Day 93: October 23rd
We were finally on our way to Paris! It was a long travel day…12 hours on the train but it would end with us in Paris. We were excited.
Alas, our excitement was short-lived. As it turned out, we were to change trains from the Spanish AVE to the French TGV at Figueres in Spain…when we got there, we were informed that the French train was broken and we would have to take a bus to Perpignan on the French side, an hour away. That didn’t seem too bad…right? When we got to Perpignan we were then informed that there was no train there. We were to take an overnight train to Paris…leaving in three hours.
So basically, instead of an express train to Paris..which would take five hours from Figueres and have us there by nighttime, now we had to take a ten hour train ride, in a ridiculously old sleeper train (the Russian trains were better and the Chinese trains were palatial in comparison) and forfeit a night’s accommodation in Paris! Hotels in Paris are expensive! I tried in my very limited French to explain this to the station staff in hopes of getting a refund. Unfortunately, this wasn’t to be. At least their boxed meal included some good chocolate mousse.:)
So we had no choice but to wait for the 9pm overnight train. Once on the train, we realized that the train conductor had no idea that there would be a bunch of us without seat reservations on his train…contrary to what we had earlier been told.
Anyway, we were eventually allocated berths and we ended up sharing our compartment with two Indian boys from IIM Bangalore on exchange in Europe. We even knew some people in common. Small world!:)
We finally arrived in Paris the next morning…exhausted, but happy to finally be here. It’s my first time here and I’m excited!