Trip to France

Oct 13, 2003
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A friend and I have invited our Dominican girlfriends over to Holland for the summer.

One of the events up to now is a trip to France, a very positive experience, which a wise bearded person on this board, who lives in the hills (also known as the patrion saint of serious visitors to the DR) suggested I share with you to balance the bad stories out a bit.

We made a trip to the South of France to stand as witness for a friends wedding. The trip was a great experience and we had a great time. The girl?s travels took them trough 4 countries in total, which was more than they had experienced up to then. Trip's duration was from Thurday night till Tuesday night. We used the nights for driving to our starting/back to our beginning destinations.

Firstly during thursday night, we drove down From Holland to St Tropez to prepare for the wedding on Friday, it was nice to be in St Tropez again and this time there was an added spectacle of the annual Harley Davidson conference. We spent some time at the beach, walking the harbour, looking at the yachts and drinking a few drinks. At night there was a get to know everyone gathering at the groom's mother's house.

Saturday was the wedding day and we had a good time at the wedding. After the civil service we went to the church, which turned out to be an open air gathering at the back of the Chapel. After the service we had lunch and a party with more drink and food at the house of the groom?s mother. Of course we smoked some Dominican cigars and shared one with the father of the bride a Frenchman who retired to Miami. They were well received and so were we. An added bonus for the girls was that the brides family spoke quite good Spanish.

After the wedding we spent some more days in France.

On Sunday we spent the day driving around in the south, visiting Nice, which is as you know the only real city on the Cote d' Azure, a beautiful Italian style city. We visited the city and the central hill which used to hold a castle for the counts of the Provence but this was demolished by a later French king. The girls really liked it. We drove up North and stayed in a French country estate around Orange for the evening and night. The propriator was also a good cook and we enjoyed the special dishes he served us, together with some good wine. The food (roasted duck in winesauce) was definitively a new experience for the girls but one they really enjoyed.

Monday we visited Orange, the birth-place of the current Dutch royal family and also home to the only surviving Roman amphitheatre in the Western Mediterranean. We took an extensive tour of the complex with audio guides, which the girls loved (and saved us the trouble of extensive explanations) and also visited the Arc de Triumph, a Roman original, erected by the 2nd Legio Romana Julius Caesar in around the first century AD, carved with beautiful scenes depicting the Roman conquest of Gallia.

We then drove up North again and stopped for the night at Beaune in the Bourgogne wine-region. In Beaune we visited the historic centre, which included the 'hotel de Dieu' and the famous wine-shops. the 'Hotel de Dieu' is the oldest still surviving hospital in the world, founded in 1443, by the knights Templar, returning from the crusades. Its existence is financed through the sale of wines from its own vineyard.

On Tuesday we quickly drove up to Paris, where we visited the Palace de Versailles. This visit took most of the day, again with audio guides, and again the girls really enjoyed it. One of the things that was not on the audio guide is the pattern from antiquity from the Romans, which was repeated throughout the Palace to enforce the linear line of the French kings as successors to the Roman emperors of old. This line is also drawn by the last French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, who depicts himself as the last in the line of the natural successors throughout the Palace.

After the visit to Versailles we went into Paris proper, catching the Tour de Eiffel at dusk, with enough light to see Paris but still bathing with lights. Of course we went up and we showed them the sights of Paris, the Notre Dame, Dome des Invallides, Les Tulleries and L?Arc de Triomphe.

After the visit to Paris we drove straight through the night to Rotterdam, where we arrived at dawn around 04:30.

It was a very interesting visit to France again and it slowly begins to dawn upon the girls that the history of Europe has a vastly longer lineage than that found in the Dominican Republic. It is also very satisfying to introduce these girls into a world which they have thusfar only imagined and to see the wonder and enjoyment on their faces..

All in all a pleasant experience indeed.
 

Victor Laszlo

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Aug 24, 2004
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What I'll take away

is the image of two Dominicanas, standing atop the Eiffel Tower at twilight, seeing Paris and the Whole Wide World spreading out before them. Nice story. Thanks.
 

ricktoronto

Grande Pollo en Boca Chica
Jan 9, 2002
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The most amazing part of this story is two DR girls getting tourist visas at the same time.
 

Berzin

Banned
Nov 17, 2004
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Yes, this was a great story but how in the world did you get the visas for the girls, or did they have them already? How long did it take?
 

Robert

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Jan 2, 1999
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ricktoronto said:
The most amazing part of this story is two DR girls getting tourist visas at the same time.

That all depends on the girls. For some, it's not an issue, just a formality.
 
