Not an airplane was flying…
If you have seen any news at all this month, it will come as no surprise to you that Monday morning, when I got up to go to the airport, there was an email in my inbox informing me that my flight had been cancelled. I have found that breakdowns often disrupt our lives just enough to reveal the angels among us.
Today, after my own horrendous 36-hour trip from France to England, I can’t help thinking of all the others like me, stranded between familiar shores trying to get home for the holidays. This is for you, and for the angels among you.
There I was on Monday. Bags all packed, fridge cleared out, and nowhere to go. There were no flights available to Gatwick Airport until 26 December. I checked the trains, from Nice to London. Nothing available. So from England my husband (Angel #1) helped me create a patchwork itinerary combining train and ferry.
- Nice to Paris via TGV
- Paris to Caen via Intercities train
- Caen to Portsmouth via Brittany Ferries
- Portsmouth to home via Peugeot 306
I had one hour. I recalled taxi driver Claude, took one of my fastest showers ever, inhaled two scrambled eggs, closed two obese suitcases and headed out the door. With that my Christmas adventure begins.
Gare Nice Ville. The ticket machine won’t read my card. As I wait in line, the track changes from one with no stairs to one with stairs. I stand at the bottom of the stairs, when Angel #2, a handsome young man, grabs my enormous suitcase and runs it up the stairs, “TGV?” as he puts the bag on the train.
I am confused, because it is 10:25 and my ticket says 10:35. The conductor confirms that I am on the wrong train. Next stop… Antibes. I drag my bags off the train and head down the platform in search of information. Read more…