Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Part 2: What an Adventure!

Now I'm going to tell you the; What an adventure! side of the story.

Well I woke this morning at 5:40 am to catch my 6:43 am train to Lyon (then Lyon to Geneva).

Running down my street at 6:20 am I had a sinking feeling that the metro I was about to catch wouldn't get me to the train station on time.

My gut was right. So after missing my train and then rescheduling for 8 am (to Paris then Geneva) I was tired and cranky.

When I got to Gare de Lyon in Paris I took myself off for a lovely cup of tea and a few macaroons.... and the beautiful elixer and sugary-bliss restored my happiness.

Beautiful tea café I found near le Gare de Lyon; "Le Palais des Thés".

Then boom! Another glitch.

A few minutes before getting on my train for Geneva I looked down at my ticket. In the section where my seat number should've been printed it read "Place selon disponibilite". What the what!?

With a few minutes to clarify I went to the info box and asked the man if it really said what I thought it said...

Yes. It said seat available if any free - so basically I was standing with the bags until a seat came up.

I was annoyed, but for some reason just so grateful to be on the train to Switzerland that I really just thought it was funny.

A beautiful, sunny Autumn morning at le Gare de Lyon, Paris.

So the trip was eventful - I sat with others who'd last-minute booked their tickets too, on a pull down seat near the bags for the first half and in a real seat for the last part (which was the best part - such beautiful views pulling into this country!)

Now I'm in my room, using the hotel's free wifi (bless!), having a cup of vanilla tea and some madeleines. Faith once again restored. Will be great when I meet my friend tonight.

I felt instantly better when I walked down the street and saw this breath-taking view of the Jet D'Eau.

That was the first major train I've ever missed; and I'll don't think it will ever happen again.

What's the biggest mess-up you've had on a trip? With a little perspective were you able to laugh?

I already am! What an up and down day!


Athena. said...

Oh, wow!
That sounds like such a wonderful trip!
I've not really had too many mess-ups during trips - I've not really travelled too much, ahaha.
I'm going to Japan at the end of the year though, so fingers crossed it all goes well!
You have a lovely blog!

janis said...

hands down, i had my worst travel mess-up this summer.
{its a bit of a doozie, so bear with the monstrously long comment...}

i was in montreal & was supposed to be taking the train to a little tiny town called trois-pistoles {i was taking a summer course out there, the gorgeous little town was functioning as a satellite campus}

anyways, yes, i was in montreal. my mom and brother had actually come out to visit me for a few days. the friday evening, we had this fabulous italian dinner chez une des mes amis {honestly, one of those golden evenings}. got back to the hotel & my mom commented that i should just double check my departure time for the next day. so i did, and started screaming.

my ticket said the train had actually departed THAT friday night rather than the next day! i didn't have any internet in the hotel room, so i called my brother in winnipeg and asked him to check train availability for the next day. he looked - and the train was sold out for the NEXT THREE WEEKS! at this point, i was a complete mess & was sure i was going to have to miss my summer course. my mom & little brother were leaving the next day, so i didn't have anywhere to stay in montreal either.

the next morning, i called the school in a complete panic. the secretary calmed me down & reassured me there was a bus i could take if i didn't get on that evening's train. i called the train, and they said that i could come by the train station & see if a spot opened up.

so i trekked down to the train station that evening with all my luggage. i continually kept on pestering the train workers, and they continually kept telling me that there was no room on the train & that there probably wouldn't be room period. five minutes before the train left, i decided dejectedly that i better get my train ticket refunded & head down to the train station.

the woman behind the counter was in the MIDDLE of refunding my ticket when suddenly there was a fury of commotion & some rapid fire french - and suddenly a train official informed me that there was a spot for me on the train, but i needed to leave NOW!

some train official helped with my luggage and we literally RAN down the platform. he radioed someone inside in the train & said that there was still someone coming, so not to lock the doors. the official took me through the train, and brought me to the ONE EMPTY SEAT on the whole train.

i sat there completely stunned & not sure at all how it happened!

it was for sure one of the most stressful experiences DE MA VIE!


i brake 4 dreams said...

lol....i once drove 200 miles out of the way on a trip to Balitmore! But, wow....Baltimore doesn't compare with where you're adventure is taking you!

love + luck + bliss,
missysue xox

Anonymous said...

Nothing worse than missing a plane or a train... I remember nearly imissing a plane to Melbourne because I had other things on my mind!

Anonymous said...

Awww, it's just so frustrating when thigns like that happen, and it makes you so anxious!
I missed my train from France to London and then I thought I was going to miss my connecting flight to the US, so I cried. But I got the earliest train the next morning and was just able to make the plane. So glad I didn't miss that wedding!

Annabelle said...

Janis; that's the most epic and scariest and thrilling story! Loved it! Gosh that would've got your adrenalin going, running down the train platform like that! But thank goodness you got that train :-)

Char said...

oh goodness - the worse I've done is book a flight for 6:00 pm when I needed a 6:00 am flight. Showed up at 6:00 am, they let me on the flight and then I got ejected when the real seat holder arrived. Then I went on standby for two flights and they were full so I came back for the 6:00 pm flight. Which then had mechanical troubles after we boarded. We had to deplane and I accidently left my iPod (which they never found....hmmmm) and I had to rebook my flight on another airline that wanted to return me on my old ticket before I even arrived. Terrible trip.

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