Oct 13, 2003
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Rick, Berzin,

I don't think obtaining a visa for the girls was all that amazing, as a Dutch national me and my friend have the right to invite whomever we please as long as parties involved qualify under the temporary visa rules, which is a fair requirement by my governement.

Under these requirements, I just excercise my rights and will brook no bullshit excuses; this is also the stance I took in my dealings with the embassy. It took me about two working days to collect and arrange all the paper work (insurances, flights, application forms, guarantees and a few other things). Furthermore, I had to make 2 calls and wrote a few e-mails to the embassy.

The girls and my friend had to visit the embassy in SDQ twice, there were some issues (they lost the file on 1 of them) but I was able to sort them out with a few firm calls/e-mails.

The girls are clean, not married, no kids, not underaged; 1 works in a normal govt job and 1 is a student.

All in all it was a formality really... just as I expected
 

ricktoronto

Grande Pollo en Boca Chica
Jan 9, 2002
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The civility and sensibility of the Dutch for some issues is certainly not found in North America. Not even in Canada to the same extent.
 
Oct 13, 2003
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ricktoronto said:
The civility and sensibility of the Dutch for some issues is certainly not found in North America. Not even in Canada to the same extent.

Rick,

I don't fully comprehend and don't pretend to know the immigrations/visa laws of other counries to a 't'.. but here is my take.

If all parties involved comply with the requirements for visa application as published and communicated on various govt websites.. ie. the so-called formal requirements (which every govt in my opinion has a right to impose) are met.. then they have to process and comply by their own rules, anything deviating from that is imo willfull malfunction of the process and should be confronted by using informal pressure and if that doesn't help by taking legal course of action... you as a respected citizen have a right to prompt and quality service from the officials that basically get paid out of the taxes you pay.. they are there to service you and not the other way around..

So we researched the requirements, found out all parties met them, complied with all the paperwork requirements in extenso (we did this ourselves) and strictly monitored the entire process by getting names, numbers and witness to any and all dealings within the visa application process..so when the embassy people tried to stiff us (yes that did happen) we were quickly able to overcome any difficulties present by reproducing any required documentation on the spot, by producing evidence of earlier compliance and a little smooth talking..

This is also the experience I have had when my company applied for a working visa in the US a few years ago for a temporary stationing there.. never had a serious issue apart from encountering the usual bureaucratic incompetence.. but you have to be prepared for that and overcome this..

Cheers,

MD
 

NY1

New member
Feb 26, 2002
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That is a wonderful story. I studied in France for a semester while in college and loved it, especially Paris. I have also told my fiance that this is where I wanted to honeymoon. She's just a bit apprehensive of the looooong flight.
 

Talldrink

El Mujeron
Jan 7, 2004
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Mr. Dutchie, how long was the process from beginning to end and how much did you spend on it all? thanks.
 
Oct 13, 2003
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Talldrink said:
Mr. Dutchie, how long was the process from beginning to end and how much did you spend on it all? thanks.

The total proces from the time I decided to work on it was around two weeks in which I spent about 2 working days on it. Monetarily I paid for the ticket, the medical insurance and the visa application.. in total about US$ 1,500 of which around US$ 1,200 for the ticket, US$ 225 for the medical insurance for 2.5 months and US$ 75 for the visa application, passport and transport to and from the SDQ embassy etc..
 

Talldrink

El Mujeron
Jan 7, 2004
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MerengueDutchie said:
The total proces from the time I decided to work on it was around two weeks in which I spent about 2 working days on it. Monetarily I paid for the ticket, the medical insurance and the visa application.. in total about US$ 1,500 of which around US$ 1,200 for the ticket, US$ 225 for the medical insurance for 2.5 months and US$ 75 for the visa application, passport and transport to and from the SDQ embassy etc..

Thanks for the quick response... glad you enjoyed yourself. Do you want to take another Dominican girl to France? I got my own paperwork... LOL
 

rellosk

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Mar 18, 2002
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Dragonfly32837 said:
I would love to visit Nice. You just went on my perfect trip. Thanks for the report.
I've never been to Paris, but I have been to Nice, and Nice is nice.
 
Oct 13, 2003
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Talldrink said:
Thanks for the quick response... glad you enjoyed yourself. Do you want to take another Dominican girl to France? I got my own paperwork... LOL

Thank you for the offer.. I've seen your pic in the gallery.. if things don't work out with this girl we might discuss it one day... make sure you check my pic in the gallery.. you might want to reconsider ;)
 

Talldrink

El Mujeron
Jan 7, 2004
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MerengueDutchie said:
Thank you for the offer.. I've seen your pic in the gallery.. if things don't work out with this girl we might discuss it one day... make sure you check my pic in the gallery.. you might want to reconsider ;)

LOL - you are cutie compared to others here!!