Friday, April 23, 2010

In the Big City

Well we did get stuck by the volcano mayhem in Europe. We were supposed to return a week ago today, however being on holiday! we hadn't actually been paying much attention to the news and although friends mentioned it, we had no idea of the chaos it was causing. So we dutifully got up early and set off at 5.30 am!! to get to CDG in good time. When we arrived to drop off the hire car, the guy did mumble something about us keeping it as the airport was closed but again the significance was lost on us and we trundled off into the airport. What d'ya know, the airport was closed!

So we joined the three hour ( 3 hour !) line up, just standing there for three hours to re-schedule our flight, the earliest they could do by time we got to the desk was Wednesday. Wednesday! We were scandalised, thoughts of my teenage son, left at home ALONE for the first time fought in my head with thoughts of another wonderful five days in sunny lovely Limousin! As it turns out Wednesday was perfect as the planes did not commence flying again until Tuesday, and of course teenage son was just fine without us.

So we about-turned and set off for our adventure in Paris (yes I know I always bemoaned the fact that I never actually got to spend time in the city but this is not quite what I had in mind!)

We got the train to Gare du Nord, a large and confusing station. For a little while there we really did feel like the two little country mice who had found themselves in the big scary city! Anyway we made it across to Gare Austerlitz and waited in another line up for our train ticket back to La Souterraine, our nearest station, called our good neighbour to arrange for her to pick us up at 9.30 pm and managed to find an hour to have some lunch before heading back to race for our seat on the train. It wasn't until we got to the change over station at Vierzon, when the connecting train didn't bother to turn up until an hour later than scheduled that someone mentioned that there was also a train strike in France!!

That would explain the very full train with many many people sat on the floor in the aisle, luckily we had seats.

It was a very long day but it meant another four days at the house, the longest we have ever spent there. As I reported on Facebook, I was stranded in France on my birthday, but wasn't complaining too much as the weather was gorgeous and the wine is cheap!!


auntiegwen said...

There are worse places to be stranded I would think. Happy belated birthday

Nora Ibsen said...

You were stranded indeed and may do well to start reading the newspapers. I assume your French is good enough to do that. Happy Birthday!

Kim Chandler said...

I know AG, it wasn't too much of a hardship.
But Nora we were on holiday and usually read our papers on line and it did only happen the day before...they're my excuses and I am sticking to them :)

aims said...

Chaos into serenity. Who could ask for more really?