I did a lot of international travel at the beginning of the millennia. The trip to Paris in April of 2001 had been planned for almost 2 years. But then after the shock of September 11, 2001 people stopped traveling. I was literally still missing Paris from the trip in spring, feeling almost home sick, and wanted to return. So at New Years of 2002 I decided to look. Sure enough, we could fly to Paris for less than to Ohio. And I also found lodging for about a quarter the price of the cheapest place in Boston. We were planning a ski week on a local mountain and discovered it was far cheaper to fly to Paris. And the exchange rate was fabulous, I think about 75 cents for a Euro. Oh yes, in 2001 we used Francs, in 2002 we used Euros. Well, Paris for half the price of the planned ski trip, no brainer.
I thought that was the end of it, but then in late 2002 or early 2003 I saw an article in the Boston Globe about ultra cheap travel. There was an advertised trip to Rome that included airfare and lodging for even less than what we paid for Paris in the winter of 2002. I called, added a couple of days for next to nothing, and went.
We had spent part of our honeymoon in Rome so we were very familiar with the city. We went back to our favorite places and explored other areas of the Eternal City.
I love Paris, but I’ll admit there is something fascinating about Rome. For one, there are ruins. A lot of ruins. I love ruins. I should say I love ruins well if they’re old enough – I don’t want to come home from work some day and find ruins instead of my house… There is also art. Yes, in the three trips to Paris I’ve spent at least 60 or 70 hours total in the Louvre, several days in the Musée d’Orsay, countless hours in the Rodin Museum, the Picasso museum, Musée de l’Orangerie, etc. And yet it seems Italy has so much more art.
When we were in Rome the US decided to devalue the dollar as a way to stimulate the economy. When we got there it was about 85 cents to a Euro, when we left it was about $1.45 to a Euro. So the dinner we had when we arrived that cost less than $25 cost over $40 when we left. Makes it tough for a tourist going from feeling rich to feeling poor over night. This ended our international travels. We did return to Paris in 2011, but we planned and saved for over 2 years. And of course the exchange rate for that trip wasn’t as bad as it was for the second half of our 2003 trip. (I just looked and the exchange rate is pretty good. Time to plan another trip?)
So here are some pictures from the trip. I hope you enjoy!