Sunday, 21 September 2014

Journeys

Before we left home I had booked flights, accommodation and a rental car to fly from a Nice to Strasbourg to attend the European patchwork and quilting exhibition for one day. Air France decided to go on strike this week, good on them!! They cancelled my flight to Strasbourg. Anyway I decided to get the train - a 9 hour journey. I set off from Villefranche to Nice by train, got to Nice and needed to print out my online ticket, only thing is I couldn't understand the machine, so I lined up at the information counter, got to the front and asked if the guy could speak English, he said no and asked if I could speak French, no luck, I was a bit worried as my departure time was fast approaching. I decided to approach a security guard and asked him if he could help he could speak English but told me to queue up at the ticket counter, the queue would've been half an hour long, sigh, I must have looked upset cos he got another guard, who spoke better English to help me and I explained to him that I would miss the train and I just needed to get the ticket printed. He took me to the front of the queue, yay, got my ticket printed and headed off to check which platform I needed to be on ...... My train was delayed for 30 minutes, oh dear, could've waited in the queue after all. Meanwhile this is what the others were doing.
 
They were in Monaco, they didn't like it and only stayed a couple of hours.

Meanwhile I was on my way .... They guard came through checking tickets and spoke to some of us in the carriage, all French, I couldn't understand any of it, but he kept saying Marseillies and gesturing that he would look after me, anyway the train stopped in Marseillies and everyone got off, a lady gestured to me to follow her, so I blindly followed along, we got onto another train, guards and all, it was a nicer train and off we went, very fast, luckily I made my connection at Lyon and arrived in Strasbourg at 10pm. Meanwhile I was trying to contact the rental car company at the airport to advise them I would be late picking up the car but kept getting a French answering machine, eventually I got through and she spoke English, yay, she said they were closing so made arrangements to get the car at 8am in there morning. Got a taxi to my hotel.  Got to the airport the next morning to get my rental car, o !@&$ I had my international license but not my NZ drivers license, shit, they wouldn't let me hire without it, what the hell was I going to do now, I had one day to view this massive exhibition, the rental lady told me there may be a train to the place. I went to information, they said to get back into the Strasbourg train station and do it from there, o boy I was totally p'd off.  Anyway off I go back to Strasbourg and thankfully eventually find an English speaking ticket lady, I have to take a train and then a bus, time is marching on, off I go and finally arrive at the exhibition at 11am. The exhibition is held between 4 villages the main one being Saint Marie aux Mine.
This quilt exhibition totally takes over this village and it is inundated with women, and a few men, they take advantage of it and put out little stalls and sell things, I was too busy looking at the more than 20 exhibits to take too many photos of the surrounding areas.


2 comments:

Ravey Hites said...

OMG 'all alone in a strange country'springs to mind. Glad you eventually made it to the exhibitions after all the drama of getting there. I hope they lived up to all expectations.

Ravey Hites said...

ps. Don't you use the Google Translate app for your phone?