Ramblings of a Polymath & His Sidekick
I’m a slow learner, however
I at least attempted to put a positive spin on the 33 hours in transit from Sydney to Marseille. At the 27 hour mark, I’m still hanging in there, sitting in the waiting room at Charles de Gaulle airport for two hours before the TGV leaves for Marseille. Cheryl’s patience is a given, so that’s why this is a personal statement.
Despite queuing behind 100 Japanese school kids going through immigration, taking off 30 minutes late because the codeshare meant that they were overbooked and were offering people overnight accommodation and upgrades and seats that are getting narrower and closer together every year, we both managed to nap and doze for 6 to 8 hours of the first 14 hour leg. In my case, I deliberately didn’t switch on the inflight entertainment and two hours in, worked hard at dozing.
Ches obviously didn’t get that much quality rest, as in Abu Dhabi, when she decided to check
her e-mails and Facebook, she asked me how to spell a French word and how to post a comment in a Facebook thread. As most will attest, spelling isn’t a strength and French non-existent. As for Facebook, bah humbug. Actually, I responded correctly to both but that’s not the point, the point is that she actually asked me.
Abu Dhabi was a middle of the day flight, however all windows shutters were closed as most people were transiting from Australia or the east and most slept for a good part of the 7 hours. We had three seats between us so plenty of room to spread out.
Paris on arrival at 1.30 pm was 7c and very misty. Not exactly spring weather and we hope Provence will be better. We walked the km or so to the TGV station to collect our tickets and decided to share a ham and egg baguette. Station food in France is on a par with Australia however even a mediocre baguette here is better than at home.
I brought 500 gms of coffee from home. A number of people thought I was mad.
Based on past experiences, I wouldn’t think of taking coffee to Italy as I’ve never had a bad one there, France is hit and miss but largely miss and Germany makes Starbucks taste great. My first Cappuccino (admittedly at the station) was a shocker. No espresso machine, and it turned out to be muddy and bitter on top and milky on the bottom. The Italians would say it was typically French, no barista and indifferent quality coffee.
Coffee in Marseille was no better and I can't wait till we get to our apartment this afternoon to make my own.
The weather forecasters in France must go to the same university as the Australians. We watch the TV forecast this morning (Saturday) and they said rain in all of France except Provence. We made it out the front door and then retreated for a change into weatherproof clothes and an umbrella. Yes Marea, I did look out the window.
The map was next to useless. We tried to walk to the old port. Instead we did a huge loop and ended up back near the station w*** Marseille, we bought a filled baguette and some pastries and retreated to the hotel for a coffee (see above). As soon as I complete this blog entry, we are going to pick up our car and head off toward Mausanne les Alpilles where we have a cottage for the next week.
We have no idea about internet contact for the next week but hopefully we can find somewhere to post updates here.