Adventure in France (or, Sometimes It’s Easier To Stay Home)

April 28, 2007

The problem was that we left Menton a month ago with a rental car on a one month contract. It was due back Thursday. As R worried what might happen if I did the trip alone, he came along. Since he came, so did the dog. Road Trip!

We left Wednesday at 2pm. We drove and drove and drove until at 4am I said I needed a nap. A nap is all I got and we set off again at 6am. At 8:45 we stopped in Cannes to view the setting of French Kiss, the Carlton.

Carlton Hotel, Cannes

This was a highlight of the trip and while I had my doubts as we battled the traffic heading into Cannes, I’m glad we did it.

At 11am, we were returning the rental car. At 12:03, we were waiting for the train to Nice. At 13:30, we were on the train to Bordeaux. By this time, I’d had 2 interrupted hours of sleep and R had had none. The rocking of the train allowed only disturbed sleep. Just before I began to doze, I realized that the saying “Nice is nice” isn’t exactly a truism.


We arrived in Bordeaux at 11pm. Train stations in any big city attract scandalous and nefarious characters; Bordeaux was no exception. We threaded through the beggars and the broken glass in search of a hotel room where we could sleep until it was time to board our 6:30am train to Angouleme. We couldn’t find a hotel room. And here is where the trip went from tedious to pure misery.

When I went off to buy a drink, R and Geena heard what they both agreed were gunshots. What to do? With no other options, we returned to the train station waiting room where we…waited. The room emptied significantly at 1 when the train to Nice boarded, but the benches were all taken. Armchairs were all we had.

R can go about two days without sleep, though he pays for it dearly. I cannot go without sleep at all. My brain will sleep when it needs to, no matter what my body is attempting. When R took Geena for a short walk he returned to find me asleep on the floor with Geena’s padded carrier tucked under my head. I’m really too old to be sleeping on railway station floors – but when I lay down on that floor the only thought that went through my head was “this feels good” and that was only for a fraction of a second.

It’s good that I did sleep, because we’d found an earlier (4:30) train to Angouleme and a quick connection on to our terminal destination. It was important that one of us be awake on the train to Angouleme because that train’s terminal point was Paris – a long way from home. While the new earlier train would leave us sitting in the final station for 2.5 hours until our ride came, it was better than 2.5 hours in scary Bordeaux.

We finished our train adventure at 6:30 without incident and at 9 the guy from the car dealership came to pick us up – we had to wait another hour for them to finish the car’s inspection. But they gave us coffee, glorious coffee and we were satisfied. At the end, they also gave R this shiny, somewhat new Fiat Palio Weekend.

Our Car

The End.


One comment

  1. The reason we knew they were gunshots is because we heard and saw the empty cartridges drop to the pavement at our feet. To think Baroness Philippine was sleeping soundly not minutes away…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: