Sunday, November 19, 2006

TGV southward

Our train, a TGV (the fast train), left from the Gare de Lyon...which I stated clearly to the taxi driver. I became engrossed in a magazine for a few minutes, felt the cab turn right, looked up and, WHERE WAS HE GOING? NOT to the Gare de Lyon, as we were at Place de Republique! I stopped him with a loud GARE DE LYON - Not Gare du Nord. He said oh, ne pas lointain which was crap (or crotte) as it WAS far out of the way EURO-wise. Grrrrr, I was a bit put out to say the least. Chuck said I was very clear when I said where we were headed. So the cabbie speeds off in the right direction, but with all the one way streets it's a long distance. We weren't late as I planned for us to be there early to pick up our reserved tickets. It just made me mad. The cabbie was distracted talking on the cell phone the whole time. When we got to the station, I gave him a piece of my mind in French, which for all I know sounded like blah blah blah to him, but it made me feel better. We got our tickets, headed for the train and got on what we thought was our car, settled in, then had to unsettle and find the correct voiture, 5 cars further down, shlep, shlep, shlep, our stuff, and when we got to our reserved seats, the couple across from us (we were in one of those cute little face the other seats with a table between you set ups) had sprawled all over, taking up more than there share of the little table, and stretching their legs into our foot space. Chuck ended up with his legs between the legs of the guy across from him, and ditto for me. Quite uncomfortable both physically and socially! The train sped along the country side. The landscape flew by. Here are some views, with the trees all in a row, the power lines, a river (perhaps the Rhone or the Saone) and finally our first stop, all the way down to the south, east of Marseille, the first stop Toulon. It was an amazing distance to cover in 3 hours. The rest of the ride to Nice was almost as long, with stops at lots of places including Cannes (where the long legs got off) and Antibes. It was very picturesque, following the coast line for a bit, then going up into hills, then down to the coast again. I was too busy looking to take pictures. I felt very happy to be in the south.

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