour, we had wonderful guides all day but could venture off on our own if we had something different we wanted to do. The education through story telling, the care and direction of Julian Brown and Brigitte Young was outstanding! I truly enjoyed my trip to Paris. Thank you Road Scholars

Lewis from Walnut Creek, CA Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 04/04/15 - 04/12/15
Absolutely outstanding program. We did not just "see" the expected sights, we experienced them. From a trip to the street market (and enjoying the tastes it offered) to the back streets of Montmartre, we were deeply immersed in Paris, insofar as a week would allow. Our instructor was superlative. His knowledge of France, art, Paris, music and history made his instruction superb. For example, we had in depth instruction the art of Monet, learning how it changed over time. We learned about the art of the 19th century, and then traveled the back lanes of Paris to see where it had all come alive. Fascinating. James M'K-Hall was the finest instructor I have had on any RS program. And the entire experience was made incomparable by our truly outstanding Group Leader, Louis-Gabriel Bideau. By far, he was the most exceptional leader we had ever had on any program. He was so genuine and personable, leading us with an incredible knowledge of Paris, Louis provided us with opportunities to experience the real Paris and led us with humor, attention and discretion. He made every effort to share his love and knowledge of Paris and its offerings with us. He taught us the ins and outs of Paris transportation, its sights, feel and taste and so much more. He shared himself with us and we felt the more "French" for it. This program was a 10 due in no small part to our two leaders ability to make it an intimate experience. Wonderful Program!

Robert from Bainbridge Island, WA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/04/15 - 04/12/15
This was our first trip with Road Scholar and we will definitely travel with them again. Our Paris visit was close to perfect. Our guides, Louis and James were warm and witty, with lots of historic and cultural information. It was a perfect mix of lectures, sightseeing and eating. Lots of good food! We highly recommend this tour.

Karen from Springfield, OR Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/04/15 - 04/12/15
This trip is great for first time visitors to Paris. It gives a good introduction to the public transportation system, the "must-see" sights and how to get around safely on your own. The tours are great. You should be prepared to walk up to 10 miles a day over uneven streets with cobblestones. Getting up and down a lot of stairs and some hill climbing are also involved. Parisians seem to go on strike a lot, so be prepared with a plan B and C.

Dvora from Figueres, Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 12/06/14 - 12/14/14
This is an excellent program: well conceived and well delivered. Our group leader Brigitte and lecturer/guide James both carry out their jobs very well. You could read the history in a book, but it was a lot more fun to hear it from James. Brigitte's personal touch of taking us to a wine bar for a charcuterie lunch and to Miss Lunch for a unique, artistic dinner were unique experiences that made the trip even more special than Paris would normally be. The hotel was good and although it isn't smack in the middle of things, it is easy to get to by metro or bus (or a long walk if you're looking for more exercise) and being in a neighborhood it allows you to easily buy groceries or snacks or pastries! or water or bottles or wine or whatever you want to take to your hotel room. I recommend it highly.

Deborah from Columbus, OH Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 12/13/14 - 12/21/14
Independent Paris exceeded my expectations. Both our group leader and guide, Brigitte and Jennifer, were excellent. While I could cover the same itinerary on my own, the information, history, and commentary that they provided made everything a lot more interesting, fun, and memorable.

Erikka from Dallas, TX Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/08/14 - 11/16/14
This is a really great week long trip with freedom to explore on your own or follow the daily itinerary. This trip is a perfect introduction to European travel!

G. J. from Pittsburgh, PA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/01/14 - 11/09/14
Fabulous experience for the first-timer or refresher for a Parisian returnee utilizing thoroughly professional group leaders skilled in historic and cultural orientation to Paris. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Charlotte from Cologne, NJ Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 11/01/14 - 11/09/14
I am just home from RS trip, Independent Paris. It was wonderful, and timing was perfect. there were not many tourists most places. I used the Cars Air France to Gare de Lyon, and them took a short taxi ride to the hotel. Show the taxi driver the address and say it's close to Place de Nation. I tipped the taxi. Our guides, Malcolm and Thomas, were wonderful! I'm sure you guides will be as well. It's a great opportunity to get outside your box, using the Metro on your own with the pass provided, and use as much French as you can. Enjoy!

Elisabeth from Memphis, TN Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/04/14 - 10/12/14
Independent Paris was a wonderful program that allowed me to see Paris from a different angle. Our expert guides led us into a wonderful discovery of unusual places. I enjoyed meeting the other participants and feel that the whole experience was very worthwhile.

Marilyn from Scottsdale, AZ Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/19/14 - 09/27/14
My third trip to Paris and feeling like I can't wait to return.

Susan from Delray Beach, FL Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 10/11/14 - 10/19/14
Excellent immersion in French Culture, People, Food and Talent.

Linda from Martinez, CA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 09/13/14 - 09/21/14
This is a great adventure.

