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Arriving in Paris -1900

PARIS_-_Carrefour_des_Bds_Montmartre_et_des_Italiens_-_La_station_des_omnibusThe following article was taken from a 1900 copy of Baedecker’s Guide Book of Paris and it’s environs. It has been reproduced here exactly as it was published. Note the references to the prohibition of transporting eatable products. This was due to some very restrictive trade practices and the list of goods liable to duties could be extremely long, in particular food items such as cheese, tea, sugar as well as cigars, tobacco etc.


On arrival, the traveller should hand in his small baggage to a porter (facteur, commissionaire; 40-50c), follow him to the exit, where an octroi official demands the nature of its contents and call a cab (voiture de place). The cab then takes its place in the first row which is reserved for engaged vehicles. After receiving the driver’s number , the traveller, if he has any registered luggage, tells him to wait for it (restez pour attendre les baggages). Hand-bags and rugs should not be left unguarded in the cab, at any rate not without making the driver notice the number of articles, as there are numerous thieves always on the lookout for such opportunities.

The traveller next betakes (sic) himself to the Salles des Bagages (Douane),  which is opened for 10 to 15 minutes after the arrival of the train. The custom-house examination is generally lenient. For carrying a trunk to the cab the porter again receives 40-50c., or even more for heavy luggage. The octroi official has again to be assured that the contents include nothing eatable. As a rule, the through passenger from England will not be able to leave the station until half an hour after his arrival. If preferred however, he may tell the porter to carry his hand-baggage directly to one of the hotels near the railway station and return afterwards for his trunk.

The fare from the railway station to the town is 1 and a half francs for a two-seated cab (at night 2 and a quarter francs). At the Gare du Nord and the Gare de l’Est travellers with extra heavy luggage may hire a Luggage Cab, with a rail on the top (Voiture Speciale avec galerie pour bagages), which are stationed behind the omnibuses. Families or large parties may hire a Railway Omnibus whic contains from six to twelve seats.

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