French notion? Derailed Planes, Gallic Shrug & Stuff Station – Yes, My TGV Journey Was Infuriating, But First

Bitten by the travel bug in my teens, at this point in my life, I’m a seasoned traveler, thinking nothing of jetting off to exotic climates at the drop of a hat.

More often than not, my trip goes without major hitch, everything goes largely according to plan and everyone is having a great time. But, of course, there are always some accidents when you walk away from organized vacations and take things into your own hands.

Over the years, I have encountered many people and found that the trick is to stay calm and move on.

At the time of writing, I am in France, traveling to Spain for a few weeks before heading north by train.

I chose the French diversion to take advantage of a better flight option and allow myself to explore a new city in the process.

The Spanish leg of the trip was perfect – everything from accommodation to various places was better than anticipated. But things took a different turn when we went to France.

After booking tickets on the high-speed TGV, the journey should have been seamless, but after standing for an hour waiting for the train to arrive in the sweltering heat in Barcelona, ​​the journey got off to a rocky start.

I was joined by other passengers on the platform trying to flag off the troubled staff who ignored us

But eventually, it arrived, and we heaved a sigh of relief, though reluctantly admitting that the 75-minute delay meant we would miss our connecting train in Nimes – but we would be worried about it when we arrived.

close

a flight to ireland when the airline double booked my seat so i had to find a temporary option until they found something more suitable

So, we settled in for the first few hours of the first part of the journey – but within two hours of the journey, our car started feeling airless and hot and when the train stopped in Narbonne, there was a flurry of activities as soon as the staff started. rushing via tatkal train.

Living in Spain, I can always get by because my command of the language is quite good. However, in France, with only my Leaving Sert relying on French, I had no idea what was going on.

The train engine cut off after a few minutes, so to find out what was going on, I was joined by other passengers on the platform trying to flag off the troubled staff who ignored us.

Finally piecing together some of the information provided in French, Spanish and English, I found that the air-conditioning system on board had caught fire and that we had to wait for firefighters and engineers to fix it – inquired about whether How long would it take was met with a nostalgic Gallic shrug.

I just couldn’t sit on the train indefinitely so we took our chance and found out that a train was going “immediately” to Marseille on the other side of the station, we hurriedly grabbed our luggage and 36C in heat up and down steps The doors were locked to reach the platform that ran.

But things happen for a reason, and we soon learned that the train we were instructed to board was actually going in a different direction altogether. Ten minutes later, the right train arrived and although the cramped, local train was the exact opposite of the plush, high-speed TGV, we appreciated our quick thinking as we were on our way again.

Or so we thought – as the minutes passed, we found that we couldn’t leave until the police came to arrest a man who was sitting next to me under the watchful eye of a guard. I wasn’t entirely sure what crime he was guilty of, but he didn’t fight when a team of armed police came to get him off the train.

close

Backpacking in my early 20s and our accommodation turned out to be somewhat unconventional! (I’m on the right)

Such drama – fire and arrest and we were not even half gone – surely we will leave now? Apparently no, (without explanation) the doors didn’t close for 40 minutes. But eventually, as we had given up hope, it started again. Then, at the next station, it was announced for the passengers to voluntarily leave the train as it was overcrowded – needless to say we didn’t oblige – and finally arrived at our destination (several hours late) .

There’s no point in getting angry or going to the staff because it rarely helps

It was an eventful journey to say the least.

But I’ve had similar experiences in the past of canceled flights or trains, seeing me on a completely different trip (or destination) than planned, stolen or lost luggage (on one occasion, in my teens, My suitcase ended up in Santiago, Chile, instead of Santiago de Compostela, Spain) and the accommodation was much less (or non-existent) than expected.

However, I’ve learned to keep my cool – there’s no point in getting angry or going to the staff as it rarely helps and can waste precious vacation time.

In my experience, finding an alternate route, keeping receipts for claiming back expenses for alternate trips, (or extra clothes bought while waiting for lost luggage) and avoiding angry queues to complain (the latter Save it for the official letter in the date), is the best way to minimize disruption.

So, if the problem is minor and there’s nothing you can do to change it, the best way to save your trip is to choose another option if possible, then put your feet up, give yourself a cold. Have a glass and enjoy the holiday. , Bon Voyage.