Let me start this blog post with a very lame excuse, “Things have been so crazy busy and hectic.” The truth is that things have really been so crazy busy and hectic so I haven’t managed to post my entire interrailing adventures last summer.
But it’s better late than never, right?
So, I’ll start with the starting point of my journey. I started my interrail journey from my hometown, Tilburg in the Netherlands using both no-reservation-required and reservation-required trains.
My original itinerary looked like this: Tilburg (NL) – Roosendaal (NL) – Antwerpen CS (BE) – Lille Frandres (Fr) – Amiens (Fr) – Paris Nord (Fr) – Paris Austerlitz (Fr) – Irun (Sp) – Lisboa Oriente (Pt).
The journey from Tilburg Station to Roosendaal (NL) went well until I got a tweet from @SNCF:
@liabelle Good morning, your train is cancelled. You could have more information in station.
— SNCF Direct (@SNCF_Direct) July 13, 2013
Don’t give me wrong for my heart went out to the victims and their families of the Paris train’s crash but it wasn’t the tweet that I wanted to receive when I was already on my way to Paris with the train and also with a very limited internet connection on my smartphone. Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do at that time so I tried to stay as cool as possible, continued the journey and hoped for the best.
As soon as I got off the train at Gare d’Amiens (Fr), I went to a lady behind the information desk and showed her my itinerary. I started to feel a little bit uneasy when she told me that there was no train from Paris to Irun (at least not for that day and the next a few days, anyway).
Then, I said something like, “Please, please put me on any train or trains from here to anywhere in Spain so I can resume my interrail journey from Irun to Lisboa Oriente”. And then, she started to call her colleagues, her supervisor or maybe even the supervisor of her supervisor. But still no train for me! And I was just too hungry and too tired to even raise my voice so I stood there and waiting.
I, then, started counting from 1 to 10, again and again, trying to prevent myself from getting frustrated or worst even, hurting the stuff and another train passenger out of my frustration 🙂
The clock kept on ticking and finally, a miracle happened as a dark, long and handsome man appeared and approached my information desk’s lady. He turned out to be “Le chef d’escale Amiens” and then, he said to me in his very limited English something like,“You go to Paris Nord. Go with metro to Paris Montparnass. From Montparnass go with train to Bordeaux. You sleep in Bordeaux. Next day you go to Hendaye, Irun and Lisboa, okay?”
Nope. It was NOT okay. It was not at all the itinerary I planned nor I wanted to plan but who cared? The information desk lady, her colleagues and of course her dark, long and handsome station manager had done their very best for me in order to continue on my interrail journey to Lisboa Oriente (Pt).
My itinerary became like this: Tilburg (NL) – Roosendaal (NL) – Antwerpen CS (BE) – Lille Frandres (Fr) – Amiens (Fr) – Paris Nord (Fr) –
Paris Austerlitz (Fr) – Paris Montparnass (Fr) – Bordeaux St Jean
After saying,“Merci beaucoup à tous. Vous êtes le meilleur!” I went outside the station to breath out for a long while and these’re some of my view:
The silver lining of this train journey was the fact that my train’s journey from Gare d’Amiens – Paris Nord (Fr) – Paris Montparnass (Fr) – Gare de Bordeaux Saint Jean went very well, no delay and no incident. Thanks God! I was very happy when I saw this:
And this. Yes, a nice hotel right across from the train station. Hotel equals to shower, food and sleep. There’re for sure lots of other hotels in the city centre of Bordeaux. But it was also already between 22.30 – 23.00 o’clock and I was certainly not in the mood to look for a decent hotel nearby the Gare de Bordeaux Saint Jean.
Hôtel Régina turned out to be basic, very clean and the ideal place to rest after more than 16 hours of my train journey. I was planning to explore the city of Bordeaux after taking the shower but I fell into a deep sleep. Oh, well, there’s still tomorrow …. and the interrailing adventure continues ….
So, please check in again for more interrailing adventures from Bordeaux to other cities and countries in Europe. Till then!!