Tuesday, October 21, 2008

You Can't Get There from Ici

The TGV is France’s high speed, or bullet, train. It runs north to south, east to west and is the most popular way to travel from outlying locations to the Center of the Universe, aka The City of Lights, aka Paris. Every guidebook suggests that you always make a reservation ahead of time, especially on peak travel days. Especially if that day is Sunday. Especially if it is the only train to Paris from Luxembourg.

Our original plan had been to travel to the small town of Verdun on Sunday (scene of Joe’s last foray into France circa 1954) but the Thomas Cook Timetable showed no regular train service on Sunday. This I discovered about 5 pm Saturday night. So, after a mad scramble to change our schedule and find us a decent hotel in Paris, we made plans to take the early afternoon train to Paris on Sunday. Alas, these plans did not include a reservation. Imagine my moment of panic when I went to the ticket desk at the train station and was informed there were no seats available on any train that day from Luxembourg to Paris. At least not directly. About ten minutes after I had stopped hyperventilating, I went back to the ticket desk and calmly asked if there were a less direct route that did not involve the TGV. As it turned out, we were able to reroute through Metz. Thanks for not suggesting that to me in the first place, officious-and-entirely-unhelpful-ticket-desk-clerk.  Now I had to assuage my fears with a beer or two in the train station bar (see above).

As it was, we made it to Paris before dark, found our little hotel by Notre Dame, hauled our luggage up five flights of stairs (no elevator!) and headed to a local bistro for a bite to eat.

C’est Paris.


Tex said...

Breathe now. You've still got two weeks left to enjoy!!
Cant wait to hear more!!! one week countdown for me to head to Mass!! :)

Janet said...

I am SO bummed I'm going to miss your big birthday! I'm sending a bottle of vin rouge your way. :hygs: