Sunday, June 28, 2009

Train anyone? the 27th and 28th

After our free breakfast, we jumped on the metro to the train station in Paris.  Our train left around 9:00am.  We again did not have reservations, and the train was completely full. We knew if we sat in seats we might have gotten kicked off; therefore, we sat in the luggage/lounge car on the floor for 4 hours as stow-aways.  
In Limoges, we were supposed to meet Emilie, Elizabeths French T.A, but with no internet, no phone, and no way to get in touch we were running out of options after 2 hours in the train station.  We jumped into another train taking us to Narbonne, the ticket man said it didn't matter if we were sitting in the stow away section, we still had to have a reservation.  We knew that we were going to have to pay, so we just went and sat in the comfortable chairs across from our soon to be Merlyn Jackson. He was a serious bike rider from South Africa. He was white!
We got off in Narbonne at 8pm and ran across the street where we scrambled enough money to get french fries. An hour later, our next train was leaving to Marseille. Back in the cargospace for us.  We sat on the floor and began yet another hour of playing gin.  Getting resless, but hanging in there we awaited our arrival.  Marseille has the reputation of being rough and not safe for 3 American girls; therefore, we were nervous that we weren't going to be able to catch another train and we would be stranded there.  When we did arrive, the board told us the next train to Cannes would be at 6:15 in the morning, but we could go to Toulon (a city closer to Cannes and safer than Marseille) in 5 minutes.  We sprinted to the most sketchiest (if that is a word) graffitied train ever that took us to Toulon.
When we arrived in Toulon it was around 11pm, and that was it for our journey..we would have to continue it the next morning at 6:00am because the trains stopped running. We made a new friend Chris from Canada, talked him into protecting us while we spent the night in the train station and made a spot in the waiting room.  Soon after our comfort settled in, the security brought the bad news kicking us out because "the station now close sorry."  The same facial expression on our faces was the same of those who were sitting next to us.  They were a group of 3, 2 boys and a girl.  I asked if they were from the US and stranded likewise.  They smiled and said yes and introduced themselves. Peter, Leah, and Ryan..all in Law school and all 22 from California.
All 7 of us decided to group up and protect eachother awaiting our early morning train.  We went to the only open place and bought a drink.  We sat getting to know eachother and playing B.S.  just like all Americans know how to play.  Around 2, they were closing.  We all packed up like mules with our backpacks and found a spot not far from the train station in the courtyard and played the ever fun game, spoons!  Around 4, this creepy group of 4 approached us.  2 boys and 2 girls…more like men and women. Anyhow, we couldn’t tell if they were drunk and just being dumb or if they were scammers. Peter and Ryan stood up and said well…its time to go. At 4:30, the station opened and I slept on top of all the luggage.  I was so sleepy, I didn’t even realize that they had helped me on the train. In no time, we had passed Cannes and were getting of the train in Nice, France. 
Chris had left us back in Toulon and boarded another train.  We followed Ryan, Peter, and Leah to their hostel and booked a room as well.  Ryan stayed in our room because there was 4 beds and Peter and Leah (dating) were in a double private. 
It was now the 28th and we were all delirious.  We changed into our swim suites and found the beach easily. We all napped on the pebble beach for 2 hours. Then taking another nap later in a grassy area by some beautiful fountains under big trees.  This was really just a peaceful day of napping.
That night the California people went for dinner while Elizabeth, Kate and I decided to watch the sunset again at the beach.  We sat on these beach chairs. The security guard let us stay even though it was against the rules. I love being a girl. 


Terry Peak Photography said...

lol OMG you stress me out.... Things a Father never wants to know! love you much!

Cherl said...

Thank you, Lord, for your traveling mercies I pray for without ceasing!

Marinda said...

Good GRIEF Elise!! You be careful!