Richard from Edina, MN Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/20/14 - 09/28/14
A great way to see Paris for the first time--a nice blend of art, history, people-watching, and sight-seeing.

Rosemary from Palmetto, FL Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 09/27/14 - 10/05/14
The is a wonderful tour of Paris. Be aware there is a lot of walking and stair climbing in the Paris metro. It is not a tour for those who are not in decent shape. We walked about 36 miles in 6 days and did a lot of stairs but we loved it!!!

Annabella from Buckeye, AZ Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/19/14 - 09/27/14
Our excellent tour guide and Group Leader made this an exceptional trip. Fun and knowledgable and Group Leader helpful in your every need.

Kevin from San Rafael, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/06/14 - 09/14/14
Excellent value for the money.

Joanne from Ypsilanti, MI Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 09/12/14 - 09/20/14
Joanne and Roger from Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti: This was a fantastic trip--everything and more than we expected. Our group leader, Pauline was outstanding! She was energetic, attentive to everyone's needs and very knowledgeable and fun to be with. Margaret our Paris instructor also very knowledgable about Paris neighborhoods and art/architecture, had a fun flare that made for an exceptional experience. The trip overall was very well organized. It is rigorous! Lots of stairs, but does have the built in "independence". Loved using the metro. Hotel location in the Marais district was excellent. Once again, Roads Scholar gets an outstanding rating from us.

Mark from Naples, FL Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 09/12/14 - 09/20/14
Mark from Naples, FL Number of programs attended: 2 Date attended: 09/12/14 - 09/20/14 Wonderful trip. Extremely well organized. Pauline is an amazing group leader--very personable and competent. Margaret our guide is a gem with such passion for art and history. Moderately strenuous is accurate--lots of up and down. Nice blend of organized events with independent options. A great introduction to Paris--we can't wait to go back!

Olivia from Waltham, MA Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 09/12/14 - 09/20/14
Independent Paris is a great program for either a first time or return visit to this exceptional city.

Clement from New Castle, DE Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 09/12/14 - 09/20/14
Overall this was an excellent program. Pay attention to the activity level - it's taxing. The hotel was in a state of flux and probably not a good choice at the time. Pauline (leader) and Margaret (guide) were both terrific. Clem and Barbara - Delaware

Merry from Cassopolis, MI Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/13/14 - 09/21/14
Dear Roadscholar: Please create trips for distinct age groups. 40-50, 50-60, 60 and up

Elizabeth from Glen Ridge, NJ Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 08/16/14 - 08/24/14
Excellent in every way. Expect participants to be older than you. Some are beyond an age of keeping up with the group.

Martha from Salisbury, MD Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 08/02/14 - 08/10/14
you may use any statements I made in the evaluation

Joan from Whitestone, NY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 07/19/14 - 07/27/14
Definitely worth checking out.

Henley from Alexandria, LA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 06/07/14 - 06/15/14
THis was our 3 trip to Paris but I can tell you that we saw and learned more this trip than any other we have ever taken. Leader Louis was "tres fabulous" and guide Jennifer was amazing. Louis always "on guard" so we always felt safe with him around. Jennifer was so knowledgeable about French history, art, books, architecture, and walking-around information. We had 21 in our group and everyone very compatable--always a plus. Hotel not where I would have selected to stay but after 1st day of riding the metro you feel very capable of getting around Paris on your own, which we did. This is a WALKING tour. One day we walked over 10 miles-little by little; as well as up and down because Paris is not flat. Be prepared. Climate was wonderful and only rained one day but we all were troopers and the show goes on! Schedules are full every day but you do not have to attend even though it is hard to separate from Louis and Jennifer because you know you will miss something wonderful, but we had other sites we wanted to see than the Louve. All I can say is that it was not nearly enough time with Louis and Jennifer nor Paris. I see another trip in our future. Je t'aime Paris.

Carol from Riverside, CT Number of programs attended: 24
Date attended: 06/21/14 - 06/29/14
This trip was fantastic, beyond our expectations. Our Leader Louis and Guide James made Paris come alive. Wonderful trip and very well organize and planned. We saw and did it all. You will want to book it.

Sheryl from Ottawa, ON Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/14/14 - 06/22/14
I thought I was going to Paris for a one-time visit, but Louis Bideau, Malcolm Livesay, and our entire group made it such a wonderful experience that I am already planning to return next year. Road Scholar is the best! Sherry, Ottawa, ON

Marian from Gloucester, ON Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/14/14 - 06/22/14
The Paris program was active, interesting and worry-free. Leadership, location and accommodations were excellent. Participants were a diverse mix and contributed to an excellent trip.

Temika from San Leandro, CA Number of programs attended: 0
Date attended: 06/14/14 - 06/22/14
My first trip with Road Scholar: 10034-Independent Paris: People, Places, Culture; I was very impressed. The itineary was so well paced. Our Group Leader, Louis Bideau and Instructor, Malcolm Livesey were fabulous. Both gentlemen were well informed, knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. I will definitely will travel with Road Scholar again. Temika San Francisco, CA

Anne from Folsom, CA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 05/17/14 - 05/25/14
The trip was a fabulous introduction to Paris and all it has to offer. An efficient way to see Paris and experience this incredible city and its treasures.

Deirdre from Watchung, NJ Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 03/29/14 - 04/06/14
Myself and friend had a wonderful week in Paris, March 31 to April 7. Robert and Malcolm were wonderful, shepard and guide. The hotel was OK, a little out of town but very near metro and on the bus route. but we tended to walk home every day and got to know the route very well on foot. This is a busy program if one takes advantage of everything available, and it is for the moderately active among us. There were a few on our trip who did not really seem to have understood that it would be so independent and active. I feel as if I know Paris very well by now and would have no problem going back on my own without any need for baby sitting. Where does Road Scholar get such great guides? They really are wonderful and caring people. I am already planning my next RS trip

Ronald from Moscow, ID Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/24/14 - 06/01/14
Independent Paris is described as having lots of free time. Not so, if you take advantage of all the insights and knowledge of the trip leader and guides. If you follow along,you days will be busy,full, and exhausting. The upside is that you'll learn a lot and be prepared to come back to Paris on your own to see the places you want to see in depth, and confidently find your way around this beautiful and sophisticated city.

Gail from New York, NY Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 04/26/14 - 05/04/14
I found the Road Scholar Travel staff very helpful!

Marie from Huntley, IL Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 05/10/14 - 05/18/14
I would recommend Independent Paris: People, Places, Culture for anyone who is able to walk up to 5 miles and day as well as climb a winding set of steps up to the lecture room at the hotel. Sylvie our guide was wonderful. I love Paris and was able to use my Quebecois French that I learned as a child - contrary to what some people say about Paris I found almost everyone willing to work with my French or English and be quite helpful. It was a lovely experience.

Richard from Buckeye, AZ Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/03/14 - 05/11/14
If you want to learn about Paris and experience it at ground level, this is the Program for you.

Larry from Topsham, ME Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/19/14 - 04/27/14
Marge and I had an absolutely fabulous time on this tour; after all, what can beat April in Paris! We were quite fortunate to have Louis-Gabriel Bideu as our Tour leader, as he provided insight to some cultural nuances, kept us on track and was always there when we needed him. Malcolm Livesey, our tour guide and British ex-pat, was delightful and clearly knowledgeable about the museums we visited, as well as the many by-ways and landmarks around the city. We particularly appreciated the independent nature of the tour that allowed us to go off and explore (and eat!) on our own when we wanted to. The only drawback to our experience was the hotel. While it was a nice place, with clean rooms, a good breakfast and attentive staff, we felt that, being a mile east of the Bastille it was further from the city center than we would have preferred. Other than that, we would highly recommend this tour to Road Scholar members who like an highly active learning experience.

Andrea from New York, NY Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 04/19/14 - 04/27/14
Note that you will be walking on cobblestones + up/down multiple stairs in the Metro + hotel elevator broken on 2 days [6 stories] - activity level for the Program is fairly strenuous. Hopefully you will have Louie as the Group Leader - he is excellent. Enjoy - I did & loved the size of the Group - 24 max.

Rosemary from Traverse City, MI Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/19/14 - 04/27/14
My husband and I chose this program as our 40th wedding anniversary celebration trip. It surpassed our expectations in every manner, e.g. insightful and breathtaking walks, erudite explanations of works of art and French history. Malcolm was an very informative and entertaining guide. We even got to hear him sing on occasion. Louis added the sage insight into French culture , as well as a sense of security to each day. One can choose to move with the group or be off on one's own. If all Road Scholar experiences are like this one we will look no further for a tour.

Jean from Boston, MA Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 02/15/14 - 02/23/14
Independent Paris is truly a "Moveable Feast." Buoyed by our stylish and erudite tour guides' daily talks presented at our comfortable hotel and on-site, we explored museums, monuments, and markets. Our fearless leaders' anecdotes and backstories will enrich memories of Place Vosges and Montmartre. I'll recall hidden gardens and architectural gems and remember the locations of revolutionary barricades and artists' studios. By engaging all our senses - the taste of ubiquitous macaroons, the smells wafting from bistros (& yes, we learned the origins of that word), the ringing of famous church bells, the sight of Eiffel Tower lit up at night from our Seine boat trip, we felt that we almost belonged to this magnificent metropolis. On the practical side, we were able to explore countless historical and cultural areas by becoming familiar with the city's transportation system . So bus stations and metro stops became part of our vocabulary, along with helpful phrases en Francais. Enjoyed this adventure so much I'm looking forward to Independent Paris II!!

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
7 nights of accommodations
10 meals: 7 breakfasts, 0 lunches, 3 dinners
5 Expert-led lectures
11 Field trips


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